>Bettina Kowalewski


A handpicked selection of 27 extraordinary hotels from around the world. Every hotel offers an unforgettable and original place to stay.
Hotels spotlighted include the Ice Hotel in Sweden, an actual bed in a tree, a room underwater, a wine barrel and even a night in a suitcase!
Each hotel entry suggests three interesting, and often unusual, things to do nearby.

5 thoughts on “>Bettina Kowalewski

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    ベティーナ・コバレブスキー著 松井貴子訳




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    >Chalkley & Jackalberry Treehouses, Lion Sands
    Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa
    The title accommodations of the book are these twin "bed in a tree" options at Lion Sands, a five-star safari lodge in a private game reserve. The treehouses are open platforms with railings, complete with bed, chairs, table, mosquito netting and a personal valet. "For me, it's a dream to sleep in the middle of nature with no walls," Kowalewski says. "I saw two rhinos right beneath me. It is not a zoo." The treehouses are one-night options only for guests of the luxury lodge.

    Igloo Village Kakslauttanen
    Lapland, Finland
    This complex of igloos in a pristine pine forest originally used real snow each winter, but since the main attraction is the Northern Lights, guests were constantly standing outside looking up and shivering. So the owner decided to build 20 permanent igloos from insulated glass so visitors could stay warm while taking it all in. "For anyone living in a city, it is incredible to look at the night sky here," Kowalewski says. "It's very remote, the landscape is beautiful, and you just lie there looking at it." The glass never frosts up, and the igloos are large, comfortable, well-appointed and warm — even when temperatures dip below minus 20.

    Dog Bark Park Inn
    Cottonwood, Idaho
    Sweet Willie, a wooden beagle, stands 33 feet high and bears a sign reading, "I'm a B&B." The couple who built Sweet Willie are dog lovers and professional chain-saw artists known for their carvings of dog breeds. "Instead of chocolates on the pillow, you get dog biscuit-shaped cookies," Kowalewski says. "You eat in his stomach and look out through his eyes."

    Landers, Calif.
    This alien, domed structure in the Mojave Desert looks like an astronomical observatory — without the telescope. Integratron was the life work of George van Tassel, an aircraft mechanic who claimed visitors from Venus gave him the plans for a machine to reverse the aging process. The dome is 100 feet high and the upper half rotates, but van Tassel died before he could "activate" it. Today the Integratron is a one-room hotel with New Age tendencies. "There is a table, like an altar, covered with objects of spiritual importance left by people from all over the world," Kowalewski says. "It's fascinating."

    Les Roulottes
    Ouroux, France
    Ever wanted to join the circus? You can, at least for one night, at this property in the heart of Beaujolais wine country. A roulotte is a gypsy wagon, once used by traveling circuses, and the owners, who build and sell replica roulottes, have restored three with circus themes and décor. The wagons are parked in a meadow alongside a stone chateau, where meals are served. "It was once their dream to live in a wagon like this, but instead they have made it possible for their guests to do what they always wanted to," Kowalewski says.

    Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
    The worldwide renown of this unique hotel, rebuilt every winter entirely from ice, has spawned other ice hotels, but this is the original and largest, now in its 20th winter. The hotel spans more than 16,000 square feet, with a grand reception hall and 64 rooms. Each year, 30 to 40 suites are sculpted by invited artists. Everything from tables to chairs to walls is ice, covered with lots of furs and blankets. "Besides the hotel and the famous bar, with glasses made of ice, there is a chapel where you can get married and even an ice theater where they perform only Shakespeare," Kowalewski says.

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    >Propeller Island City Lodge
    This eccentric urban hotel describes itself as a "habitable work of art." All 27 rooms are themed, including the flying room, with padded surfaces and a bed on chains; the Castle, where each piece of furniture is a miniature building; and the Crypt, which you crawl past a skull to enter — and sleep in a coffin. "I stayed in the upside-down room, where the furniture hangs off the ceiling," Kowalewski says. "The windows even have upside-down landscape pictures." The hotel is downtown, and rates start at $90.

    Jailhotel Lowengraben
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    As recently as 1998, this hotel was a working prison, and little has changed. You still sleep in the original cots in the same cells, each adorned with signage describing a former occupant's tale of woe. "They have the catwalks where the guards could watch everything, and it's a little bit spooky," Kowalewski says. Because the building is historic, it occupies a prime setting in Lucerne's desirable Old Town, just off the lake. The hotel is not entirely stark: Its trendy, neon-lit bar is popular with locals and even features disco night on Thursdays.

    Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel
    Cappadocia, Turkey
    The bizarre rock landscape of Cappadocia has made the UNESCO World Heritage Site one of the most popular spots in Turkey. It is also one of the most historic, with man-made cave dwellings going back 4,000 years. The hotel complex has 27 caves, each one a home furnished with beds, antiques and, of course, Turkish rugs. Kowalewski says, "The whole environment is surreal, like being on the moon, and it is so heavy with history at every turn, you can feel the beginnings of civilization."

    The Capsule Hotel
    The Hague, Netherlands
    "Hotel" may be a stretch: This is simply two orange, repurposed escape capsules from an offshore oil rig floating in an urban canal — and not always the same one. Inspired by the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, in which Bond and his femme fatale float away in such a rig, each capsule has a karaoke machine of Bond songs and DVDs of Bond films. That's about as luxurious as it gets, with a hammock for bed, chemical toilet and no running water. "It's a very industrial experience," Kowalewski says.

    Pension Kamerichs
    Bad Laasphe, Germany
    Pension Kamerichs, located in Westphalia, Germany, is a B&B—minus the roof. The “room” consists of a white iron bed on a pretty green lawn, plus a nightstand and a chair. Sure, there’s not much privacy—though the lawn humorously boasts a door frame, but the prospect of sleeping out in the fresh air sounds pretty appealing. Marie-Luise Kamerichs, the enthusiastic proprietor, provides old-fashioned nightclothes for the guests (as demonstrated in several funny photos in the book), and breakfast is included.

    Park Plane Hotel
    Waitomo, New Zealand
    Waitomo, New Zealand’s Woodlyn Park Plane Hotel provides guestrooms on a 1940s Bristol B-170. The plane has plenty of history, having once carried military personnel into Thailand and Hong Kong. The rooms pictured look considerably more comfortable than economy class fold-back seats, and the cockpit unit, complete with the switches and knobs of the control panel, offers an especially unique stay. The hotel’s owner also runs a converted train wagon hotel, a Hobbit Motel, and a World War II patrol boat hotel.


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