For the animal lover it doesn’t get much better than Giraffe Manor in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The luxury boutique hotel is surrounded by 140 acres of land where the ”resident herd” of giraffes call home. These friendly giants feel so welcome at the Manor that they routinely peek their heads through windows and the front door to get fed, pose for pictures and say hi to guests and staff. Giraffe Manor also has well appointed rooms, a friendly staff and a renowned kitchen.
Explorer Overland Hotel:
If you are the kind of traveler that enjoys being on-the-go, the Exploranter Overland Hotel is the perfect hotel for you. This hotel on wheels, a converted 25-ton truck that pulls behind it a trailer that can sleep 24 guests comfortably, while it tours the back country of Brazil, Argentina and Chile, stopping at pre-arranged or customized locations. The hotel has everything you could possibly need to accommodate you and your travel companions…including bringing on chefs from different stops along your journey to prepare local specialties . And if there is something you want that can’t fit on the truck – er hotel – the Overland Hotel staff can help make it happen for you. Everything from spelunking and horseback riding, to winery tours and hot air balloon rides and more can be arranged.
The hotel is located near the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland, the most northern part of Scandinavia spreading to the area of the four different countries: Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Lapland’s extreme climate is what makes a stay at the Kakslauttanen so unique…that and the opportunity to stay in a snow or glass igloo! The snow igloos have lights inside ice that, when illuminated, create a quiet, serene setting for a cozy night tucked warm into a down sleeping bag. The glass igloos stay as warm as a regular room, yet give guests the unique opportunity to look up at the Aurora Borealis (August – April) or stay warm inside while watching a romantic snowstorm fall around you. After staying in either of the igloos, guests are welcome to enjoy the sauna in the morning, followed by a dip in a hole in the ice covering a nearby river – talk about a jump-start to your day!
Huilo Huilo Magic Mountain Lodge:
Nestled in the Huilo Huilo Nature Reserve in Southern Chile, the Magic Mountain Lodge was designed to exist harmoniously in the Patagonian Andes mountain setting and constructed using indigenous materials and other items made by local artisans. The lodges unique architecture is set around 55 rooms located on 7 floors, each of which has a window that peeks out of the “mountain” lodge and overlooks the forested surroundings. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the valleys and mountain ranges covered by the Temperate Rainforest that are a part of an ecosystem that conservationists are trying to preserve. A variety of outdoor activities and excursions are available, including a hikes to a local volcano, waterfall or through the rainforest where you can observe wildlife.
Looking for an overnight experience that falls somewhere between camping and staying in a hostel? The Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, billed as Sweden’s most primitive hotel, has forest huts and advertises such swanky acommodations as, “two hard beds,” “cosy sheep-skin rugs,” “primitive kitchen facilities,” and “firewood for self-cutting” that you can then use in the hut’s “wood heater.” If you can get past the fact that you’ll be paying to fetch your own water from a nearby spring, the Kolarbyn does have some cool wildlife safari’s; sign up for the Wolf Howling Tour, Wolf Safari by Horse, Moose Safari, Lynx Adventure, or the Beaver Watching Tour.