Hotel Luxury for the Independent Traveller

Luxury villa with a swimming poolWhen it comes to booking a holiday, many of us fall into the tried and testing routine of choosing a hotel and booking it for the duration of the break. Hotels offer the luxury we require, the facilities we need and are usually in good locations. But they do have their downsides and these issues are why many independent travellers are now looking for alternative accommodation options – top of the list are apartments and villas.

Perfect Balance

Choosing one of the many luxury apartments or villas available around the world can offer the perfect balance of features for a traveller. Whether you plan to go away as a couple or as a group, there are properties that can allow you all to stay together in a way that a hotel can never manage. Or if you are travelling on your own or as a two, then the ability to have your own space can be perfect. These properties never lack for facilities and are often in great locations that allow you to make use of all a place has to offer, just as you do in a hotel.

Around the World

When you talk about beach holidays, the Seychelles is always near the top of the list and Villa 11 is on the North Island, offering the perfect two person getaway. With all the modern conveniences such as a home entertainment system and two person bath, it also enjoys magical views across Mahe and Praslin islands. There are even mini buggies provided to explore the rest of the island.

Mediterrano Odyssey offers a villa with a difference ( – it is literally built into the cliffs and overlooks the Mljet National Park in Croatia. The spot offers the best of everything with beautiful beaches and blue seas, woodland area to explore and even natural salt lakes along the bike paths nearby. It also offers all the facilities of Mljet, the largest of the Adriatic Islands in Dalmatia as well as ferry connections to the city of Dubrovnik.

Bali is a popular spot for group holidays and The Beach House in Seminyak is suitable for up to eight people. It is on the south-west coast of the island and is within walking distance of the top quality Ku De Ta restaurant as well as the Petitenget temple for some sightseeing. Enjoy the outdoor gazebo and pool while catering is handed by the two in-house cooks.

The Bahamas Beach House on Windermere Island, Eleuthera can sleep up to seven people and has a 40ft living area as well as three bedrooms. It also has one of the best beaches in the Bahamas at the bottom of the garden with three miles’ worth of pink sand and its own coral reef. There is also shopping at the Governor’s Harbour and plenty of snorkelling and sports activities to enjoy.

Villas aren’t always about the beach, as seen with the Ti Garili I’lle d’Arz in Brittany. This 17th century fisherman’s cottage sleeps eight and has its own quiet beach. Ideal for a holiday with the kids, the rustic cottage has big fireplaces and terracotta tiled floors while Vannes is just three miles away.

Some of The World’s Most Unusual Hotels

Hotels are used for both business and pleasure, and while there are a number of luxury hotels available, sometimes people yearn for something a little different. While the following hotels can be seen as unusual, they do make for an interesting stay.

Treehotel: Harads Sweden

As you can no doubt tell from the name, Treehotel is indeed a hotel in a tree. As well as allowing guests to revisit their childhood, they can also stay in the Cabin, a UFO-shaped capsule lodged in a tree. Guests can even take advantage of a tree-based sauna.

Camping: Mount Kilimanjaro

Hang on, camping doesn’t count as a hotel does it? Well, in other contexts, no, but climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can only be complimented with camping there as well. As well as coming face to face with raw nature, you are free to pitch up where and when you want, although you might want to rely on someone like the to show you the best spots. And you can also pick your own view, and the views that Mount Kilimanjaro hold are really something to embrace.

Propeller Island City Lodge: Berlin, Germany

Sometime a room with a bed and storage just doesn’t cut it, so those looking for something with a little more ‘character’ should consider the Propeller Island City Lodge. The vainer may wish to opt for the room that is built using a selection of angled mirrors. Similarly, those looking for something with a darker tone can stay in the crypt, where the beds are coffins.

The Dog Bark Park Inn: Idaho, USA

If the name wasn’t unusual enough, wait until you read about the hotel itself. Dog lovers are more than catered for in this USA-based hotel, as it shaped like a dog. The 12-foot beagle is able to accommodate four people, and is owned by chainsaw artists. It should come as no surprise that the hotel is indeed, dog friendly.

Icehotel: Jukkasjarvai, Sweden

Just like the Treehotel was named due to it being in a tree, the Icehotel has been named due to it being made of ice. The hotel is actually rebuilt annually, so you’re unlikely to stay in the exact hotel more than once, unless you become a fan. While it remains an unusual choice for somewhere to stay, there’s no denying how captivating a hotel made out of ice can be.

The hotel rooms are kept at -5C every day. Evidently, this temperature will require more than your standard pair of pyjamas, so guests wear the provided boots and thermals and enter the room with a sleeping bag. Such a hotel is probably not the best if you’re just away on a business trip, but for those looking for something out of the ordinary, the Icehotel certainly provides it.

There are plenty more hotels that offer a unique experience regardless of your tastes, While not for everyone, ‘strange’ hotels generally just provide something out of the norm, and therefore tend to be that little more memorable than your generic hotel stay. Research your hotel before you leave so you know exactly what to expect during your stay.

You Get What You Pay For

Now we know that expensive doesn’t always mean the best. But when it comes to the best hotels, they unsurprisingly usually cost more. But in most cases you get what you pay for.

So here’s a short video to give you some ideas if you’re to stay in some of the most luxurious, and most expensive, hotel rooms around the globe.

Hotels on Our Wishlist

The idea of this website was to do two things. First it was to keep a track of all the luxury, exotic, unique and perhaps even quirky hotels around the world that we wanted to visit one day. And secondly, once we’ve visited them, we wanted to keep a record of all our wonderful experiences, so others might hopefully decide to follow in our footsteps.

So, to get started, here’s a look at some of the hotels on our wish list, with our thoughts on what makes then so appealing, apart from the obvious opportunity to enjoy some luxury and a bit of pampering.

These are in no particular order, they’re all as amazing as each other!

George V, Paris

To start with, we’ve stayed pretty close to home. Paris is always a great city to visit, particularly if you’re looking for a romantic break. But you need to do it in style to really enjoy it. And what could be more stylish that the 5 star George V. Whether it’s for the views, the food, or simply to enjoy the luxury, this hotel offers everything you could want to make the most of this amazing city.

The Gritti Palace, Venice

English-speakers shouldn’t be put off by the name, this hotel is the polar opposite of the adjective it’s name might suggest. With a perfect setting on the Grand Canal, the hotel has recently had millions spent on a complete refurbishment. It was an amazing venire before this, and it is even more so now. There can be no better way to enjoy Venice.

Banyan Tree, Bangkok

This is yet another spectacular hotel that might not be for those that aren’t great with heights. The aptly-named Vertigo Rooftop Bar is located an astonishing 61 floors up. While it offers unrivalled views of the Bangkok skyline, you might not want to stay up there too long, especially after a couple of G&Ts.

Harbour Grand, Kowloon

As well as being right at the heart of everything there is to enjoy about Hong Kong, the Harbour Grand also has a special treat, for those not too bothered by heights. The infinity pool on the roof is a great way to relax, and offers stunning views of the harbour and the surrounding mountain. You just might not want to get to close to the edge!

Gansevoort, New York City

NYC is literally awash with luxury hotels, so it can be a bit of a challenge to find one that offers something a little different – along with the 5 star luxury of course. The Gansevoort is a stylish, modern hotel located in the meat-packing district, and offers 360 views of New York from it’s gorgeous rooftop pool and bar.

So that’s the first five hotels ion the wish list – I wonder how long it will take to visit them. Check back soon to see if any of them have been crossed off the list.

Our Favourite Hotel Bars

banyan-tree-vertigoThere’s something about staying in a luxury hotel that makes you want to enjoy everything they have to offer, and this is certainly true when it comes to the hotel bar.

We say ‘bar’, but these days the reality is that most 4 and 5 star hotels will have more than one bar – each with it’s on theme or characteristics that are designed to appeal to different people. You can guarantee, whatever your taste, there’ll be a hotel with a bar to match.

As much as staying in nice hotels, we enjoy being in nice bars inside nice hotels probably just as much. So here are a few hotel bars we like the look of that would tempt us to stay in our hotel a bit longer – but hopefully not too long.

Vertigo Rooftop Bar, Bangkok

We’ve already mentioned the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Banyan Tree in Bangkok, but it definitely deserves another mention if we’re looking at hotel bars that are nothing short of spectacular. And just in case you thought that we’re exaggerating when we say how amazing it is, that’s a picture of it above.

Artesian, London

The Langham hotel is home to Artesian, which is not only attractive because of its surroundings, but also because of the amazing cocktails it serves. Voted ‘Best Bar in the World’ for three years running, don’t be surprised if the drink you ordered looks more like a work of art, or even a magic trick, when it arrives.

O2 Bar, Moscow

This is another rooftop bar, that is contained beneath a glass and steel dome on top of the Ritz Carlton. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but the views are meant to be outstanding as the drinks menu, you can even enjoy a shot of Oxygen – it is the O2 bar after all. Or maybe a Moscow Mule would be more appropriate?

The Press Lounge, New York

OK, so this one might not actually be a hotel bar, but it is an amazing place to go for a drink – and there are hotels nearby. Thanks to outdoor heating and retractable glass, you can enjoy rooftop drinking and the amazing views of NYC even when it’s winter, along with seasonal cocktails like a Ginger Smash.

Icebar, Copenhagen

Unsurprisingly, the Icebar is located in Copenhagen’s Icehotel – a great place to chill out (sorry!). While a lot of people might see it as a bit of a gimmick, there is something to be admired about a hotel bar where everything is made of ice, from the furniture to the glasses – cool!

We love great bars as much as great hotels, and even more so when the two go hand in hand. There are dozens, if not hundreds of great hotel bars around the world, so we’ll try to bring you some more as and when we spot find them.


You might have noticed that we love nothing more than a bit of luxury when we’re staying in a hotel. But we know that that might not be for everyone, and often it might just be something different or unique that takes your fancy.

So if you’re a fan of the unusual, here’s a video that might give you a few ideas for your next trip away.