Lonely Planet: The worlds most extraordinary hotels

Lonely Planet:

The world’s most extraordinary hotels

Mihir Garh, in Rajasthan (India) was named as the world’s most extraordinary hotel by the publisher Lonely Planet.  This travel guide book unveils three new top 10s, including the most extraordinary hotels, the best-value hotels as well as the most outstanding eco-hotels around the world.

1. Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India

The Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India, has been named the most extraordinary hotel in the world by guidebook publisher Lonely Planet.  There are many of converted historic forts and palaces offering luxury accommodation in India but a fort, built from scratch in the Rajasthan desert has been named the most extraordinary hotel in the world by Lonely Planet.

Set on a sand dune, overlooking the parched earth and shrubs of the Thar desert, Mihir Garh – or the fort of the sun – was a labour of love for owner Sidharth Singh, who says he was driven by intuition rather than reason; hiring more than 100 local craftsmen and carpenters who worked for two years to create nine 1,700sq ft suites, each with its own plunge pool, fireplace (made in the local style, from cow dung) and decorated in furnishings from Jodhpur.

Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India

2. Planet Baobab, Botswana

In second place was Planet Baobab, a collection of grass and mud huts with an onsite “shebeen” (bar) in the Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana, where the lunar-like landscape is dotted with 4,000 year old baobab trees.

Planet Baobab Safari Camp

Other extraordinary hotels and places to stay at include a collection of spherical treehouses suspended in the forest on Vancouver Island, a 1869 lighthouse on the Hudson river in New York State as well as a cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey, famed for its troglodyte architecture.

3. The Backpack, Cape Town

Two of the top three best-value hotels in the world located in South Africa, where international tourists are currently getting great value at the moment for their US Dollars, the Euro and the British Pound. The number one best-value place to stay is The Backpack in Cape Town, a hostel with a pool, which supports local community projects, is accredited by Fair Trade Tourism and was recently voted Best Hostel in Africa 2014 by hostelworld.com. Inkosana Lodge, which offers dorms, camping and private rooms in the Drakensberg mountains, is in third place, while Sydney harbour YHA, famed for its harbour views, came in second.

South Africa also made an appearance on the eco-list, with Bulungula Backpackers coming second. A collection of huts overlooking a remote beach on the wild coast, jointly owned by the local Xhosa community, it warns potential guests it is “not an old-style, white South African beach resort”. It also promises night skies so clear, it guarantees “your money back if you don’t see a shooting star for half an hour at night”.

Most extraordinary hotels by Lonely Planet:

  1. Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India

  2. Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana

  3. Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy

  4. Qasr Al Sarab, UAE

  5. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, TAS, Australia

  6. Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada

  7. Taskonak Hotel, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

  8. Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

  9. Saugerties Lighthouse, New York state, USA

  10. The Gibbon Experience Treehouse, Bokeo Reserve, Laos.

Thonga Beach Lodge, South Africa

Picture above: Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

Best value hotels:

  1. The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa

  2. Sydney Harbour YHA, Australia

  3. Inkosana Lodge, Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa

  4. Old Plovdiv Guesthouse, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

  5. Hotel Gruner Baum, Glorenza, Sudtirol, Italy

  6. Oztel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  7. Fauzi Azar Inn, Nazareth, Israel

  8. We Hostel Design, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  9. Hotel Hotel Hostel, Seattle, USA

  10. On the corner, Kolomyya, Ukraine.

Outstanding eco-hotels:

  1. Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica

  2. Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa

  3. Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania

  4. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru

  5. EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile

  6. Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco

  7. Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA

  8. Dana Guest House, Jordan

  9. Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea

  10. Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia.

 

Come and explore the wonderful and amazing hotels and lodges in Southern Africa with us!

South African Tourism Company

Tel:    +27 (0)21 794 9050

Mobile: +27 (0)827 823 142

Fax:    +27 (0)21 794 9995

Email:   res@south-african-hotels.com

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