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The 10 Most Incredible Hotels On Earth

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Photo: Strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net.

Ah, holidays. They’re great, aren’t they? You go through the rigmarole of airport security, sit behind a crying baby on the plane, and wind up at the most generic hotel imaginable. But that’s not what travelling should be about. Travelling should be about the new, the unexpected, and that visceral sense of adventure.

Your choice of accomadation, while on vacation, is your chance to say “Hello world. Look how interesting I am! Look at the interesting decision I have made!”

A unique hotel, hostel, or roadside shack revitalises the senses in a way that your bog-standard Holiday Inn never will. Originality is fundamental to good travel, sewn into the fabric of all the best adventure stories.

At Mpora, we believe there are three kinds of places. Places where you stay, places that you experience, and places that merge ‘stay’ and ‘experience’ together in order to create a new word, a word we call ‘stay-perience’.

1) Berggasthaus Aescher – Switzerland

Photo: BlessThisStuff.com.

The Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkerchli might look like something out of a fairy tale but, believe it or not, this place actually exists (in the real world). Tucked up against a Swiss cliff face, like a toddler clinging to the side of a giant,  this 170 year old hotel and restaurant can only be accessed via a cable car and some fairly intense hiking.

In terms of places to rest your head, it doesn’t get much more epic than this. Look up, look down, look out; whichever way you turn your head this place will overload your eyeballs with spectacular views.

2)  Hotel Kakslauttanen – Finland

Photo: Scout.Cheatsheet.me.

The Hotel Kakslauttanen in Northern Finland is, undoubtedly, one of the world’s coolest places to stay. And, no, we’re not just referring to the temperature in January. Made up of glass igloos, located deep within a Finnish wood, this hotel (if you can really call it a “hotel”) looks like something from a science fiction utopia.

Not only does the location offer eight months of unrivalled aurora borealis action, its Lapland residency means visitors can pay Santa a visit, drop off their Christmas lists, and share a bottle of sherry with the big man.

3) Longitude 131 – Australia

Photo: Vintage.JohnnyNet.com.

Longitude 131 is camping, like you’ve never done it before. Situated in the heart of the Australian outback, with some breathtaking views of Uluru, these luxurious tents are a million miles away from the trench foot and hypothermia of Glastonbury.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re living in the middle of a Qantas advert, then a stay at Longitude 131 is exactly what you want.

4) Attrap Reves – France

Photo: TripAdvisor.co.uk.

The website for Attrap Reves describes it as a “Good plan for lovers, an unusual night in a transparent bubble…”

Call me old-fashioned, call me British, but making love on a double bed inside a giant transparent bubble is not my idea of a romantic evening. Trust the French, and their sexually liberal mindset, to believe having sex in this thing is a “Good plan”.

That being said, we do love the bubble. Firstly, we love that it’s a bubble; a really big bubble. Secondly, we love that it’s surrounded on all sides by natural stuff like trees and hedges, and flowers. Thirdly, it’s a cool idea and if there’s one thing we really love at Mpora it’s cool ideas. Just don’t expect us to have sexual relations in this thing.

5) Ice Hotel – Sweden

Photo: Travel.NationalGeographic.com.

The Ice Hotel, in northern Sweden, first opened in 1990. And because frozen water has an annoying habit of melting in any temperature that isn’t sub-zero, the Ice Hotel has to be rebuilt year after year.

Of all the places we most want to visit, in the whole wide world, this one has to be right up there. In case we need to say it again, which we probably don’t, The Ice Hotel is a hotel made entirely from ice. Logistically, in terms of construction, it’s probably only slight less difficult than making a hotel from molten lava.

Just so we’re clear, we’re not suggesting that anyone attempts to build a hotel from molten lava. Seriously, don’t. It’s dangerous, and people will die.

6) The Mirrorcube Tree House Hotel – Sweden

Photo: Architectuul.com.

On a list that’s chock-a-block with cool places to stay, this might just be the coolest of them all. Located in Harads, Sweden, the Mirrorcube is one of seven unique rooms at the Tree Hotel (there’s also a UFO room, and a Bird’s Nest room).

A bit like an old magician’s cleverly constructed magic trick, the mirrored walls of the tree house cause it to fade into its surroundings like a ghost. We’re not sure exactly how many birds have flown directly into the side of this, and died as result of the impact, but we estimate the number to be well into the millions.

As well as the dreamlike sleeping quarters, and the constant thudding sound of bird-on-wall, guests staying here are also treated to a fantastic view of the Lule River valley and miles upon miles of Scandinavian forest in which to get themselves lost in.

7) Utter Inn – Sweden

Photo: HouseAndHome.ie.

When it comes to producing amazing accommodation, it would seem that Sweden are the all-conquering world champions.

While researching information for this article (contrary to popular opinion, we do actually do some background work), we came across so many ingenious Swedish hotels that we’re thinking of doing another list entitled “23 Things That Will Bring On A Serious Case Of Stockholm Syndrome.”

We’re aware that the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ doesn’t actually refer to a love of all-things Swedish, but we’re going to use it here anyway – for comic effect.

We’ll finish our infatuation with Sweden by dropping this little fella into the mix. It’s called The Utter Inn, and it’s so flipping clever we reckon it could win University Challenge single-handedly while simultaneously making Jeremy Paxman look and feel like a proper chump.

To the untrained eye, The Utter Inn might look like an over sized port-a-loo floating on a lake. Delve beneath the surface, however, and you’ll find a cosy sleeping compartment with room for two. Oh, Sweden.

8) The Amangiri Hotel – USA

Photo: HedgehogsVsFoxes.com.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Utah is one big desert, and a whole load of Mormons. And while there are lot of Mormons, and some really big deserts, there’s also some extremely good winter sports facilities and this seriously plush hotel (admittedly, it is located right in the middle of a desert).

The Amangiri Hotel is tucked into a sheltered valley, and offers its guests panoramic views of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. And while we’re not normally one to spend long periods of time talking about swimming pools, we do think this hotel has got a pretty cool swimming pool.

9) Panchoran Retreat – Indonesia

Photo: Inhabitat.com.

If Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Mowgli, from The Jungle Book, ever joined forces to design and build a functioning hotel, we think the resulting structure would look something like this. Give or take some garish chandeliers and an animated bear.

Located on the island of Bali, in the forest close to Ubud, the Panchoran Retreat is put together in such a way that visitors often find it difficult to distinguish between the interior and the exterior. This hotel, quite literally, strips back the walls of perception.

Donning our environmentalist hat for a moment, another reason we think this place is ace is that it was made using only recycled and sustainable materials. Nice one.

10) Drain Pipe Hotel – Austria

Photo: MStation.org.

If you thought drain pipes were only good for one thing, think again. Not only are they great at moving an array of fluids from one place to another, they are, it turns out, great little places to spend the night.

Situated by the River Danube, the Drain Pipe Hotel shows you that it’s never too late to teach an old dog, new tricks. Or, as in the case of this place, it’s never too late to turn a tube that transports human faeces into a cosy cabin that’s perfect for couples.

Win a holiday for two to Chamonix with Three UK. Simply upload your holiday photos pics tagging @threeuk & @mpora and including the hashtag #holidayspam. Full details here.

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