When I travel I prefer to stay off the beaten path. I’m not into luxury resorts. I prefer to stay somewhere low key, quiet, and, if I can find it, quirky. However, I may opt for luxury for the opportunity to experience some of the most amazing hotels ever designed.

Consider the Marques De Riscal in Elciego, Spain. Futuristically inspired, this hotel is constructed of enormous prisms that create the illusion of the hotel floating above the ground. Metallic rooftop waves reflect the colors of the rainbow and, in some ways, reminds me of ribbons of salt water taffy.

Sheraton has erected an unusual hotel half on land and half on the waters of Lake Taihu in Huzhou, china. The inverted horseshoe shaped venue is a testimony to the masters of modern Chinese architecture.

Many people, including myself, are fascinated with the beauty of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. I, however, am not a fan of the cold. But the Kakslauttanen resort in Saariselka, Finland has solved that problem for me. I can lie back and relax in the cozy warmth of an igloo that features a glass ceiling. I can gaze at the Northern Lights to my heart’s content and never get so much as a chill.

My favorite vacation destination usually involves a sandy, sunny beach. That is why the Le Manta Resort in Zanzibar, Tanzania is probably the perfect place for me. Vacationers have the option of staying in a house that floats atop the clear waters and even has a room that descends into the waters below. Through the bedroom window guests can enjoy up close and personal views of sealife. No snorkel involved!

If you’re not prone to altitude sickness, you can book a room at the Leaprus eco-hotel based in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia. At an altitude over 12,000 feet, this hotel is one of the highest in the world. And height is not the only peculiar thing about this hotel. Each room looks like the capsule of a spaceship and is constructed so as to reach out over the craggy slopes of Mount Elbrus. And better yet, it’s all solar powered.

Ages ago one of the seven wonders of the world was the legendary hanging gardens of Babylon. Well, there may be a Balinese resurrection of these wonders. A hotel going by that very name, Hanging Gardens, can be found in Ubud, Indonesia. Rather than book a room, each guest actually books a villa that has its own private terrace which, rather than featuring a regular, boring patio, is actually has an infinity pool. If you are looking for a lush, tropical, peaceful get away, this is the most soothing garden ever.

Usually, when one thinks of vacationing in Egypt, visions of sand and pyramids immediately come to mind. Waterpark fun is not even remotely connected to the idea of an Egyptian holiday. Aqua Blu Resort changes all of that. It is the nation’s most famous water resort. It has over thirty slides and scores of cafes and trendy shops. And, if you want to step out of the pool and into the sea, no problem since it is also a seaside resort.

Now everyone knows the clearest, bluest most tranquil waters are to be found surrounding the Greek isles. The Greek island of Santorini is no exception. Katikies, a Cliffside hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea, probably has the most majestic ocean views I have ever seen in my life. Truly this must be the birthplace of a god named Poseidon.

There is simply no end to the list I could make of fascinating and stunning places to visit. But, for now, I do believe that is quite enough to add to my bucket list.




Written by Gemma