Sweden in particular is pushing the boundaries of novelty accommodation and this seems fitting, given the country's famous reputation as innovators in design. Their imagination, originality and ingenuity has meant that they are on to a winner, as travellers get wind of some of their more inspired hotels, which are beginning to attract visitors from across the globe. Here, we discuss the joys of sleeping underwater, in trees, on beds made of ice and even underground in unusual hotels of the world.
Mine Suite at Sala Silvermine
The Sala Silvermine, located just over an hour's drive away from Stockholm in the beautiful Swedish countryside, was in operation from the 15th century and it was finally closed in 1908. Nowadays, it is a fascinating tourist attraction, with guided tours running almost every day to explore the network of tunnels and gigantic caverns. It is regarded as one of the most unusual hotels of the world because it claims to be home to the deepest hotel room on the planet, at a staggering 155m below the ground. Once the last tour group of the day has departed, the intrepid guests will be shown to the Mine Suite, which has a comfortable bed, candles for lighting and a luxurious hamper full of tasty treats.
Let's get above ground now and discover what it is like to sleep high up in the treetops. Another of the most unusual hotels in the world is the Treehotel, which is located in pristine woodland near the Swedish village of Harads, around 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Guests stay in innovative tree houses, which are suspended 4 to 6 meters above the ground and accessed via ramps or ladders. Each tree house is unique; one looks like an alien spaceship, one resembles a bird's nest and other has mirrors on all of its surfaces, rendering it almost invisible amongst the trees.
From underground to underwater, this crazy concept for a hotel was dreamt up by the Swedish artist, Mikael Genberg. Floating in the middle of Lake Malaran near the town of Vasteras, 70 miles from Stockholm, a tiny two storey cabin provides an isolated retreat for holidaymakers seeking peace and quiet. The owner of the hotel transports guests there by boat and collects them again the following day. What makes the Utter Inn one of the most unusual hotels in the world is that the lower floor, ie the bedroom, is completely submerged underwater. The bedroom has windows that allow the occupants to see the fishes swimming past – it's like having your own private aquarium! The upper floor consists of a basic toilet, kitchenette and outdoor decking, which is the perfect place for enjoying a picnic in the fresh air as the Inn gently rocks on the waves of the lake.
Nowadays, there are ice hotels around the globe, but the ICEHOTEL in the village of Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland claims to be the original and best. Guests sleep in their own private ice suites in temperatures of minus five degrees centigrade and are kept warm with insulating reindeer hides and thermal sleeping bags. The beds and the furniture are made from blocks of ice and the interior is magically lit with colorful lighting. Also in the ICEHOTEL is the legendary ICEBAR, where even the glasses are made from ice.