I love reading travel and adventure stuff especially Lonely Planet, Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure. Watching NGC since I was 5. Maybe it is the reason I did developed the sense of adventure since childhood. Few days back while browsing on Pinterest, I stumbled upon pictures of jaw-dropping unique stays in the world while searching for aesthetic wallpapers. Well, till now Giraffe Manor in Nairobi (Kenya) where the Giraffe’s regularly greet guests during morning and evening meals. Snow Globe, the cozy igloos stay at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, at the edge of the Arctic Circle, where you’ll sleep, not only under the stars, but under the mystical mint-colored Northern Lights. The Swedish Ice Hotel in Sweden which rebuilt every winter using local water from the Torne River, new suites are designed and constructed from different artists every year were my favorite kinda stay until I read about Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica have a refurbished vintage 1965 Boeing 727 air frame, which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia) turned into a luxury guesthouse and rests on 50-foot-tall supports. (No Kidding!!). Literally the website / google photographs gives me the feeling of Lost (TV Series). Nestled in a jungle canopy. Converted the cockpit section of a McDonnell Douglas, MD-80 fuselage, into an amazing residence built into a steep jungle hillside – The Cockpit Cottage. Whoa!! I want to stay here for sure!! 727 Fuselage Home – guess?? the economy, business and first class converted into a luxury stay. The suite is quite sizable with two queen-sized beds, each with private bath, a kitchenette, dining area, and ocean-view terrace. Other than that, Hotel Costa Verde have 70 rooms built on jungle ridges and bluffs with wi-fi and air-condition. You want more? they have 3 pools on the grounds so one is always close by regardless of where the room is located. Well, I still want to stay in that Cockpit Cottage!! There are more unique hotels though. A 48,500-square-foot hotel named Palacio de Sal in Bolivia is entirely made out of salt. (Yes! Salt).
Believe me there are more!! I have collected many articles. READ HERE. Literally when 5-star luxury hotels or budget B&B’s just won’t cut it, staying at these bizarre hotels will help make a holiday to remember. Well though we all love camping in the middle of jungle near the lake or cruising in the middle of the ocean 🙂 I certainly wish to build some of crazy kinda unique stays someday apart of owning a yacht (fingers crossed!). Here, in India there are few unique stays as well that you can count on. Tree House, Campervan, Cliff Camping, House Boats, Igloos Stay (though nothing can beat the Snow Globe of Sweden!), Capsule / Pod Hotel and Cave Stay. Let’s take a virtual trip ya’
Tree houses can be found in a rain forest or a jungle or tropical areas. A tree house is a platform or building constructed around, next to or among the trunk or branches of one or more mature trees while above ground level. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space, habitation, and observation. Every single soul in this world grew up having a fantasy of a tree house fort. When I was a kid, I used to thought that if we gonna stay in Tree House, we need to sleep with bees and monkeys (hahaha…). Fascinating place to stay!
One of my best friend is fond of Machan, one of the biological hot spots in the world that offer tree houses on many unique trees located in in scenic Jambulne, Maharashtra. About 17 kms from Lonavala. It is a 2.5 hour drive from Mumbai, and 1.5 hour drive from Pune. Stay 45 ft above the Jungle Canopy. Amidst 25 Acres of Lush Forests! Rediscover the essence of adventures in Tree houses rising 30-45 feet above the forest. Eco Friendly Resort. Drive a little away from the urban life of Mumbai to reach Jambulne Island. And of course awarded by many – Conde Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Trip Advisor.
There are more Tree Houses in India than you ever thought!! Tamara Coorg is built without disturbing the natural landscape and contours of the hill. The cottages resemble wood cabins that are designed with stilts on the edges. Striking a perfect balance between luxury and nature, this architectural wonder of a hotel ranks amongst the list of top hotels to stay at in India! Rainforest Boutique Resort in Athirapally (Kerala) faces the Athirapally waterfalls (Asia’s largest waterfall) and cradled by the green Sholayar rainforest. The tree houses here have been designed by a famous Swiss architect. Set in 7 acres of virtually virgin rainforest of Sholayar, the tree houses here are spacious and airy. They have received Best Architecture Award as well 🙂
CARAVAN / CAMPERVAN / MOTORHOME / RV
Do you remember Shahrukh Khan’s movie “Swades?” based on the true life story of a NRI man who returns to his homeland. Decides to rent a caravan to reach the village Charanpur, fearing that he might not get the required facilities there. Caravan or Campervan or Motorhome is a recreational vehicle, and its acronym RV, are generally used to refer to an enclosed piece of equipment dually used as both a vehicle and a temporary travel home with cozy bed, bathroom and a little kitchen. A moving hotel room 😀 A perfect thing to hire while on road trip! A home away from home.
Can we own or rent RV’s in India? Oh buoy! of course YES! Pinnacle Finetza is probably the only Luxury Campervan manufacture in India which gives you the best deal. Pinnacle vehicle’s has designed what it calls a luxury motor home replete with mood lighting, smart televisions, air conditioning, a bedroom, a rest room, and almost anything else you might find at home. The vehicle, which is customisable, is priced at Rs 50-60 lakh. Well, for me owning a convertible luxury car is much preferable than BMW or any other luxury cars. Choices!!
Motorhome Adventures have a Himalayan Package Tour where they will take you Manali to Leh in campervan 🙂 a 10 days road trip mountain adventure.
Wacation on Wheels (WOW) [I like the abbreviation more!], a Nagpur based company and have started the services from Delhi as well. A venture by Neha and Rahul Soman in November 2016. The service offers two kinds of Campers – a four-seater which is appx INR 12,000 a day and a nine-seater which is appx INR 20,000 a day. It come with a driver and a helper who will clean the vehicle for you to have a hassle-free vacay. The facilities include a gas stove, a barbecue grill (that opens out from the side of the van), solar panels to give you hot water, a shower, TV and a generator for power backup. You can rent the campervan to go to anywhere in India <3.
Note: The campervan have access and permission only for two beaches in Goa Agonda (South Goa) and Anjuna (North Goa), where you can park it and have a beach day/night.
Get high on adrenaline!! Well, you just go out and hang (hahaha..) Overnight stay under the sparkling sky, along the reservoir side in just less than INR 4000. A unique camping site which lets you hover mid-air. Remember Ajay Devgn movie “Shivay”? (Oh ya! I am more into giving you examples of movies or TV series :D). First thing first! Cliff hanging camping in India for real?? Smile adventure junkie! I ain’t kidding. Located in Ahmednagar district which is appx 185 kms from Mumbai, there lies a remote village named Bhandardara. On the western side of the Bhandardara region, lies a 300-ft deep-cut valley, called Sandhan Valley, India’s very own Grand Canyon!. Formed over a period of thousands of years, the water carved valley is about 2.5 kms long. The valley is popularly dubbed The Valley of Suspense. If the name itself doesn’t sound intriguing enough, think about trekking along a canyon and then descending into a hanging tent that hovers mid-air. Practically Sandhan Valley is a great combination of a canyon and a valley.
How does the “cliff hanging camping” works?:
The hanging tent a.k.a the portaledge, has an aluminium frame with a sturdy base that can hold the combined weight of two people in the air. These tents are fastened to a large rock using a special rope that can take up to 600kg. You will be safely harnessed to a rope with carabiners at all times, even while inside. There is also one primary safety cable that connects as many as three tents together. The hanging tent was originally designed for an extreme rock climbers who undergo multi-day excursions, and it helped provide shelter for them. Portaledges have now started being identified as a leisure experience for those who live for the thrills and chills of life.
How to reach the cliff?:
Sandhan Valley’s hanging tent trek organisers all follow a similar routine. You will alight at Kasara railway station and head to Samrad village in Ahmednagar, which is the base camp for the trek. For the hanging tent experience, your guides will kit you out in the appropriate gear – helmets, harnesses, knee-caps, elbow guards, the works–before slowly using a rope ladder to lower you into the tent that can hold two people at a time. Finish up with a round of rappelling or an exhilarating valley crossing activity.
Plan your trip between the months of November to February when the weather is pleasant, making it the best time to visit Sandhan Valley.
House Boat is a flat-bottomed, bargelike boat fitted for use as a floating dwelling but not for rough water. A floating home 🙂 Houseboats in India are mainly common to two regions – Kerala and Kashmir. But it’s been expand in Goa, Assam, Kolkata, Puducherry, Coastal of Karnataka and Konkan region of Maharashtra lately.
1. Alfresco Grand, Assam: It takes you through some of Assam’s most beautiful landscapes. Something one should really have an experience at least once in a lifetime 🙂
2. Backwaters Houseboat, Kerala: Kettuvallam is the name of house boat used in Kerala, These traditional kettuvallam Houseboats are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The house boats have all the amenities cosy living rooms, kitchen and balcony for angling. Alappuzha, Kollam and Kumarakom are the citadel of house boats in Kerala, mostly in Vembanad Lake and Ashtamudi Lake.
3. Dal Lake Houseboat, Srinagar: Dal Lake in Srinagar offers the traditional houseboats with Kashmiri style rooms and spacious suite. These traditional houseboat on Dal Lake are the major attractions of Srinagar.
4. John’s Boat Tours, Goa: John’s Boat Tours down the Charpora River are perfect for couples looking to get away, or even for an intimate group of friends. As the houseboat makes its way down the river, slices of Goan life peek out at you from behind the trees—silhouettes of little Goan-Portuguese homes and churches, fishermen bobbing mid-stream as they cast their nets and children playing on the banks.
5. Just A Sail, Goa: Just A Sail’s two-bedroom houseboat takes you down Goa’s Siolim River. They have a bunch of cruise options available, ranging from day cruises to one-night cruises. Top things to do on this houseboat: nothing. Sit back and relax. Tanning on the deck is an option though.
6. My Indian Stay, Goa: This houseboat is located on Goa’s Chapora River, the beach state’s very own little backwater. The houseboat has five deluxe air-conditioned rooms and a view that’s not normally associated with Goa, but one that everyone should experience at some time or the other—the winding river and aquatic birds.
Whoa! India finally have Igloo stay 🙂 Now get the feel of arctic region in India. Keylinga Himalayan Adventures is a winter-sports company based in Manali run by Vikas Kumar and Tashi Dorje, who are offering travellers the experience of laying their head for the night in one of their two newly-built igloos. Manali’s first igloo house that opened to public from January 2019 ❤
The igloos are 8 x 9 foot-wide and 6.5 feet in height, and are made from blocks of compressed snow. Staying in them comes as part of the company’s winter sports adventure program, which includes skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
Accommodation is on a twin-sharing basis, and you will sleep on a thick foam mattress. You won’t be chilly as you’ll be tucked up in warm feather sleeping bags with an extra fleece and a hot water bottle. Only available from mid January till mid March. Ready to book for winter ’19 already?? Hell ya!!
CAPSULE / POD HOTEL
A capsule hotel, also known as a pod hotel. Originated in Japan, capsule living puts emphasis on optimum use of space and offer affordable and chic accommodation for travellers who check into a hotel just to rest their tired bones. Cute, cozy and tiny stay 😀
Well you don’t need to travel to Japan to experience it, Urbanpod — India’s first boutique pod hotel that brings in a never-seen-before combination of affordable living, trendy space and European hostel-like atmosphere has opened in March 2017. Located at Andheri East, Mumbai. They already have bag the award “Certificate of Excellence in 2018” by Trip Advisor. Whoa!!
Urbanpod has a total of 140 pods and rooms that come under three distinct heads — Classic Pods (Single occupancy and have 18 pods for women only), Private Pods (get a bit of extra space!) and The Suites (double occupancy spaces with a window-facing queen sized bed). Every Pod occupant gets baggage lockers outside the pod and complimentary breakfast. Personal TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, power socket, USB ports, mood lighting, and personal safe. (I can see you big smile!).
Urbanpod, founded by entrepreneur duo Shalabh Mittal and Hiren Gandhi, draws inspiration from a similar chain in Singapore, which in turn is based on Japan’s famous capsule hotels from the 1970s. Originally created as accommodation for businessmen looking for a few hours to spend the night after they missed the last train home, capsule hotels have steadily become a global trend.
Urbanpod offers two business centre desks, where guests can work while having a hot cup of coffee. The cafe at Urbanpod serves a twin purpose—a food joint where you can have your meals till 10 PM and a place to sit back and enjoy an evening, either reading a book or having a conversation with a friend.
Turkey is one such destination which I am fascinated since many many years for mainly of two main reason: Wake up to witness marvelous hot air ballooning and valleys, rock formations and caves form naturally, with some of those caves housing sprawling rooms, churches and even accommodation carved out by early Christians over the centuries. One can have a grand experience at Turkey’s Central Anatolia — Cappadocia.
But, hold your breathe folks!! There is a cave-themed resort in India that allows you to try it for yourself, with twenty-first century conveniences and comforts. Nestled in the Garden City of India, Bengaluru, the Guhantara Resort is India’s first cave-dwelling themed resort and every troglodyte traveller’s dream come true. Guhantara Resort offers four types of rooms – Primitive, Lithic, Cave Suite and Lithic Suite. All are beautifully and sustainable designed in accordance with the theme, complete with high-end indulgences and a comfortable atmosphere that blends seamlessly with the rustic architecture. In total, there are 20 rooms, each with a view of the eco-friendly lake formed by rainwater. Rooms prices starts from appx INR 8500 per night.
WAIT! THERE IS MORE BUDDY!! Experience India’s first and one of its kind handcrafted unique cave property in New Delhi by Indrajeet. This unique cave stay is inspired by beauty underneath earth’s layer, you can avail many other paid and free facilities like free 90 minutes of jacuzzi session, free access to the restaurant, free access to the open dining area, free access to dance floor. Enjoy paid facilities like spa treatments, private movie screening. You can view/book it HERE.
Ah! I am sure by now you would have already plan your next holiday while reading this blog on Sunday (almost) mid night 😀 I’aint judge no one! Even I’ve already jotted down few places while writing this. Currently dreaming to stay in the world’s first all-glass underwater hotel suite – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island ❤ opened in November 2018.
World is full of amazing things and I wonder how some people have never to commit suicide or commit unforgivable crime which ends them in prison. For those people who stumbled upon my page today, thank you 🙂 Always being grateful to spend time writing these blogs and to share my amazing travel stories 🙂 Have a great week peeps!! See y’all soon with another travel story. And don’t forget to be grateful. Peace. Ta-daaa.