When in Harlingen, on the Dutch coast an hour’s drive from Amsterdam, you’ll need to crane your neck upwards to spot two of the three coolest hotels in town. One of those hotels is atop an actual working crane. The other is in a lighthouse. And the town’s third cool hotel? That’s on street level—or, more accurately, water level—inside a lifeboat.
Our reviews of each . . .
Staying at the Hotel Everland feels like spending the night in a 1970s shagadelic bachelor pad.
There aren’t many hotels that might have traveled more around Europe than its guests. Then again there’s no hotel like the one-room Everland.
This pre-fab capsule, designed by a pair of Swiss artists who cryptically go by L/B (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann), was built to be mobile. After stints at Zurich’s Expo.02, on the Shores of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, Germany the Everland is now atop the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. At its current location this hotel might have the best Eiffel Tower view of any in the city.
The absolute smallest, cheapest room available is a two story suite.
Move over Las Vegas, the new new standard for resort luxury, grandiosity and audaciousness is now in Dubai. It is there, on an artificial island just off the coast, that you’ll find the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab. It is the world’s tallest hotel. And that’s only one of the world records it holds.
The Burj Al Arab is also home to the world’s fastest elevators, the world’s tallest atrium and largest aquarium. No other building in the world incorporates as much gold (the 2,000 square meters or 21,500 square feet of gold leaf!) and no other hotel has earned a seven star rating.
Wow. This two-chamber hotel 30 feet (10 meters) underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida truly feels like you are spending the night in a different world. Guests are surrounded by views of tropical fish and lagoon water. But the vibe of this place is what makes it truly memorable — the lighting and sounds here are different than they are living on land. And since no hotel staff stays overnights below you’ll be free to explore around this underwater space station in privacy. To make the dive down to the lodge guests are required to take a three hour course if they are not already scuba certified. “Mer-chefs” are available to cook dinner. One guess what sort of food is on the menu.
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Some lighthouse hotels are a little gritty. (Or, at least cramped). The Phare de Kerbel, on France’s Brittany coast, is spacious and modern. There’s a full kitchen, gorgeously appointed bedrooms and a swimming pool. Better still, there’s the view of the Atlantic from a perch 25 meters (82 feet) above Port Louis.
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There are other treehouse hotels in America but none are as dramatic as Cedar Creek. Here, 200-year old trees literally grow through the kitchen, bedroom and living spaces of the five-person bed & breakfast suite. Coolest of all is the observatory tower, which is more than 100 feet (30 meters) above the forest floor and reached via a suspended walkway and the “stairway to heaven” that spirals around a giant Douglas fir.
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