The Most Unusual Luxury Holiday Destinations

Are you looking for a holiday off the beaten path? Unusual holiday destinations which still offer an element of luxury, promise a break from the ordinary and the chance to make memories of a holiday unlike any other. Whether it’s secluded islands, exclusive safaris, or tree-top retreats, these destinations mean you don’t have to give up relaxation and indulgence to satisfy your hunger for adventure. For many travelers, unique experiences are worthwhile paying for. Continue reading to find getaways out of the ordinary, where luxury isn’t just about where you stay, but how uniquely you experience your time away.

1. Antarctica

Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton and experience the ultimate odyssey by traveling to Antarctica for a holiday on the most remote continent on Earth. Stepping onto the Antarctic itself is a privilege few can claim, making this a holiday destination that is not just unusual, but highly exclusive. However, unlike the polar explorers’ harsh conditions, luxury cruises offer an intimate look at the continent’s untouched beauty with all the safety and comfort a 21st-century traveler could ask for.

Naturally, Antarctica has no hotels, but cruise providers can tailor your journey to suit your every preference, so it’s up to you how much time you want to spend on land or onboard the ship. Gourmet dining, polar libraries, and cozy en-suites allow passengers to witness Antarctica’s raw beauty without sacrificing luxury.

2. Socotra Island: An Alien Landscape

Endemic plant Dragon Blood Tree in the island Socotra
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Located off the coast of Yemen, Socotra Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a unique biodiversity shaping a landscape of otherworldly beauty. The island’s umbrella-shaped Dragon Blood Trees—considered the national tree of Yemen—are so named for their bright-red sap, which has historically been used for dying clothes. Stark gray mountains slope into pristine white sand beaches, providing a beautiful view wherever you are on the island.

Because there is only one commercial flight to and from Socotra Island each week, many travelers will choose to take a private jet charter to the island, for better ease of access.

3. Giraffe Manor: Breakfast with Giraffes

In Nairobi, Kenya, Giraffe Manor puts you right on nature’s doorstep in an all-inclusive boutique hotel unlike any other. As the name suggests, what makes Giraffe Manor unique is that endangered giraffes are free to roam around in its gardens, set around an elegant 1930s manor house. You might even be lucky enough to have one poke its head through the window as you eat breakfast, a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter.

It’s not just the animals that make this hotel an incredible place to stay; there’s plenty to do. You can start the day with a complimentary game drive and finish with one of the beauty and massage treatments available at the hotel spa for a magical experience for mind, body, and soul.

4. Underwater Bliss in the Maldives

Submerge into satisfaction at an underwater hotel in the Maldives. What is common with each hotel, though, are the high levels of convenience and first-class amenities. The Muraka, for instance, provides its guests with a 24-hour butler service and complimentary return seaplane transfers. These luxury lodgings offer breathtaking views of marine life swimming peacefully around you, giving a more positive spin to “sleeping with the fishes”!

5. Cappadocia: Hot Air Balloons and Cave Hotels

Turkey’s Cappadocia region is renowned for its moon-like landscape made up of volcanic rock formations called ‘fairy chimneys.’ Strewn across this craggy train are cave hotels, ancient dwellings which make the perfect luxury stay, with many hotels that include restaurants serving delicious Turkish cuisine and in-house spas to ensure guests are as pampered as possible. Private terraces are a common feature, setting the perfect stage to watch the hot air balloons that Cappadocia is known for float by dreamily. Even better: take a hot air balloon trip yourself and experience incredible panoramic views of the rugged, sprawling valleys below.

6. Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats: A Mirror to the Sky

Stay in a luxury hotel made almost entirely of salt on the edges of the Salar de Uyuni. The Palacio de Sal (Spanish for “Palace of Salt”), for example, is a hotel built of salt blocks, where you can bathe in a swimming pool watching the sunset over the Salar. This destination is an incredible sight even during the rainy season, when the flats become a perfect mirror to the sky. This unique region offers a total visual experience, with the vast surrounding whiteness creating the illusion of walking on clouds.

7. The Treehotel, Sweden: Eco-Luxury Among the Treetops


Photo by Flickr

In the forests of Harads in Northern Sweden, the Treehotel offers the ultimate eco-luxury experience. With treehouses designed by leading Scandinavian architects, modern design is nestled into the treetops, particularly the Mirrorcube, whose exterior walls are covered entirely with mirrors, blending seamlessly into the surrounding wilderness. A trip to Harads at the Treehotel promises an unforgettable stay amongst the trees.

Unconventional Luxury Awaits You

Whether it’s waking up to giraffes in Kenya, sleeping under the Antarctic stars, or floating in the trees of Sweden, the world is full of unusual luxury holiday destinations that offer more than just a place to stay. These destinations offer experiences that touch the soul and spark the imagination, providing the backdrop for memories that will last a lifetime.

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