Longtime readers of Spot Cool Stuff might remember our review of Sweden’s Utter Inn. The “inn” is located in the middle of a lake and consists of a single suite with one room above water — and another room beneath it!
It’s amazing being a guest at the Utter Inn, laying snuggled under your sheets while looking out at the underwater scene beyond your bedroom’s windows. But how much more cool would it be if that scene was of crystal clear tropical waters instead of a murky Scandinavian lake?
To answer that question, one needs to travel to the The Manta Resort on Pemba Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. That’s where Genberg Underwater Hotels, the company that designed and constructed the Utter Inn, recently finished work on their second half-underwater suite.
While being lead to your room through dark rock passageways one feels like a dwarf on a quest in the Mines of Moria
Hitting rock bottom on vacation can be a very cool experience. At least it can in Scandinavia, in Sweden, in the county of Västmanland and in the town of Sala. For it is there that travelers can find the Sala Silvermine and can stay in the accommodations of its Mine Suite. At 155 meters (509 feet) below ground level, it is deepest hotel room in the world!
Whitepod is an eco-resort in the truest sense of the term
Visit the site of the Whitepod ski resort in the Swiss Alps between April and November and what you’ll see of it is . . . nothing.
You’ll see no roads. No electrical wires. No place to stay. Just a 19th century farmhouse. And a pristine alpine meadow that’s begging for some von Trapp kids to twirl around in Sound Of Music style. And an amazing view. The vista of the snow peaks from this virtually untouched place 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above the oceans is among the grandest in Europe. “Untouched” being the key word.
Stockings may wind up on the floor instead of over the fireplace
Yes, Virginia (and Mara and Wei and Dev and Ashley), there IS a Santa Claus. And contrary to popular belief, Santa only winters at the North Pole with the Missus! But he’d love to have you visit his permanent residence — in Osaka — if you have a little time, and mischief, on your hands.
That’s right, jolly ol’ Saint Nick makes his home in Japan, at the eyepopping Chapel Christmas, in one of Japan’s thousands of “love hotels.” Santa’s a nice chap, but he’s never naive. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, and he knows there always a little of both going on at the Hotel Chapel Christmas.
The Methow Valley is as picturesque as any in the world. Nestled in a high pocket of the North Cascades of Washington State, the valley is all forests and flower fields, ravines and rivers, snow peaks and sunshine1. And it’s all crisscrossed by biking, hiking and running paths — and by one of the longest cross country skiing trails in the world.
Until recently, one of the few blights on the Methow Valley was a particularly unattractive RV park northwest of the town of Winthrop. Happily, the Winnebagos there have given way to a wild meadow that’s mostly untouched except for the unusual, low-impact accommodations offered by Rolling Huts. It is a fantastically cool place to stay.
Spot Cool Stuff likes unusual hotels with creative themes. So, of course, we love the Landhotel Hof Beverland.
The Beverland (very much not to be confused with Bieberland) is located on the site of a former dairy farm near Ostbevern in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has 62 rooms. And 36 radically different room theme.
There’s are the under-the-sea rooms, for example, and the medieval themed rooms. The hotel’s jungle rooms have beds suspended from the ceiling. Their Star Wars rooms have private cinema screening areas. Their disco rooms come complete with hanging disco balls and blaring 70s music.
None of those rooms, however, made our list of our top five favorite room themes at the Landhotel Hof Beverland. Which rooms did make the cut? Read on:
Staying here is a curious mix of luxury and roughing it
Seattle is a Spot Cool Stuff favorite city. We love experiencing its vibrant urban heart. And we love how easy it is to escape that for the accessible natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
A case in point (literally, a “point”) is The Treehouse Point. The complex—part treehouse hotel, part quaint event venue, part wilderness preserve—is in the middle of a lush forest yet only a 35-minute drive from downtown Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market.
High snows. Cold temperatures. Brutal winds. Camping at altitude in the Alps during the winter is for the hard core. But going glamping — glamorous camping — needn’t be.
Travel in the Alps offers many opportunities to experience the rugged charm and back-to-nature feeling of staying in a tent without, you know, having to stay in a tent. Spot Cool Stuff readers might remember our review of the disappearing-and-then-reappearing Whitepods ski resort or our post about the boutique hiking hut at the base of the Matterhorn. To those we now add the PodHotel Flims — though the “hotel” in the name is a serious misnomer.