Built in the shell of a 1920s structure overlooking Milan’s golden square and the Milan Cathedral, the Boscolo Milano combines colorful avant-garde decoration with the luxury of five-star restaurants and spas.
26. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Thailand
Half resort, half elephant camp, Anantara Golden Triangle sits at the convergence of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar in the heart of northern Thailand’s mountainous jungle. Not only do they offer a full range of spa treatments, but they also organize elephant treks through the surrounding jungle and playtime with the herd’s baby elephants. Baby. Elephants. Need I say more?
27. Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but suspend your disbelief for a moment so that I can tell you that not only are those the remains of Luke Skywalker’s home from Star Wars, but also, you can stay at them for $10 a night. Epic dream achieved!
28. Cambrian Hotel, Switzerland
The Cambrian provides yet another option for luxury accommodations coupled with some extraordinary views of the Swiss Alps.
29. Sala Silver Mine, Sweden
Sometimes “getting away from it all” involves going 155 meters underground (to the world’s deepest hotel room), and while no one thinks of staying in a historic silver-mine-turned-resort for their holiday, perhaps the accommodations at the Sala Silver Mine are enough to keep it in mind, rather than going to some boring island.
30. Marataba Safari Lodge, South Africa
Marataba Safari Lodge is not a for-profit hotel, which alone should be a major selling point. The lodge is located within a massive game preserve, and its main purpose is to generate the revenue necessary to support the preserve’s continued projects. Their main goal is to restore the natural balance of flora and fauna in the region, with the help and involvement of people from all over the world.
31. Viceroy Hotel, Bali
With a prime location like Bali, it would be pretty easy for a resort to skimp on just about everything and rely on the beauty of its surroundings. Thankfully, the Viceroy simply saw that as a challenge and took luxury to the nth degree with amenities including private airport retrieval via helicopter, direct to the only hotel-owned helipad in the district.
32. Crazy Bear Beaconsfield, UK
Part of a chain of hotels famed for their over-the-top opulence, the Crazy Bear Beaconsfield was opened in 2008. Its luxurious rooms were built inside a painstakingly restored 15th-century coaching inn, coincidentally the oldest documented building in Beaconsfield.
33. Barin Ski Resort, Iran
Just an hour outside of Tehran looms the Barin Ski Resort, a white fortress designed to mimic the snow-covered mountains that surround it, and with an interior that feels an awful lot like an igloo (though the architects opted for “topographic layers” instead of ice blocks). The Barin Ski Resort was designed, inside and out, to reflect and complement its natural surroundings, and the effect is truly stunning.
34. Astarte Suites Hotel, Greece
The infinity pool to end all infinity pools — this hotel in Santorini is so proud of its pool that you can even view it in blistering high-def 360-degree panorama on the website. The luxury doesn’t stop at the pool, however, as every suite is decked out with all of the amenities one would expect from a luxury resort, plus some form of Jacuzzi.
35. Attrap’Reves Hotel, France
Another actively form-over-function locale, the space-pods at the Attrap’Reves would make me feel like I were the chief cosmonaut in charge of terraforming some faraway planet. What’s not to love about that?
36. Taj Lake Palace, India
Built on a natural four-acre foundation in the center of Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace has been voted the most romantic hotel in the world. However, it was originally the royal summer palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II (and all of his reigning successors). The palace is so plush it has been used as the set for a number of British and Indian films and television shows and has hosted kings and queens from all over the world.
37. Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
This Huilo-Huilo hotel is not only a manmade geyser, but also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The 232 square miles of reserve surrounding the hotel have hot springs carved in the center of tree trunks and a variety of wildlife ranging from the puma to the pudú (the world’s tiniest deer).
38. Caves Resort, Jamaica
Located in Negril, and so much more than just another cave resort, this smaller lodging provides renowned all-inclusive packages for their 12 “exclusive cliff-side accommodations.” On the 10-acre property, the resort has its own cave restaurant to dine in while catching the sunset and bathtubs built right into the cliff.
39. Whitepod Hotel, Switzerland
Self-dubbed an “eco-luxury hotel and alpine experience,” the Whitepod Hotel maintains its environmentally friendly green during the white Swiss winters. From their website: “Whitepod aims to be a model for sustainable tourism by using a number of measures to limit its impact on nature, for example: minimize daily water and electricity consumption, reduce waste production, favour the use of renewable resources, and increase the clients’ awareness of environmental protection.”
40. Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway
Europe’s first “landscape hotel,” this conceptual blend of architectural design and emphasis on nature led Norwegian architects Jensen and Skodven to build the seven stilted glass-walled cubes in an effort to maintain the illusion of complete integration with the surroundings. Each cube, and subsequent ‘experience,’ is unique.
41. The Oberoi Udaivilas, India
Perched at #4 on the 2012 list of World’s Best Hotels, the Oberoi Udaivilas sits on the shore of Lake Pichola in the palace city of Udaipur. The hotel’s architecture was modeled on real palaces of the Mewar region of Rajasthan (the largest state of the Republic of India, known as “the land of kings”) and includes sweeping arches and hand-painted domes.
42. Sofitel So Bangkok, Thailand
Designed to bring a touch of French elegance and luxury to a modern Thai setting, Sofitel So is decorated to reflect each of the five Chinese elements (water, earth, wood, metal, and fire). Looking out over Thailand’s capital city, the hotel also features a spa that apparently resembles a mythical forest.
43. Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico
Honestly, there are few things cooler than staying in what looks like the Mexican equivalent of the Coliseum. Part of the Quinta Real hotel chain, this former-bullfighting-ring-turned-luxury-resort is one of the premier places to stay in Zacatecas.
44. Hotel La Claustra, Switzerland
Built entirely underground in a former army fortress, La Claustra is still 2,050 feet above sea level, despite being located far beneath the surface of the Gotthard mountain pass. However, this demilitarized artillery bunker gets cold in the winter, so the 17 rooms are only available for booking between May and October.
45. Free Spirit Spheres, Canada
Set high in the trees of Vancouver Island’s temperate rainforest, each of these three spherical dens was handcrafted and precisely anchored in the canopy, 10 and 15 feet from the ground. While they may not represent everyone’s idea of luxury, the idea of gently rocking in the breeze while you fall asleep is incredibly appealing and would be a bliss usually reserved for native tree-dwelling critters and boat-owners alike.
46. Hotel Everland, Switzerland
More of an art piece than a true hotel, Hotel Everland was a project by the artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann (known professionally as L/B). The one-room hotel was built to be entirely portable and was moved around Europe five times before retiring to Switzerland. It can only be booked one night at a time, but comes equipped with its own record collection!
47. Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy
Another epic cave-integrated hotel, the Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese is located on the cliffs of Polignano, facing the Adriatic Sea. The cave restaurant, the hotel’s centerpiece, is where meals are served only a couple dozen feet above the crashing waves.
48. Inn at Price Tower, Oklahoma
You might not think “Oklahoma” when you hear the words “epic dream hotel” — but it’s somewhat comforting to think there could be a 221ft, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed tower with luxury accommodations just one town over.