Lonely Planet: The worlds most extraordinary hotels
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.
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.
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:
- Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India
Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana
Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy
Qasr Al Sarab, UAE
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, TAS, Australia
Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada
Taskonak Hotel, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
Saugerties Lighthouse, New York state, USA
The Gibbon Experience Treehouse, Bokeo Reserve, Laos.
Picture above: Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
Best value hotels:
- The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa
Sydney Harbour YHA, Australia
Inkosana Lodge, Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa
Old Plovdiv Guesthouse, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Hotel Gruner Baum, Glorenza, Sudtirol, Italy
Oztel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fauzi Azar Inn, Nazareth, Israel
We Hostel Design, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hotel Hotel Hostel, Seattle, USA
On the corner, Kolomyya, Ukraine.
- Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica
Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa
Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania
Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru
EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile
Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco
Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Dana Guest House, Jordan
Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea
Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia.
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