Eight Unique Places To Stay On Vacation

You'll want to save your vacation days for these hot spots

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to feed a giraffe from your window or wake up in a hammock 20 feet above the ground? Wonder no more because you can absolutely experience both those things if you're willing to travel a bit. Here are eight of the most interesting and exciting accommodations on the planet:

Dine amongst giraffes

Don't mind me, just here for a snack

Giraffe Manor, part of The Safari Collection in Nairobi, Kenya, is a boutique hotel situated on 12 acres of verdant private land inside a 140-acre forest. Rothschild giraffes roam freely across the property and it's not unusual to find one poking its head inside a room through the window in search of a treat. The giraffes join you for breakfast, and you can feed them straight from your table, or take a guided walk across the beautiful sanctuary and admire the elegant creatures from afar.

A five-star birds-eye view

Have you booked your stay yet?

They don't mess around at Lion Sands Game Reserve in South Africa's Kruger National Park; their tree houses are the embodiment of a bucket list experience. The wall-less "rooms" contain cushy chairs, a four-poster bed sporting gauzy mosquito netting, and an elegantly set table all atop polished wooden floorboards. The breathtaking view of the savannah from your little piece of paradise will keep you transfixed for hours as you slowly drink in the splendor of Mother Nature. Concerned about facilities? Don't worry – there is a shower and a bathroom en suite. After a night sleeping out under the stars you can choose from an adventurous safari or bliss out at their five-star spa. If you're a glamping fan, you'll dig this unbelievable reserve.

Precious metal = precious memories

Serenity now

It's not balmy, but what it lacks in core temperature it makes up for in "cool" factor. The Sala Silvermine has a suite almost 500 feet underground in an old silver mine. If you're keen on "getting away from it all," look no further: no phone or internet service will interrupt the hushed reverie of being so far beneath the earth. While the mine itself remains in the 30-degree range year-round, your hotel room will be heated to a bearable 65 degrees and there are plenty of thick blankets heaped on your bed. There's a toilet accessible from the room so you don't have to travel up to ground level for a bathroom break in the middle of the night, but you'll have to shower upstairs before retiring for the evening.

Chill factor

Bring your long johns for this one

Test your mettle and stay overnight in the ICEHOTEL of Sweden where you'll sleep under reindeer hides in a thermal sleeping bag, albeit in negative 40-degree temps. Each suite is a shimmering work of art, painstakingly carved by a hand-chosen artist and filled with unique ice sculptures illuminated by tastefully placed lighting. If you're keen to spend a frosty night snuggled in your cozy sleeping bag but aren't thrilled with the idea of literally chilling out in such harsh cold before bed, the Johka suite offers a heated relaxation room adjacent to your quarters. The hotel also offers "warm" quarters for those excited to see - but not sleep in – the arctic hotel. Pop by the ICEBAR for a cold drink served atop ice from the local Torne River or warm up in one of their many saunas.

Riding high

This treehouse is for the birds...and people

You'll sleep like a baby in one of Free Spirit's spherical tree houses. Set deep in the coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island in Canada, these eco-friendly orbs afford you a view normally only enjoyed by birds. Choose from Eryn, Luna, or Melody, each with its own special theme. The tree houses are all heated and contain sleeping accommodations, a fridge, and a small table, as well as speakers for guests who enjoy being surrounded by music. There's nothing quite as beautiful as relaxing in a tranquil forest canopy with nothing but your own thoughts.

Cave of wonder

The original sustainable living quarters

Cappadocia, Turkey, is best known for its so-called "fairy chimneys," formed after thousands of years of water and wind eroded ash that had solidified into rock after a particularly harsh volcanic eruption in the area. These natural structures can rise over 100 feet into the sky, and their nickname was coined as a nod to their spindly stature. Along with the area's natural splendor, human-made wonders abound: Cappadocia is also home to an intricate network of man-made caves underground and dug into the rock formations. Private owners occupy many of the caves, but the Fairy Chimney Inn is your opportunity to experience a night inside one of these ancient residences. Originally created as a hidden Byzantine cave monastery, this 1500-year-old structure now features kilim rugs and local art on the craggy walls of the guest rooms. You'll love settling into this rugged yet charming hotel after a long day of hot air ballooning or exploring the natural beauty just outside your doorstep.

In da house

You may want to add a few extra days to really enjoy this retreat

The Udang House in the Bambu Indah boutique hotel is a luxurious suite decorated in traditional Balinese style: intricate hand-carved furniture, rough-hewn walls leading up to high ceilings with exposed beams, and of course, a four-poster bed with sheer mosquito netting. What sets this restful space apart are glass floors revealing a babbling brook flowing underneath the structure. The stream feeds the sustainable and eco-friendly swimming pool available for use nearby. Take a dip and enjoy the chlorine-free water under an azure Indonesian sky.

The princess without a pea

Princess Kate would feel right at home here

You may not have the opportunity to marry into royalty, but you can still live like a king or queen for a night at the Dalhousie Castle Hotel. This 700-year-old masterwork was once prime lodging for the Scottish Ramsey Clan's royal guests. (Famed visitors include Queen Victoria and King Edward I.) Each lux room is decorated with period furniture and Scottish fabrics and the hotel spared no expense when it came to bed and bedding quality. Rest assured that if royalty were to stay there today, they'd have nothing but praise for their experience. Happily, you don't have to have a prestigious bloodline to stay here, just a pretty hefty bank account.

If you've got a bad case of wanderlust, make sure you add these fantastical accommodations to your bucket list. What's the point of traveling somewhere new if it's not going to blow your mind?

Subscribe now

Related Posts
Explore

10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.