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Extreme Hotels

Most people select a hotel based on comfort and convenience, not to mention price. However, you can make your stay an adventure in itself! Here are hotels that are a study in contrasts

The Cold and the Hot

Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is rebuilt every year, out of ice. The rooms stay at temperatures below freezing, but the bathrooms are heated. You sleep on an ice bed covered with reindeer skins, in a thermal sleeping bag.

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Cabañas Copal Hotel Tulum in the Caribbean is warm, rustic, and eco-friendly. There is no electricity, gas, telephones, or water piped in. These are provided by generators at the site; water is brought in by trucks. The palm-roofed cabanas are lit by candles, and there is no air conditioning. From the pictures, I believe I could handle it.

More extreme hotels, after the jump.

The High and the Low
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The Wild Canopy Reserve in southern India will put you up in a treehouse 41 feet above the ground! They all have hot and cold running water and toilets. All the better to watch the wild animals that gather at the watering hole below.

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Jules' Undersea Lodge is a former research laboratory in a mangrove lagoon off Key Largo, Florida. You have to scuba dive to reach your room! At 21 feet under water, it's the perfect place to launch a diving adventure.

The Ritzy and the Poor

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Dromoland Castle near Shannon in Ireland was once the home of Gaelic royalty. This is the place to pretend you are a princess. Or prince, as the case may be.

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On the other end of the spectrum, Das Park Hotel is where you can sleep in a drainpipe! It was conceived as a "hospitality project", and guests are encouraged to pay what they wish.

The Inner and the Outre

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Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Ayvali Village, Turkey has eighteen rooms in a restored thousand-year-old Byzantine monastery. Two of those rooms are underground cave suites.

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Every room at the Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin is decorated in a completely different style. You can see each room at the website. In this room, you may choose to sleep in a coffin. Or not.

Yes, there really is a hotel for every taste!

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Hubert Grimmig, Kultur- und Tourismus GmbH Gengenbach
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holidays
Inside the German Town Where Advent Is the Main Attraction
Hubert Grimmig, Kultur- und Tourismus GmbH Gengenbach
Hubert Grimmig, Kultur- und Tourismus GmbH Gengenbach

The German town of Gengenbach takes Christmas very seriously. So seriously that it counts down to the holiday with one of the biggest Advent calendars in the world.

Two decades ago, the town of 11,000 people on the edge of the Black Forest set out to bring in more tourists during the holiday season. So to make its holiday market unique, Gengenbach began turning its town hall into a building-sized Advent calendar.

Now one by one, every night from November 30 to December 23, the windows of Gengenbach’s Baroque city hall light up with artistic creations inspired by a yearly theme. At 6 p.m. each evening, the lights of city hall go up, and a spotlight trains on one window. Then, the window shade pulls up to reveal the new window. By December 23, all the windows are open and on display, and will stay that way until January 6.

Gengenbach's city hall lit up for Christmas
Hubert Grimmig, Kultur- und Tourismus GmbH Gengenbach

Each year, the windows are decorated according to a theme, like children’s books or the work of famous artists like Marc Chagall. For 2017, all the Advent calendar windows are filled with illustrations by Andy Warhol.

According to Guinness World Records, it’s not the absolute biggest Advent calendar in the world. That record belongs to a roughly 233-foot-high, 75-foot-wide calendar built in London’s St Pancras railway station in 2007. Still, Gengenbach’s may be the biggest Advent calendar that comes back year after year. And as a tourist attraction, it has become a huge success in the last 20 years. The town currently gets upwards of 100,000 visitors every year during the holiday season, according to the local tourist bureau.

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iStock
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travel
A New Roller Coaster is Whizzing Through Colorado's Rocky Mountains
iStock
iStock

There are plenty of ways to explore the majestic Rocky Mountains, but few offer the adrenaline rush of the Rocky Mountain Coaster, a brand-new roller coaster that sends riders soaring along the range’s natural twists and turns.

As Urban Daddy reports, the Rocky Mountain Coaster recently opened at Copper Mountain, a mountain and ski resort that’s located near the tiny town of Frisco, about 75 miles west of Denver. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the vacation spot is ideal for hikers, skiers, and mountain bikers. Now, visitors looking to enjoy the surrounding scenery without breaking a sweat can cruise for roughly a mile down to the resort’s high alpine Center Village.

The ride’s raised track “runs along the natural curvature of the mountain, with zigs, zags, dips, and 360-degree turns for guaranteed thrills,” according to a press release. Each personal car is equipped with manual hand brakes to control the ride’s pace, but the coaster does feature a 430-foot drop, so be careful with your phones while Instagramming the view.

The Rocky Mountain Coaster is open-year round, though it will initially mostly only be open on weekends. Solo rides cost $25, and a two-ride pass can be purchased for $35. (Resort guests get an exclusive discount.)

[h/t Urban Daddy]

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