When it comes to hotels, a majority of travelers simply want an affordable, comfortable and clean experience. However, some travelers want more out of their vacation experience; they want to visit somewhere truly unique and unforgettable. Today, we’re looking at five of the world’s coolest hotels and how facility management plays a role in maintaining them. So sit back, relax and get out a pen and paper. You’re going to want to add these hotels to your bucket list!
Location: Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Facility Type: Sculpted ice hotel
Bundle up! At the ICEHOTEL in Sweden, visitors can enjoy beautifully designed rooms and artwork carved out of ice. The facility is a huge undertaking. It’s rebuilt every year and requires 34,000 tons of snow and ice before it’s complete. Inside the hotel, temperatures stay at a frosty 23 degrees fahrenheit and guests can spend time at an ice bar, take ice sculpting classes, go on dog sled rides and more. At night, the hotel recommends that guests wear a fleece jacket, warm socks, a hat and thermal underwear to bed!
Building Design Highlight: The ICEHOTEL employs a different architect to design each of its 55 rooms. The only parts of the hotel that aren’t made of ice are the mattresses and reindeer furs in the guest rooms.
2. Dog Bark Park Inn
Location: Cottonwood, Idaho
Facility Type: Roadside bed and breakfast; chainsaw art gallery
At the Dog Bark Park Inn, sleeping in the doghouse is a good thing! Dog lovers will love this bed and breakfast, which features extensive dog-themed decor and two quirky structures: “Toby,” the 12-foot tall beagle and “Sweet Willy,” the 27-foot tall beagle. As the world’s tallest beagle structure, Sweet Willy features all the comforts of home, a private two-story deck and a cozy alcove in his muzzle for guests to enjoy.
Facility Manager Insight: This inn is owned and operated by a self-taught chainsaw artist and his wife. According to the inn’s website, the two describe the building of the beagles as a “noble and absurd undertaking.”
3. The Grand Hotel
Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Facility Type: Historic island hotel and coastal resort
For those seeking a picturesque hotel that’s rich in history, the Grand Hotel might just be the perfect fit! Located on Mackinac Island in Michigan, the Grand Hotel is open from May to October and accessible only by ferry. In fact, you’ll need to walk, bike or take a horse-drawn carriage to get to the hotel, as cars are prohibited on the island! The Grand Hotel is famous for a variety of reasons, including its record for the world’s longest front porch and having had five U.S. presidents visit it thus far. It also holds 397 guest rooms, none of which are identical.
Notable Asset Facts: According to the Grand Hotel’s website, it takes 500,000 gallons of water to fill the hotel’s swimming pool. In addition, it takes a total of 2,500 geraniums to fill the hotel’s numerous flowerbeds.
4. Giraffe Manor
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Facility Type: Boutique hotel
Giraffe Manor isn’t just an elegant boutique hotel. This 12-room facility is also a visitation site for a herd of wild Rothschild’s giraffes. Throughout the day, hotel guests can pet and feed the friendly giraffes, who poke their heads in the manor’s windows in search of treats. Just don’t let them steal your breakfast! Because the manor was originally built in the 1930s as a private family home, all guest rooms in the manor are unique. While visiting, guests can explore the Nairobi National Park, visit Kenyan markets and learn about conservation and breeding of endangered giraffe species.
Guest Amenity Feature: At the Giraffe Manor, guests can enjoy Kenya’s wildlife, relax and get pampered. After a long day of exploring, guests can unwind with a massage, manicure or pedicure at the hotel’s spa. Afterwards, they can enjoy a meal by candlelight in the hotel’s electricity-free dining rooms.
5. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Location: Rangali Island, Maldives
Facility Type: Semi-underwater luxury resort
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort is the perfect place for a luxury ocean getaway. The resort is incredibly unique, as it sits both above and below the surface of the Indian ocean. Guests wake up to see schools of fish swimming above them in their glass-enclosed, underwater guest rooms. Among the resort’s amenities is an underwater restaurant, two luxury spas, an outdoor cinema and a tennis court. Interested in booking the resort’s two-story, underwater villa? The price tag will put you back a cool $50,000 per night. Now that’s luxury!
Construction Process Insight: To respect the island’s natural environment, the building process of the resort’s underwater structures was carefully considered. All building elements were assembled on land in Singapore, then brought to the Maldives via ship. Once lowered into the ocean, the structures were nailed into place with concrete pillars to prevent any shifting during rough waves or at high tide.
Learn More About Hotel Management
From a B&B shaped like a giant beagle, to a luxury resort situated beneath ocean waters, many of the world’s hospitality businesses are incredibly unique. To learn more about facility management challenges and solutions in the hospitality industry, check out AkitaBox’s 2019 Guide to Hotel Maintenance and Management. You’ll learn ways to bounce back from operational mishaps, boost revenue and improve your hotel’s overall performance. Get your free copy here!
What’s the most unique hotel or resort you’ve visited? Tell us about it in the comments below.