When you travel the world as much as we do, you begin to realize that most hotels are actually pretty boring and conventional. We’ve found that amazing hotels and eco lodges can help to make a good trip great, and turn a great trip into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
1. Hotel Kagga Kamma, South Africa
Address: R303, Koue Bokkeveld, Cederberg, 6836, South Africa
Escape from the pressures of modern life and retreat to Kagga Kamma, located in the peaceful southern Cederberg Mountains. Away from mobile phones, traffic pollution, highways and city lights, you will breathe a sigh and enjoy the silence while you reconnect with the magic of starlit skies. Resort accommodations vary from Cave Suites and Hut Suites to a Star Suite with its outdoor soaking tub, or a comfortable three-bedroom chalet, complete with private boma for enjoying sunsets and night skies. Additional gas heaters are available to ensure the guest’s comfort during winter months. The lodge has a restaurant for breakfast and lunch and an outdoor lapa for dinner under the starlit skies. There is a bar and an outdoor garden perfect for relaxing and sipping a cool drink. Interesting rock formations surround the sparkling swimming pool, and a well-stocked curio shop is available. Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is located in an untouched wilderness area three hours from Cape Town and near Ceres, South Africa. The reserve is well known for its scenic beauty typical of the Cederberg. The area has a rich cultural heritage and is a unique safari in South Africa.
2. La Balade Des Gnomes
Address: Rowe dè Rèmoleû 20, 6941 Heyd, Belgium
Be swept up in your own magical fairytale at this Hobbit-meets-Game of Thrones-meets-Star Trek oddball. At La Balade Des Gnomes (the Walk of Gnomes) you can throw yourself into the narrative of your choice in one of 10 peculiar handcrafted rooms. Each is made from natural materials – think mud, lime and straw – and sculpted into an otherworldly masterpiece. If you’re a fan of unique places to stay, you won’t find many more interesting than this quirky accommodation. Upon entering the hotel grounds, you’re immediately drawn into a somewhat bizarre fantasy world. Nab the Trojan Horse suite, complete with a drawbridge entrance and built within a giant wooden horse, bunk down in the troll’s lair – with running stream and goldfish – or beam yourself up into a spaceship odyssey. One of the rooms even has a mermaid to keep you company.
3. Holmen Husky Lodge
Address: Holmen 100, 9516 Alta, Norway
Holmen Husky is a small, family-run business who has been working with dogs since the 80s. Some of us have even grown up in the dogyard and on the sled. It is much more than an activity or an experience that has got us all addicted. it’s a feeling that must be experienced. Now we wish to let our guests get a taste of what we fell in love with, both on and off the sled. We welcome you to our home at Holmen and our way of living. This is a place for both relaxation and adventure. Whether you dream of watching the Northern Lights from the comfort of a warm bed or exploring nature with a team of huskies. A world of unreal contrasts. Next to nothing, close to everything. This is Arctic living.
4. Faralda Crane Hotel
Address: NDSM-Plein 78, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Faralda Crane Hotel in Amsterdam is probably one of the most extraordinary secret places we have in our collection. This famous and exclusive hotel in a crane offers three breathtaking suites at the top, overlooking the port of Amsterdam. Each suite has been decorated by interior designers, combining luxury exclusive furniture with art collections. There is one double bedroom in each suite, a living area and luxury bathroom. The suite Secret welcomes its guests with a unique touch of oriental atmosphere. The suite Mystique combines the atmosphere of an old ocean cruiser with golden satin. And the suite Free Spirit offers Jugendstil with contemporary art design. On top of the crane is an outside Spa pool (for all suites) in which you can enjoy a glass of champagne while overlooking Amsterdam. A stay at this secret place is exclusive for the small number of guests, enjoying world famous DJs and a unique location.
5. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort East Village
Address: Kiilopääntie 9, 99830 Saariselkä, Finland
Surrounded by nature, this unique property is located in the Saariselkä Fell region of Finnish Lapland. The property offers glass igloos and traditional wood chalets and has the world’s largest smoke sauna. Free WiFi and free parking are available. The thermal glass igloos feature a bedroom with a glass roof and luxury beds. Some igloos include a bathroom with sauna, while others have shared shower facilities. The chalets feature cooking facilities, a seating area and fireplace. A private sauna is also included. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers 2 à la carte restaurants, which serve Laplandic specialities such as reindeer and char-grilled salmon. The hotel’s smoke sauna even has its own restaurant, Savusauna. 6 saunas are available, each has a relaxation room with an open fireplace. A nearby ice hole is ideal for cooling off.