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For what would have to be the coolest hotel experience, check into Sweden’s Icehotel. The arctic project is made of snow and sculpted blocks of ice and reincarnated every winter in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi. There are 16 suites, all intricately designed by artists. The sub-zero structure boasts a chapel for weddings and a bar where you can drink from ice glasses.
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This gorgeous five-star hideout is tucked away on 242 hectares of rugged beauty in Canyon Point in the desert region of Utah. It overlooks jaw-dropping canyons and plateaus as far as the eye can see. And if the stunning views and utter seclusion aren't enough, then head to the lavish infinity pool to cool your toes. It’s built around a massive 165-million-year-old Entrada Sandstone rock and it’s sure to impress.
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Call it “bubble B&B” or “French glamping” but a stay at this eco-friendly resort will have you gawking in awe at nature. Located near Marseille, the quirky lodging offers guests the chance to sleep in translucent bubble tents under the stars. Each unit offers uninterrupted views of the pine-forest surroundings and is furnished with all the comforts of home. At dusk, turn off all the lights to enjoy the Provençal night sky.
Balancing Barn, England
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Not for the faint-hearted, the Balancing Barn is a 30-metre-long hotel in the English countryside of Suffolk. Tiled with stainless-steel shingles, the barn teeters over the edge of a small hill at midpoint. There are four bedrooms, a living space and kitchen. One long corridor links to the floating end, where there is an additional living space with huge panoramic windows over the countryside.
Faralda Crane Hotel, The Netherlands
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Where else can you soak in a hot tub over Amsterdam? At this hoist hotel you get to stay inside the city’s oldest and tallest mechanical structure. Located in the centre of Amsterdam’s creative Kunststad district, the 50-metre-tall crane boasts a panoramic lounge, a television broadcasting studio and three lavishly themed guest suites. At the top is an outdoor spa to take in those breathtaking sunsets.
Gamirasu Cappadocia Cave Hotel, Turkey
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Who knew a cave could be so comfortable? Set in a monastic retreat, this thousand-year-old enclave was built into volcanic rock and restored from ruins. The rock keeps the temperature at a comfortable level year round. There are 30 exquisitely decorated rooms, featuring marble bathrooms, hot tubs and fireplaces.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
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You can get up close and personal with some residents of the really tall, long-necked kind at this wildlife hotel. Set on 12 acres of private land, within forest in south Nairobi, the sanctuary is home to a herd of friendly Rothschild’s giraffes. They visit guests in the morning and at night for treats at mealtime. The hotel runs a successful breeding program that aims to revive the endangered species.
The Wizard Chambers, Georgian House Hotel, England
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If you’re a Harry Potter fan, or just plain curious, a stay in the Wizard Chambers at Georgian House will leave you spellbound. Here, you get to live like a wizard. Each room is furnished with canopy beds, tartan plaid blankets, antique silver tea service and antler chandeliers. There is no limit to the magic you can create here – potion bottles, cauldrons, spell books are supplied.
Hotel Ještěd, Czech Republic
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You'll know how it feels to sleep above the clouds at this alpine hotel. Perched on the highest peak of the Ještěd-Kozákov Ridge near Liberec, the high-tech tower is elevated at a knee-trembling height of 1012 metres above sea level. It offers magnificent mountain views that stretch into Germany and Poland and is only reachable by cable car.
Katikies Hotel, Greece
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You’ve seen it in postcards – and for good reason. Katikies, in the Greek Islands, offers the ultimate five-star experience with the most stunning views you’ve ever seen. Perched on a cliff above the Caldera basin in the village of Oia, Santorini, the hotel’s hulled-cave rooms are connected by a maze of terraces and endless stairs and bridges. Choose from three jaw-dropping infinity pools, a Champagne bar and two restaurants to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the endless Aegean blue sea.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
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A night under the stars is one thing, but a crystal-clear view of the Northern Lights from your own private room? At Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, you can stay in glass igloos and enjoy incredible views of the Aurora Borealis. Built for two people, each hut is fitted with thermal glass walls and ceilings to keep it warm and cozy at night.
Pantone Hotel, Belgium
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You won’t find drab drapes and dreary hallways at this roost. Located in the Saint-Gilles district of Brussels, the happy-hued hotel is decorated in a riot of colours. There are plenty of Pantone-branded decor items – from folding chairs to mugs to artwork. Each floor is decorated in a different colour palette.
Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
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If you’re looking for a seasoned hotel, Bolivia's Palacio de Sal is it. It is comprised of an impressive one million 35-centimetre blocks of salt. Everything here is made from the natural mineral – from the walls, to the floors, to the ceilings and furniture. The palatial hotel, which sits on the banks of the largest salt plains in the world, has become a destination in itself.
Manta Resort, Tanzania
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Why settle for a private beach when you can have a whole island to yourself? This sublime floating hotel drifts 250 metres off the Tanzanian coast. You don’t need a “do not disturb” sign here – it offers complete seclusion from the rest of the world. It has everything you need plus all the extras, including a top sundeck, and a submerged bedroom four metres below the surface, so you can watch the fish swim by.
The UFO, Treehotel, Sweden
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You’ll be forgiven for thinking that aliens have landed at this bizarre hotel. The 1950s-kitsch UFO cabin is suspended in trees and can “abduct” a family of up to five. The unit comes with radiant flooring heating and a state-of-the-art eco-friendly incineration toilet. Access is by a retractable staircase with a hatch door.
Up Next: The World’s Most Incredible Natural Wonders
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How many of these natural beauties are on your bucket list? From dramatic summits to powerful waterfalls, these splendid wonders are some of the most incredible destinations on earth.