Strange stays indeed

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iol travel feb 12 dubai underwater hotel REUTERS An undated handout of a computer generated 3D image by Polish Deep Ocean Technology designers shows what the Dubai Water Discus hotel will look like.

London - Word is that Dubai could be set to host the world’s first underwater hotel. Although technically the hotel doesn’t exist yet, it will certainly be the most original and obscure if it comes to fruition.

Deep Ocean Technology is a company on a mission to build the world’s first underwater hotel and it has recently been reported that Dubai, that lavish playground of the tax-free, may play host to that world’s first. Comprised of two discs, each above and below water (up to 10m beneath the ocean’s surface), the hotel would enable guests to appreciate the beauty of the underwater world without the need for breathing apparatus.

Other unusual hotels across the world

Located 155m underground in one of the world’s best-preserved mine settings, The Mine Suite in Sweden’s historic Sala Silvermine is certainly a distinctive hotel experience. Guests are treated to spectacular open-water and cave-diving environments and can explore the lakes in the close-on freezing temperatures. Showers, toilets and a lounge are located above ground, about 50m from The Mine Suite and one member of staff is available above ground for guests throughout the night and can be communicated with through intercom radio.

Based in the heart of the Sierra del Montseny, just outside Barcelona, Cabanas als arbres is an ecological haven where childhood tree-top fantasies are brought to life. Surrounded by the beautiful Forest of The Guilleries, it offers nature-loving guests the option of spending the night in one of ten bespoke tree houses. Committed to the ecology, there is no electricity or running water, but all guests have access to The Vileta, a traditional 14th-century country house which has showers, bar and swimming pool.

Icehotel in Sweden is the ultimate luxury, ice-chic experience. In the space of a year, it shifts from frozen solid to flowing river – and back again. The temperature in the hotel ranges from -5ºC to -8ºC (but can drop to -30º outside) and guests sleep in a thermal sleeping bag on a bed built by ice blocks and a mattress topped with reindeer skins. The hotel boasts a range of activities from cocktailing at the world-famous ICEBAR to exploring Arctic trails, being mesmerised by the Northern Lights tour and dog sledding.

iol travel dec 13 ice hotel2 File photo: Customers visit one of the cold bedrooms in Ice Hotel. The temperature in every bedrooms is -5�C constant. AFP

Set in the heart of the Huilo Huilo nature reserve in Chile, Magico Lodge proves an architectural feat – yes that is a waterfall coming out of the top of the hotel. There are barely any right-angles in this four-star hotel that has been lovingly carved and architecturally curated by Mother Nature herself. Services include its own restaurant and mini golf track. Hot tubs made from dug-out tree trunks on a deck overlooking the forest complete the fairy-tale mountain retreat.

Propeller Island City Lodge is meant to be an “aesthetic sensation for the eyes and ears”. German artist Lars Stroschen has created a habitable work of art in the heart of Berlin that fuses innovation and pragmatism. Each room is designed around a different theme to scramble the senses and perceptions. Think: fun house-come-hotel. With the likes of Sleep-in coffins for Nosferatus, a hidden attic room and even a room bathed in mystical blue light.

Just off the coast of Portsmouth lies a historic sea fortress-cum-luxury private island. Disposed of by the Ministry of Defence in 1982, it was originally home to the hundreds of soldiers who would guard approaches to Portsmouth. It’s now been converted into a luxury hotel which boasts a hot pool and sauna on the roof, and a fire pit.

Latvia’s former military prison opens its doors for guests who fancy more of an unlawful overnight experience. Karostas Cietums is unchanged since its beginnings in Tsarist times and is a treat for those who’d relish the chance to ‘do time’.

Forget basic hotel hospitality, guests will be treated to the delights of an real prison meal and sleep in a prison bunk.The prison served as a military jail for breach of discipline. – The Independent

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