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Treehotel - HaradsSweden

Located in stunning woodland near the Lule river in Sweden, Treehotel takes the concept of treehouses to new heights. Like an Ewok village for surrealists, the ‘hotel’ offers rooms, each with a unique design theme, perched in the picturesque tree-tops of this natural beauty-spot.

Guests check in at the cosy Brittas Pensionat in the small town of Harads which is situated about 100k from Lulea airport and 60 k from the Arctic Circle. They then make their way to their chosen tree-room.

Each room has been designed by a prominent Scandinavian architect: Tham & Videgard’s ‘Mirrorcube’ is suspended around a tree-trunk and its exterior reflects the surrounding nature; Sandell Sandberg’s ‘Blue Cone’ (which is actually a delightfully childish red cabin) – a cube topped with a pyramid roof, approached by bridge through the trees; Bertil Harstrom’s ‘The Nest’ is a remarkably authentic looking birds nest that can harbour a family of four and ‘Tree Sauna’ which speaks for itself.

Other tree-rooms include the ‘UFO’ hovering above a steep slope, ‘Dragonfly’ which is large enough to host conferences, and the capsule-like, 2 person ‘Cabin’. This outcrop of wonder provides the perfect base from which to explore the stunning surroundings and perhaps discover those elusive Northern Lights.

Kumbuk River Resort - Kumbuk River, Sri Lanka

Ever felt like climbing into the warm embrace of Mr. Snuffleupagus? If so, you may need to travel further than Sesame Street – the Kumbak River Resort in South East Sri Lanka to be precise.

This 40 foot eco-lodge built entirely of wood and straw is situated on the banks of a river in Yala – Sri Lanka’s foremost wildlife sanctuary, which boasts 16 acres of outstanding nature.

Guests can sleep in the elephants belly which contains two large bedrooms, while the resort also offers a further two standard chalets and a luxurious tree-house for larger groups.

Guests are pampered with a tailor-made Sri-Lankan menu and can either rest in the atmospheric eco-haven and enjoy its facilities – including river walks, rafting, zip-wires and an exclusive bathing point - or tour the wilderness outside, where dawn is heralded by peacocks and real-life elephants roam.

The Icehotel - JukkasjärviSweden

Although there are now a few of these freezing boltholes, the original Icehotel was envisioned way back in 1990. In 1989, Japanese ice artists visited the area of Kiruna in Sweden and carved out a unique exhibition.

The following year, French artist Jannot Derid, inspired by the ice-art, created an igloo shaped gallery. When the local town ran out of rooms, some visitors asked to stay in the icy space and they ended up spending the night in sleeping bags on top of reindeer skin.

The Icehotel had been born. Now, the hotel is rebuilt every year between December and April with snow and ice blocks from the Torne River. Over 100,000 tonnes of ice, and 30,000 tonnes of snow are used in the construction - even the glasses in the bar are made of ice.

Teams of designers are brought in to realise the mesmerising spaces of the hotel and guests can enjoy installations of ice-art, celestial illuminations and of course the frozen bar itself which is re-imagined annually. 

Dog Bark Park - Idaho, USA 

In what must be one of the world’s weirdest roadside lodgings, Dog Bark Park is the bizarre extension of the imaginings of US chainsaw artists, Dennis and Frances Sullivan. If you happen to find yourself in Idaho, love dogs, and can get over the slightly worrying pastime of your hosts, then this may well be your perfect pit-stop.

Carving wooden dogs for over 20 years, the couple’s break came in 1995 when they were invited to sell their creations on national shopping channel QVC. After nearly two years of constant canine carving, they invested their hard-earned cash in building a giant Beagle-inspired B&B (of course….).

The accommodation, consists of two inter-linked dogs – Toby (the larger of the two) and Sweet Willy. The interior furnishings are a dog-lover’s dream. You can also enjoy the on-site exhibitions of chain-saw art and home-style cooking.

Villa Cheminée - Nantes, France

The key is in the name of this delightful and playful hotel – it really is a little house plonked on top of a giant chimney. Designed by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi for the Estuaire 2009 Nantes to Saint-Nazaire artists trail, the building was one of around 30 temporary and permanent installations designed to interact with the tranquil landscape on this estuary of the magnificent Loire.

Now operating as a boutique hotel to beat them all, the construction plays with guest’s perspective as a sweet 1970’s style French gite (sleeps two) sits primly atop a 15m high chimney stack – styled on the stacks of the nearby Chateau de Fer power Station. There are great views of the Loire from the upstairs bedroom and outside the gite, on the top of the tower, there is a small garden from which to enjoy being above it all.


About The Author

Nicky contributes articles to all titles in the Dynamis stable, primarily, and and is a regular contributor to other business publications including Talk Business, and NuWire Investor.

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