December 31, 2015 3 min to read

Extraordinary Places to Stay

Category : Travel Tips, Travel and More

Think back to the hotel you stayed on your last trip. Was it simply a place to rest your head for the night or did it give you a chance to mix with the locals, be one with nature or unleash your creativity. We have whittled down the top extraordinary place to stay this year – pick one that inspires you to travel.

Mihir Garh, Rajasthan, India

Mihir Garh

Mihir Garh sits in a beautifully isolated stretch of land in Thar Desert.  From the distance, it could be mistaken for a mirage;but there is nothing illusory about this stunning piece of structure. It took 150 masons, craftsmen and artisans 2 years to build what the owner describes as ‘a dream realized’. There are just nine huge uber luxurious suites within the hotel, featuring custom made equestrian-inspired curtain holders and fireplaces fashioned from clay and cow dung. The structure is designed to reflect the Rajasthani countryscape – rounded edges that mimic the huts of the Bishnoi tribe;peacock fanning a bejewelled tail across a frescoed wall and murals of elegant Rajasthani women in bright, block printed saris.

Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy


A medieval highrise that has been transformed into a cozy hideaway, the Torre Prendiparte is a unique hotel where you don’t get just a room, but an entire 900 year old tower. The Torre is Bologna’s second tallest building and was built as a refuge for the powerful Prendiaparte family. The hotel was later converted to a seminary and then finally to a religious prison. The living area is located on the first two floors and features classical furnishings, mezzanine bedroom and a kitchen. Above this lies the former jail which still bear the graffiti left by prisoners on the 2 m thick walls. Further up is the rooftop which offers breathtaking views of the Bologna’s skyline.

Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada


Wake up to a symphony of birdsongs at the Free Spirit Spheres treehouse. Suspended from a tree on guide ropes, these spherical treehouse resembles a massive eyeball staring into the dense British Columbia woodlands. Climb the spiral rope staircases and step inside the comfy boat cabins furnished with beds and cabinets. While handy conveniences like iPod speakers are provided, the main point of the these gently swaying treehouses is to encourage you to listen to the curious chattering birds and the squirrels and lose yourself in the natural world. The ground level houses showers, sauna, a full kitchen and a barbeque on a covered porch.

Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain Lodge

A stay at the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is designed to deliver a luxurious experience amidst the wilderness. Relax in the opulent interiors and watch wallabies bouncing past the windows and wombats shuffling amidst the trees in the backyard. Guests can choose from couples’ or family cabin and even suites with private outdoor tubs and fireplaces. Walking trails crisscross right in front of the lodge, the tranquil Dove Lake is a 10 minute drive away and for a closer look at Tasmania’s famous native animal, head to the Devils@Cradle Sanctuary.

Qasr Al Sarab, United Arab Emirates


A mere 200 km from Abu Dhabi lies this stunning resort that rises amidst the shifting sands of Empty Quarter desert. High crenellated walls lead into a cozy interiors furnished with woven rugs, luxurious fabrics, wooden doors and metalwork lanterns. The Library museum houses artifacts from a long time ago when the area’s few residents were date farmers. Dine by the poolside or opt for a classical Arabian feast around a campfire.

Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa


The Thonga Beach Lodge ticks all the right boxes : luxury resort by the ocean, secluded and environment friendly. Besides that, it is one of the few lodges within the 328,000 hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site. The spacious huts are set amidst dense dune forest, some of them offering spectacular views of the ocean.