I would stay at a hotel called “Shrimp House” even if it was a dump, just because I think the name is funny (and the chance to steal a robe emblazoned with the words “Property Of Shrimp House” is too good to pass up), but in this case the funny name accompanies a truly stunning destination property. Shrimp House is perched above a shrimp pond in Bali, with a glass-bottomed bedroom that allows guests to view an “underwater panorama of crustaceans in action,” which sounds like a surefire aphrodisiac if there ever was one. If all that hot shrimp action isn’t enough of a draw, the hotel is also equipped with a luxurious outdoor shower and a porch with a gorgeous view of the surrounding jungle. [Huffington Post]
As if a gorgeous boutique hotel tucked into the rainforest of a Caribbean island could get any more perfect, what if that hotel was chocolate themed? Such a wonderland exists, and it’s called Hotel Chocolat, a luxurious lodging option on the island of St. Lucia, operated by a gourmet chocolate company of the same name. In addition to an infinity pool and speedboat taxi to the beaches, Hotel Chocolat partners with St. Lucian farmers to harvest local cocoa, which is used liberally in the hotel’s spa treatments and restaurant menu. A cacoa oil massage followed by a fresh cacao bellini on the balcony? Yes, please! Guests can also tour the estate’s cocoa groves, pick ripe pods off the trees, and make their own chocolate bars. At $500 a night, Hotel Chocolat is a “maybe if I win the lottery” option for most of us, but definitely a fun destination to dream about on a rainy Monday, no?
I’ve always been a little jealous of movie characters who get to spend any amount of time in a comically large animal’s stomach. When Pinocchio got swallowed by that whale, I was like, “Damn, that looks so cozy in there! I would never leave.” I never thought I’d get to live out my weird fantasy, but after finding out that the Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood, Idaho is a real place that exists, I have hope. Dog Bark Park is a bed and breakfast that sleeps 4 and is shaped like a gigantic beagle. It was designed and is now run by Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin, a husband and wife team who specialize in carving wooden dog sculptures. After being featured on QVC in 1995 and getting an influx of orders, Sullivan and Conklin used all the profits to construct the beagle B&B of
their my dreams. For less than $100 a night, guests can relax in the belly of the beagle, and then enjoy a complimentary breakfast of homemade granola and pastries (yes, you can eat a bagel in a beagle). Dogs are welcome too, obviously. Road trip, anyone? [Neatorama]
For me, the phrase “hotel pool” instantly conjures images of overcrowded, over-chlorinated concrete boxes teeming with rowdy kids with nosebleeds, but luckily, the airport Best Westerns of my childhood are not the only options out there. Case in point: the spate of gorgeous, relaxing rooftop pools popping up at swanky hotels across the country. These hip hangout spots boast jaw-dropping views, comfy cabanas, poolside bars, and exquisite design. The perfect place to laze away a hot summer day. Click through to check out six of the country’s most fabulous rooftop pools, but beware: common side effects of this slideshow include daydreaming about warm breezes, intense cravings for mojitos, and lurid fantasies involving cabana boys.
Swanky hotel rooms are great and all, but sometimes you just want to sleep in a tree. Whether you’re yearning to reconnect with nature or revisit your childhood, reserving a few nights in a treehouse hotel is guaranteed to give you a memorable vacation. I tracked down 6 gorgeous treehouses in forests from Washington to China to Costa Rica. Some are truly affordable ($87 a night? Yes, please!), some fall squarely in the “if I win the lottery” category (I miiiiight have yelled “FOR SERIOUS?!” during a phone call with a front desk agent at one point in my research), but all are beautiful, unique, and totally travel porn worthy. Click on the gallery to check ‘em out!
When I saw a picture of the infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, it became an instant addition to my travel bucket list. Perched on the roof of the 57-story hotel, the pool offers breathtaking views, luxurious sunbathing, and intensive exposure therapy for anyone who suffers from a simultaneous fear of heights and water. According to the hotel’s rate calendar, on rare occasions rooms can be had for $379 a night, which means someday I will split the cost of lodging with 12 friends and we will take turns daring each other to swim up to the edge. Care to join us?
I’ve always been drawn to Central American countries, thanks to the warm weather, delicious food, and picturesque beaches. Following a trip to Costa Rica for surf camp a couple years ago, and subsequent trips to Mexico after that, I put Nicaragua on my list of dream travel destinations after hearing from fellow travelers about the largely undeveloped land and gorgeous beaches. So when an invitation to spend a long weekend at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Eco Lodge in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, fell into my lap, I jumped at the chance to go, and invited my mom, Cheryl, to join me. Here’s a rundown of what we experienced. Keep reading »
Most of us have no desire to stay in a smelly, haunted hotel room. But for the select few special flowers who delight in creepy crawlies, the Mama Hotel is just up your alley. Designed to celebrate the arrival of the Jessica Chastain movie “Mama” on DVD (eh, it was just okay), the horrific hotel inside London’s Holiday Inn Camden Lock allows guests to sleep in rooms inspired by the scary film. And it’s not just the decorations: Guests will also be privy to encounters with “paranormal beings.”
That’s certainly a hotel for a certain kind of lady. But that’s hardly the only unique amenity. Guests at the Happy Guest Hotel Lodge in Dutton, England, can request a pet for the duration of their stay. Sure, they’re only goldfish, but lodge owner Jeff Riley says they’ve been a hit with weary, lonely travelers. “Obviously it can’t talk back but it can wiggle its fins and swim around the tank––it will give guests someone to talk to and unload the troubles of the day.” And they’re not the only ones — the Kimpton hotel chain also offers a goldfish-on-demand service for kiddies.
After the jump, some of the most strange and surprising guest amenities at hotels around the world.
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I’ve mentioned AirBnB in a few of my traveling posts, most recently the story of my roadtrip from Portland to Nashville. Ever since my boyfriend Nick and I discovered the site, which lets people rent out their homes to travelers, we rarely stay in hotels anymore. In fact, thanks to AirBnB, we’ve spent a few nights in a modern townhome in Belgium, a week in a gorgeous apartment in Rome, a night in a historic home in Kansas City, 10 days in a south London flat, two weeks in a fabulous Paris apartment, a night in a midwife’s cottage in Wyoming, and the list goes on. If you’re willing to sacrifice the mint on your pillow, there are many reasons to try AirBnB instead of a hotel on your next trip. Here are a few… Keep reading »