Travel is meant to transport you — to other places, obviously, but also sometimes to other times, other worlds, other possibilities. These four utterly unique hotels are full of the magic, mystery, and wonder that travel embodies. These are places you might never want to leave!
The Taj Palace Resort, Lake Pichola, Rajasthan, India is for the person who’s ever wondered what it was like to see the world in the Golden Age of travel. This is the place (or palace) to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be royalty. Built in the middle of a lake, this huge marble resort features opulent 1930s rooms with intricately carved archways and rooms draped in sumptuous fabrics. You can dine al fresco with a view of the surrounding mountains and the warm lights of the shoreline, and then hop on a traditional sunset boat ride with your own personal oarsman.
If you’re a serious nature lover who also appreciates the finer things, then staying at one of the luxurious lodges on the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve will ignite your love of the natural world in a whole new way. Located in the mountainous jungles of Chile, not far from the Argentinian border, Huilo-Huilo features four main lodges on the property that are all intimately a part of the gorgeous natural surroundings — including one that’s built right into a mountain. Spacious rooms look out over lush green canopies, pristine rivers, and the bright, elaborate ecosystem of the Patagonia rainforest. Take advantage of spa facilities after a day of hiking and exploring, and enjoy 5-star meals that draw their inspiration from the surrounding jungle. Best of all, you get to be part of a sustainable tourist destination that’s committed to preservation and conservation of the world it inhabits.
The Ice Hotel® in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is a gorgeous, temporary palace of ice, located north of the Arctic Circle. Each year, the hotel commissions artists to create original masterwork rooms using snow and ice. Giant sculptures and huge vaulted rooms of carved snow surround fur-covered beds. Each room serves as a canvas for designers from all over the world. Get married in a church made entirely of ice, or spend a night watching the breathtaking aurora borealis from your room. But don’t wait too long: each Spring, the Ice Hotel® disappears.
If cold weather isn’t your thing and you’re more into sandy beaches and mind-blowingly clear waters, then your dream resort might just be Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives. This is a private island resort with 33 “overwater” suites. What that means is that you can literally walk out the door of your private villa and just slip into a warm turquoise lagoon for a swim. Each room has a personal terrace, with a view out onto the sea and of the sugar-white beaches nearby. Indulge in the holistic wellness treatments at the spa, take an incredible diving tour, and enjoy top-tier food prepared with a nod to the South Indian culinary influences.