6 Incredible Ocean-Going Hotels from Around the World

For the Adventurous Urbanist: 6 Incredible Ocean-Going Hotels from Around the World

(Check out our complete collection of 70+ Amazing Theme, Castle, Jail and Art Hotels.)
For your next vacation, why not look into a floating lodge in the Canadian wilderness, a submerged resort in Florida or even a lifeboat hotel in the Netherlands? From the United States to the United Arab Emirates, from Sweden to the South Pacific, here are six hotels that are perfectly designed for the nautically inclined.
 underwater-hotel-complex-south-pacific.jpgunderwater-hotel-perspective-renderings.jpg Unannounced, South Pacific: The Poseidon Mystery Island is competing for the title of the world’s first luxury underwater resort. The complex will be designed by Bruce Jones, famous for designing a series of $80-million luxury submarines with their own private state rooms and plush carpets, designed for voyages of up to three weeks in length. The project will cost $105 million and will be submerged next to a private island at a depth of 40 feet with an amazing view of the ocean floor.jules-sumberged-hotel-rendering.jpgjules-submerged-research-station-hotel.jpgjules-submerged-hotel-images.jpgjules-submerged-hotel-floor-plan.jpgKey Largo, Florida: Jules’ Undersea Lodge was once an underwater research habitat but is now open to the public (if they can afford to pay). These lodgings, once submerged, are completely cut off from the outside world accept via diving access. Guests can stay in them under the water for days and enjoy air conditioning, hot showers, music, television and abundant food and drink.hydropolis-dubai-land-station-complex.jpghydropolis-dubai-underwater-luxury-hotel.jpg Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Hydropolis is set to be the world’s first luxury underwater hotel when it is completed. It will have a land station with a tunnel connecting guests to the 220 submerged suites by train. Other above-water amenities include a concert hall and ballroom. The above video shows a virtual tour of the construction process-in-motion.lifeboat-hotel-exterior.jpglifeboat-hotel-netherlands-various-images.jpgHarlington, Netherlands: The Lifeboat Hotel was used for over 100 rescues throughout the middle of the 20th century and saved dozens of lives. The ‘hotel’ is still seaworthy and be taken out during the day for excursions, then in the morning and at night elegant meals are delivered to the ship. This portable hotel is owned and operated by a group also responsible for converting an adjacent crane and lighthouse into hotels.utter-hotel-floating-and-underwater.jpgStockholm, Sweden: The Otter Inn is part art project, part underwater accommodation, and is part floating and part underwater as well. An underwater sleeping quarters is submerged below a strangely floating traditional Swedish red house. Guests are ferried by boat to their lodgings and then delivered meals and given free reign to canoe to a local uninhabited island as well as to swim, fish and sunbathe.floating-canadian-hotel-lodge-resort.jpgfloating-hotel-plane-landing.jpgVancouver, Canada: The King Pacific Lodge is the most lavish resort lodge in the world, moored deep in the Canadian wilderness and designed to be entirely luxurious. Resting on the hulls of converted barges, the lodge prides itself on privacy and exclusivity, and can only be reached by private planes that land on the lake. offers fly-in fishing, kayaking and spa treatments as well as access to amazing views and wilderness hikes.

Nordic Nights: 12 Fun & Hip Hotels in Sweden

Nordic Nights: 12 Fun & Hip Hotels in Sweden

From the pristine northern forests to the bustling streets of Stockholm, Sweden has a lot to offer – and plenty of cool, unusual and visually stunning places to stay while you’re visiting. In fact, if swanky art hotels with live glassblowing and painfully hip bars bursting with local patrons aren’t cool enough for you, you can literally sleep on ice at the world’s largest ice hotel. These 12 hotels range from the simplest hut in the woods to luxurious accommodations in historic buildings. 

ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi

(images via: icehotel.com)
Sweden is home to the world’s largest hotel made out of ice and snow. The ICEHOTEL began with a single igloo and now has 80 rooms, all made from over 10,000 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow. Available from mid-December to mid-April, the hotel is re-made and re-designed every year, with one-of-a-kind ‘art suites’, the world-famous Absolut Ice Bar, a restaurant and even an ice chapel.

TreeHotel, Harads

(images via: treehotel.se)
Stay in a stunning ‘Mirrorcube’ that reflects the surrounding forest, an oversized bird’s nest, a pod that resembles a UFO or a roomier cabin at the Treehotel, Sweden’s lofty new getaway in the pristine natural region of Harads. Each of the Treehotel’s six guest rooms are perched in the trees for unforgettable views, and they all have private bathrooms with incinerator toilets. (Good to note: the Mirrorcube has been specially treated to prevent bird collisions!)

Nobis Hotel, Stockholm

(images via: nobishotel.se)
Taking visual inspiration from Sweden’s wintry landscape, the crisp and elegant Nobis Hotel is not just a place to sleep – it’s been called ‘Stockholm’s living room’, with locals flocking to the cool contemporary bar and the hotel’s Southern Italian-style bistro. Located in a pair of historic 19th century buildings, the 201-room hotel is within walking distance of Stockholm’s best shopping and sightseeing.

Silvermine Suite, Sala

(images via: sophie andersson at salasilvergruva.se)
At the Sala Silvermine in Sweden, you can navigate dark winding underground passageways down to your own private cave. The Silvermine Suite is 155 meters under the surface of the earth in one of the world’s best-preserved historic mines, which once produced over 3 tons of silver every year. For travelers who aren’t claustrophobic and don’t mind the cold, this could definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Story Hotel, Stockholm

(images via: storyhotels.com)
The bohemian-chic Story Hotel is a favorite of stylish urbanites, combining modern glamor with a welcoming sense of coziness enhanced by plenty of purple velour. Clean, bright new elements are combined with strategically revealed remnants of the building’s former life as private residences including antique wallpaper, disused electric meters and reclaimed doors as headboards. Offering 82 guest rooms at affordable prices, the Story Hotel is ideally located right in the city center.

Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, Skinnskatteberg

(images via: kolarbyn.se)
Set in a picturesque glade near the lake of Skärsjön, the Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge is Sweden’s most primitive hotel, offering twelve electricity-free ‘nature huts’ that put you as close to the Swedish landscape as you can get without actually camping. You’ll fall asleep on soft sheepskins by the glow of candles and the crackle of a warming fire, and enjoy an open-air breakfast when you awaken in the morning. Part of the proceeds of your stay will go toward protecting area wildlife.

Nordic Light Hotel, Stockholm

(images via: nordiclighthotel.se)
Voted Sweden’s leading boutique hotel two years in a row, the Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm is burstling with personality yet soothing to the eyes of weary travelers. Carefully chosen accent colors and lighting installations invite relaxation in the guest rooms, inspired by the long dawns and sunsets in the region which give off a glow of rainbow colors. The 175 rooms are divided into three categories – ‘standard’ for those who aren’t keen on dramatic lighting effects, ‘superior’ for a little more character and ‘deluxe’ for a truly unique, almost otherwordly experience.

Utter Inn, Lake Mälaren

(images via: houseandhome.ie)
It looks almost like a joke – could you really stay in a space that small, the size of a garden shed? But the Utter Inn is bigger than it looks – its second story is located underwater. Floating in the middle of Lake Mälaren, Utter  Inn features two twin beds and a table in the bedroom and a small kitchenette in the upper room. Jump right off the hotel deck into the water, or just watch the fish from the windows in the bedroom.

Salt & Sill Floating Hotel, Klädesholmen

(image via: saltosill.se)
Like the lake idea, but want something slightly more conventional? Sweden has another floating hotel, the Salt & Sill, a minimalist 23-room barge that also serves as a top-notch seafood restaurant specializing in herring and fresh local produce. All 23 rooms have their own outdoor seating areas, but the hotel’s sole suite has an extra-enticing benefit: a private roof-top jacuzzi. The hotel’s location on the lake, by the way, is not a gimmick: the adjacent land simply didn’t have any room.

Jumbo Hostel Plane Hotel, Stockholm

(images via: jumbostay.se)
A junked 747-200 has a new life as a unique new hostel in Stockholm. Retrofitted with 25 guest rooms, from quad dormitories with bunk beds to private suites, the Jumbo Hostel retained the original lounge bar and first class seats, and some lucky visitors get to sleep in the cockpit, which has its own private bathroom.

Kosta Boda Art Hotel, Småland

(images via: kosta boda art hotel)
Located in the heart of Småland’s ‘The Kingdom of Crystal’, home to 13 glassworks, the eagerly anticipated Kosta Boda Art Hotel is a glittering showcase of glass art by the famed Kosta Boda. Each of the hotel’s 124 rooms has been individually designed by the glass artists, and their influence is particularly notable in the hotel bar and in the spa, where swimmers can put on goggles to view a glass exhibit at the bottom of the pool. Take a seat in the restaurant and you can even watch Kosta Boda glassblowers blow and sculpt glass on a stage.

Scandic Malmen, Stockholm

(images via: scandichotels.com)
Fun and budget-friendly, the 327-room Scandic Malmen is located within walking distance of some of Stockholm’s best live music venues in the trendy district of SoFo. A massive, blocky, unremarkable exterior gives way to interior design that matches the hipness of the hotel’s location. The hotel restaurant is a popular choice among Stockholm residents for brunch.

Top 25 Destinations in India

Top 25 Destinations in India

The Ladakh capital city of Leh lies near the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic “Silk Route” from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. The humbling monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs, and the landscape of Leh provides for a number of adventure activities including mountaineering, white-water rafting and trekking along the Markha Valley. « less
Plan your trip to Leh
The north Indian city of Varanasi, or Benares, is regarded as sacred by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Situated in the fertile Ganga valley and on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, who come to bathe in the holy river. Known as the City of Temples and a beacon of culture, Varanasi has produced many renowned writers. It’s also a centre of silk weaving, so practise haggling at the chaotic bazaar for some beautiful souvenirs. Rickshaws are the best way to get about. « less
Plan your trip to Varanasi
In Hinduism, Manu was said to have survived a great flood that destroyed the rest of the world. He then recreated mankind in this Kullu Valley town. What a rush, huh? No wonder the towering peaks and verdant terrain of Manali attracts adventure travellers, with heli-skiing, hiking, mountaineering and river rafting the favored active pursuits. Come down from your endorphin high by breathing deeply at the four-story, wooden Hidimba Devi Temple, which sits in the middle of a nearby deciduous forest, or take a medicinal soak in the hot springs burbling from the ground a 30-minute walk from town. « less
Plan your trip to Manali
Darjeeling, nestled among rolling mountains, is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Popular places to visit include Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop and the War Memorial, and the Himalayan Zoological Park and Snow Leopard Breeding Center. What should you bring home? Tea, tea, and more tea—and beautiful local handicrafts. « less
Plan your trip to Darjeeling
The dramatic and romantic desert fortress of Jaisalmer is an exotic city in Rajasthan’s great Thar Desert. “The Golden City” rose to prominence as a result of its position on camel trade routes. It’s now most famous for the 12th-century fort and ornate “Havelis,” fine merchant-built houses and pavilions in the city’s mediaeval lanes. The surrounding Desert National Park offers opportunities to observe blackbucks, desert foxes and chinkaras amid the rolling dunes, rugged crags and waterholes. « less
Plan your trip to Jaisalmer
Known as both the “Garden City” and “The Silicon Valley of India,” Bangalore (officially “Bengaluru”) is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major centre of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife. « less
Plan your trip to Bangalore
Where better to go for a romantic holiday than to the great testament of love, the Taj Mahal? Built by the grieving Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal’s unrivaled beauty explains why it’s regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world. A visit to India wouldn’t be complete without it. Other must-experience destinations in Agra are two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the sandstone Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. « less
Plan your trip to Agra
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, is famous for its chaotic streets. For bargains and people-watching, outdoor bazaars top the list of attractions. Popular waterfront destinations are Marine Drive, where visitors go to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea, and the carnival-like Juhu Beach. More sightseeing options are the Gandhi Museum, in the leader’s former home, and the cave temples of Elephanta Island. For tranquillity, Mumbai has many religious sites, lakes and parks.  « less
Plan your trip to Mumbai
If you take one look at the glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur’s wide streets, you’ll understand why this is nicknamed “The Pink City.” Spend your days exploring City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Amber and Jaigarh forts. And if you’re looking for a unique souvenir, head to one of the bazaars, where you can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers. « less
Plan your trip to Jaipur
Sprawling tea plantations surround the serene hills of Munnar, which attract adventure travellers hungry for paragliding, treks to Anaimudi (South India’s highest peak) and hikes originating at the confluence of three mountain streams. The stone Christ Church, built by the British in 1910, is adorned with renowned works of stained glass, and Eravikulam National Park, about 10 miles away, is home to equally colourful wildlife, including the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (ibex), ruddy mongoose and 120 bird species. « less
Plan your trip to Munnar
The former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi remains an essential religious hub, housing the Virupaksha, Lakshmi Narasimha, Hemakuta Hill, Big Shivlinga and Vithala temples. The architectural ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rock-climbing enthusiasts will adore Hampi, considered the bouldering capital of India, and the city’s rocky landscape, dotted with ancient temple ruins, makes for a unique climbing experience. « less
Plan your trip to Hampi
Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East, boasts several sparkling lakes against a backdrop of the Aravail hills. Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, islands in Fateh Sagar Lake, are the site of Udaipur Solar Observatory and Nehru Garden. Famous palaces include the magical Lake Palace, now a luxurious five-star hotel, and the massive City Palace on Pichola’s east bank, featuring epic courtyards and stunning paintings. « less
Plan your trip to Udaipur
Laid out by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Indian capital is a striking modern metropolis. A gracious contrast to Old Delhi’s winding streets, the grand avenues and stately buildings of New Delhi are rich with history and culture, from Gandhi’s Delhi home (and the site of his assassination) to the tomb of Humayun, a complex of Mughal buildings reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Chaotic traffic is best left to the locals. Negotiate a good price for taxis or travel on the new Delhi Metro.  « less
Plan your trip to New Delhi
Srinigar is a modern waterworld, dominated by Dal Lake and its twisting waterways, tree-lined Nagin Lake, and the Jhelum River. Engulf yourself in local culture by embracing your sea legs and renting one of the wooden boats called shikaras for a daytime or twilight cruise. On land, stroll through the terraced hillsides of the 400-year-old Mughal Gardens, created by Emperor Jehangir for his wife, and shop for indigenous crafts like hand-woven silks and embroidered shawls. « less
Plan your trip to Srinagar
Snow-capped Himalayan peaks and green pastures surround Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Enjoy a heritage walk through Shimla’s Victorian-era architecture, labyrinthine bazaars and lengthy pedestrian shopping mall. Don’t cause too much trouble taking in the town from Scandal Point, a large, open square; keep in mind that Shimla was a retreat destination for Mahatma Gandhi, who frequented a Georgian mansion in Shimla’s suburbs from the mid-1930s to ’40s. « less
Plan your trip to Shimla
East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. The beaches have long… more »
Plan your trip to Goa
Education, the arts and music are staples of life in the culture-rich city of Pune. The Pataleshwar Cave Temple, dating to the eighth century and dedicated to the god of the underworld, is a marvel of rock-cut architecture. For a panoramic city view, climb to temple-topped Parvati Hill. « less
Plan your trip to Pune
The holy city of Rishikesh, in the base of the Himalayas, holds deep cultural and spiritual significance for local Hindus. Sacred rivers and mountains set the scene for yoga and reflective hikes, and rafting here is an absolute must. The Beatles got in touch with their Eastern spiritual side here, writing several songs during a 1968 stint at a local ashram. « less
Plan your trip to Rishikesh
An ancient granite fort keeps watch on this city of mosques and bazaars. On the site of the former town center sits its most iconic building, the Charminar, built in 1591 with a quartet of 160-foot minarets. Across Hussain Sagar, a man-made lake, is Hyderabad’s twin, the city of Secunderabad. « less
Plan your trip to Hyderabad
This former British colonial stronghold boasts evidence of over two millennia of habitation, with ornate, architecturally diverse buildings, ranging from crumbing ruins to Victorian treasures. Home to lively festivals and a vibrant artistic community, clamorous markets and packed temples, this city is crowded and polluted, but ultimately invigorating. « less
Plan your trip to Kolkata
The diverse population of Chennai (Madras) is reflected in its rich cultural scene. You’ll find serious theatre as well as the glitz and glamour of Kollywood. Chennai is also an important center for the Bharatanatyam, a local form of classical dance. Visit in January, for the festival of Pongal, or in April, when Chennai celebrates its new year.  « less
Plan your trip to Chennai
Serenely spiritual Dharamsala is home to the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet. It’s known for its religious iconography and is the monastery of the Dalai Lama, who holds public lectures a few times a year. Once you’ve restored your spiritual energy, enjoy a picturesque stroll to Bhagsu Waterfall or climb the hill to Triund to bask in stunning views of the Himalayas. « less
Plan your trip to Dharamsala
Pondicherry’s bougainvilleas, crumbling cathedrals and leafy boulevards might occasionally make you wonder if you’re in the south of France instead of a former French colony. But it’s also unmistakably Indian, with colorful festivals, the famous monument of Aayi Mandapam, and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Quiet beaches stretch north and south from town, good for swimming and sunrise strolls. « less
Plan your trip to Pondicherry
Amritsar is a major commercial and cultural centre in the heart of Punjab. The city is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion and is home to the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. Respectfully marvel at the Indian and Pakistani soldiers who march-off nightly at the Wagha Border, and at the Jallian Wala Bagh the site of the 1919 Amritsar Massacre in 1919. « less
Plan your trip to Amritsar
Kodaikanal has an endangered animal called the grizzled giant squirrel. To us, that alone is reason to book a trip (“grizzled giant squirrel” might be the best animal name ever). Perched on the woodsy southern crest of the Palani Hills, nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, this popular lakeside resort town is a magnet for nature lovers. Wander the peaceful slopes, keeping an eye out for birds, exotic flowers and, of course, grizzled giant squirrels. « less


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