Eco-resort

The Elephant Four Seasons

Four Seasons hotels are known for their excellent service and exceptional luxury — their Tented Camp Golden Triangle property certainly has those qualities. But that Four Seasons — located by the village of Chiang Saen, Thailand near the borders with Burma and Laos — also has a feature not usually associate with the chain: Elephants!

Spot Cool Stuff loves the combination of animals and hotels. We’ve written before about a Kenyan hotel inundated by giraffe, a Japanese style inn where guests bathe with monkeys and an unlikely California bed and breakfast surrounded by lions and tigers. But none of those accommodations offer the pampered, high-end experience that Four Seasons does.

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Cappadocia’s Cave Hotels

Cappadocia is one of the coolest, and most fascinating, travel destinations in Turkey. Up until two million years ago the region was literally a sea of lava over 150 meters (500 feet) deep. After the volcanoes that surround Cappadocia stopped erupting that sea of lava turned to rock—relatively soft rock that’s easily eroded and dug into. As a result the region is today rife with otherworldly rock formations, underground cities . . . and cave hotels.

There are maybe two dozen cave hotels in the greater Cappadocia region. A review of some of our favorites for budget travelers and for luxury-seekers.

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The Best View from a
Hotel Room in French Polynesia

Previously, we published a review comparison of Bora Bora’s best luxury resorts, listing the pros and cons of each. Among the pros for the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa: It has the best views from inside a room of any resort on Bora Bora.

In fact, the more we thought it about, the InterContinental Thalasso has the best room views of any hotel in French Polynesia.

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Jordan’s New, Ancient Eco-Resort
spot cool stuff TRAVEL

With enough money, modern technology and piped-in water anyone can build a luxury resort in the middle of a desert. (Exhibit #1: Las Vegas.) But building a luxury resort in the middle of the desert in a completely environmentally sustainable way—that’s a challenge. Yet Oppenheim, an architecture firm based in (of all places) the desert-deprived state of Florida, managed exactly that with their design for an eco-resort in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert.

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No Shoes. No News.
Pure, Private, Beach Relaxation.

Every villa is perched on stilts above calm, crystal clear waters, so you're never more than a few steps away from a refreshing swim

There are only two rules at the Soneva Gili by Six Senses in the Maldives and, trust us, after a few minutes at this honeymoon-oriented beach resort you won’t mind following either:

1) No shoes are allowed.

2) Do not discuss news from the outside world.

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The Invisible Treehouse Hotel

Imagine the fun you can having suddenly appearing to the people walking below à la Harry Potter throwing off his cloak of invisibility.

Dude, where’s my treehouse hotel?

That’s not the title of a bad sequel to an Ashton Kutcher movie of a similar name. It’s what you might be saying to your room mate were you and he guests at The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden. That’s because one of the accommodations options there, the Mirrorcube, is invisible!

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The Matterhorn’s Boutique Hiking Hut

There may be no country in the world as into hiking and mountaineering as Switzerland. The Alpine nation is criss-crossed by trekking trails and dotted with remote hiking shelters.

Most of those shelters are basic—a roof, a few beds, an outhouse, perhaps a wood burning stove. But one Swiss shelter is very much not basic: the Monte Rosa Hütte. It’s been nicknamed the Bergkristall (mountain crystal) and those who have visited are calling it “the mountain hut of the future.”

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One Fish, Two Fish,
Places That Look Dr. Seuss-ish

Anyone who grew up on The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs and Ham remembers the illustrations of one Mr. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Trees with elongated trucks or with improbable collections of limbs. Stark and scraggly landscapes with oddly balanced rocks and unlikely geometric shapes. Architecture with unusual protrusions and awkward angles where no two windows exactly the same. These were some of the hallmarks of the world Dr. Seuss illustrated in his 60 children’s books.

Here’s a look at some places on Planet Earth—places you can visit on your next vacation—that resemble scenes from a Dr. Seuss illustration. So, in the words of the doctor himself . . .


…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!


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