The 27th of September is celebrated every year as 'World Tourism Day'. Observed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization since the 1980s, it is a day to promote awareness about tourism and how it can influence social, cultural, political, and economic values around the globe.
In the last two years however, things have changed somewhat. With the world still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism has come to a grinding halt in many countries. As the UN website notes, Bboth developed and developing economies have been hit and marginalized groups and the most vulnerable have been hit hardest of all. "The restart of tourism will help kickstart recovery and growth. It is essential that the benefits this will bring are enjoyed widely and fairly. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has therefore designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on Tourism for Inclusive Growth,” the site adds.
Over the last few months as various countries gradually unlock their borders and ease restrictions, tourists have once again begun venturing out. To mark World Tourism Day and encourage those looking for an unique experience, we've put together a short list of some of the strangest hotels in the world.
Keep in mind that with the ongoing pandemic and consequent restrictions dates and availability need to be checked independently if you wish to visit any of these places in the future.
This hotel is built afresh every winter in the town of Jukkasjäarvi in new and innovation ways. When the spring comes, the hotel is then left to melt and find its way back to nature. From exhibitions featuring hand-carved ice sculptures to washing down Scandinavian delicacies with drinks served in ice-carved glasses - the icy theme of the hotel is evident at every turn. The stunning Swedish destination now also has a permanent set up that remains available to tourists no matter the season.
"Accommodation in the seasonal winter hotel ranges from standard ice rooms to more elegant art suites. Ice rooms are furnished with decor and beds made of ice. Art suites, on the other hand, offer an even more special experience – staying in a room uniquely designed by commissioned artists from all over the world," the website adds.
A somewhat similar looking but wholly different tasting experience can be had in this Bolivian hotel. Built entirely out of salt blocks (from walls and chimneys to some of the furniture and even the floor), the unique hotel offers panoramic views of the Uyuni salt flats and luxurious amenities. Reports online suggest that the hotel has remained active amid the COVID-19 pandemic with a slew of precautionary measures. Situated on a higher level, it is intended to help people relax after a long day spent exploring the area. This, one article explains, is why the rooms do not have televisions.
This one is somewhat unusual in the sense that we're not putting forth a single hotel name. Rather, it is the area itself that makes it to our list for its unusual nature. Coober Pedy is a town in South Australia that is sometimes known as the 'Opal Capital of the World'. The town is renowned for its underground residences that were initially built to avoid the scorching heat during the day.
There are several hotels and inns within Coober Pedy where one can sleep some 25 metres below the earth's surface. It is perhaps not the most glamorous of accommodations, with many hotels featuring basic amenities, inverted ceiling umbrellas to catch loose dirt falling down the ventilation shaft from the surface and more.
Closer to home in Karnataka, one also can enjoy a relaxing few days in a well appointed cave. Touted as the first underground man-made cave resort in Bangalore, it appears to have remained operational amid the pandemic. The resort website promises a 'magical' stay amidst real carved rock work with monolithic stones surrounding you and 'tropical pools weave in and out under the sun'.
Anchored in an ocean floor anomaly dubbed the 'blue hole' this floating underwater room is one of the most unique experiences that one can have. Visitors can watch shoals of reef fish swim by or go star gazing (or sun tanning) depending on which level of the floating structure they are on. The floating structure, Swedish engineered accommodation has three levels. Above the water clad in local hardwood is a lounge, bathroom below a stargazing, sun tanning bed.
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