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.


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
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.


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


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.


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


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.


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!

Afternoon Map
The Literal Translation of Every Country's Name In One World Map

What's in a name? Some pretty illuminating insights into the history and culture of a place, it turns out. Credit Card Compare, an Australia-based website that offers its users assistance with choosing the credit card that's right for them, recently dug into the etymology of place names for a new blog post to create a world map that highlights the literal translation of the world's countries, including the United States of Amerigo (which one can only assume is a reference to Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who realized that North America was its own landmass).

"We live in a time of air travel and global exploration," the company writes in the blog. "We’re free to roam the planet and discover new countries and cultures. But how much do you know about the people who lived and explored these destinations in times past? Learning the etymology—the origin of words—of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favorite travel destinations and the people who first lived there."

In other words: there's probably a lot you don't know about the world around you. But the above map (which is broken down into smaller bits below) should help.

For more detailed information on the background of each of these country names, click here. Happy travels!

Micah Bochart, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
The Loneliest Road in America Is This Arctic Supply Route in Alaska
Micah Bochart, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Micah Bochart, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Sick of traffic? Try heading for Alaska’s Dalton Highway, considered the least-traveled road in the United States, CityLab reports. The 414-mile highway, traversed largely by a handful of truckers and passing through only a few small towns, sees the fewest cars per year of any road in the U.S., according to America’s Quietest Routes, an interactive website made by Geotab, a company that helps optimize truck fleet routes.

To create the site, Geotab used data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System’s 2015 average traffic statistics. Though the Nevada stretch of U.S. 50 is sometimes called the “Loneliest Road in America,” the numbers show you’d be much lonelier driving down the Dalton Highway, also known as State Route 11. The route, which runs along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline north-south between Fairbanks and the remote Arctic town of Deadhorse, saw an average of 196 vehicles a day over the course of 2015—one for every two miles of road. Many of those vehicles are trucks carrying vital supplies to the oil fields of the Arctic.

The highway has been featured on the History Channel reality show Ice Road Truckers and is considered one of the most dangerous routes to drive in the world. There is a 240-mile stretch that features zero services, and it’s full of steep grades, avalanche-prone areas, and the slow-moving landslides known as frozen debris lobes. Despite the dangers, it’s a picturesque route, one with views that writers regularly call “Tolkienesque.”

One thing’s for sure—you probably don’t want to drive it on your own.

[h/t CityLab]


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