Hubert Burda Media

Unique Hotels Around the World

One sits among trees, another constructed entirely from salt…these hotels take “vacation” to a new level.



Just 40m south of the Arctic Circle in the village of Harads in Sweden, Treehotel stands in the thick of a pine forest. The rustic property features six uniquely designed tree rooms built 4m to 6m above the ground, with each one aptly named. One is the Mirrorcube, which is entirely enveloped in a mirrored surface and offers a panoramic view of the Alps. Another, dubbed The Bird’s Nest, sports a gigantic bird’s nest-esque exterior that camouflages with its surrounds. Inside, it features a plush 17-sq-m space clad with wood panels. And no; you won’t have to climb a tree to get into your room every night, as each room is accessible by ramp, bridge or electric stairs. The Treehotel also ensures nature is not disturbed with the use of environmentally friendly yet state-of-the-art bath facilities. Giving true meaning to the concept of sustainable luxury, it’ll have you communing with nature without leaving the modern world behind.

Palacio de Sal


While embodying the raw beauty of the world’s largest salt flat, you can still expect services a five-star luxury hotel would offer. Nestled at the edge of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia lies the Palacio de Sal that has been built entirely from the materials of the very land it sits on. Completely constructed out of salt — including its walls, floors, ceilings, furniture and sculptures — the property features large common rooms, a restaurant and spa, as well as 16 private rooms, with all facilities put together using the ample supply of salt readily available from its surroundings. The hotel also sports a nine-hole golf course made of salt too, of course. Just a heads up: To prevent degradation of the property, there is a no-licking policy of the walls of Palacio de Sal.

Whitepod Hotel & Restaurant


Offering the ultimate Alpine experience, Whitepod Hotel & Restaurant is a high-tech, eco-friendly property located on the Swiss Alps that aims to prove hospitality and environmental conservation can coexist. With 15 dome-shaped geodesic pods (its version of hotel rooms) situated 1,700m above the ground, each one comes with its own bathroom and a large terrace. But here’s the cool (no pun intended) thing: These “rooms” are energy-efficient, boasting 30-percent less energy used to circulate air and maintain a controlled temperature due to its shape. And in line with its ecological mission, motorised transport is limited while waste is also recycled. To top it off, visitors not only learn to live among nature without destroying it, they also get to enjoy the unobstructed, undisturbed views of the Dents-du-Midi mountain range in Switzerland.

Montaña Mágica Lodge


There are no hobbits housed in this hotel, though it does remind one of The Shire from The Lord of The Rings. It’s difficult not to immerse yourself in this gigantic, volcano-shaped lodge that is hidden in a 300,000-acre nature reserve. Spewing mythicality, its exterior is draped generously with vine and moss, while water cascades down its entire structure. The 14-room hotel includes additional features such as outdoor hot tubs carved entirely from old, local tree trunks. Trek in the lush greenery and fauna that envelops the hotel and try to spot the world’s tiniest deer (which stands at about 13 inches tall). You can also gain access to the longest zip-wire in South America at 1,500ft above the ground.