10 Extreme Hotels, Maybe

I don’t usually read Fox News, but one of their headlines caught my eye. “Top 10 Extreme Hotels In The World.” So I had to check out what they’ve listed as the Top 10 and see if I had been to any, heard of any, or had different ideas.  Here’s what Fox News listed:

(all photographs copyright: Fox News) 

Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico

“From breweries to jails, we’ve seen our fair share of neglected properties re-purposed into hotels. But Quinta Real Zacatecas is among our favorites.”

Built from nineteenth-century grandstands in San Pedro which served as a bullfighting ring, the hotel offers 49 colonial-style accommodations, many of which overlook a central patio, the most appealing are the high-end suites, featuring views of the cobblestone-paved bullring. The three-story restaurant, La Plaza, built in the stands has views of the ring, aqueduct and Cathedral of Fatima.

So is this extreme because it’s built in a bull ring?  It’s hard to tell from the hotel’s website

Attrap Reves Allauch, France

“Sure, not everyone dreams of starring in their own space odyssey, but for those who do, this family-owned enterprise provides an apt setting. Campy meets camping in six bubble accommodations with themes ranging from 1001 Nights to Zen.”

Made from recycled materials, the bubbles are touted as eco-friendly, and they are deflated at the end of the season. Although the bubbles are sheer, privacy is ensured, from individual bathrooms to secluded locales within the property. 

Okay, yes, I’d say sleeping in a bubble is a bit extreme.


Taprobane Island, Weligama Bay, Sri Lanka

“Built in the 1920s by a self-appointed count and later owned by the expatriate writer Paul Bowles (who penned Spider House here), this two-and-a-half-acre private island boasts just one sumptuous, five-bedroom villa. Although guests can wade to their exclusive hideaway from the shores of Sri Lanka, it’s more fun to ride in on an elephant.”

Every part of the villa has views of the sea and there’s an infinity pool. Adding to the sense of luxury is the island’s attentive staff, which includes security guards and a dedicated chef whose many specialties include Sri Lankan curries, of course.

Extreme? Maybe Extreme luxury. Extremely far location?  Not a bubble hotel by any means though.


Whitepod, Les Cerniers, Switzerland

“Accessible by shuttle, snow bike and ski lift — depending on the season —Whitepod delivers an exclusive Swiss Alps experience. Situated at 1,400 meters, the camp consists of just fifteen pods designed to resemble igloos. These pods are in fact dome-shaped tents, pitched on raised wooden platforms surrounding a refurbished, nineteenth-century alpine chalet.”

Each lodge is heated by a wood-burning stove and has a private terrace with views of Lake Geneva. There’s a communal area for guests to enjoy breakfast,and social events.

Yes, I’d say this one is extreme.  Where are the toilets is my question?

Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Florida

“There’s no need to head ten thousand leagues beneath the sea for an underwater adventure. Instead, you can scuba dive just 21 feet below the surface through a mangrove lagoon in Florida and drift to your heart’s content. Named in honor of the fantastical world created by author Jules Verne, Jules’ Undersea Lodge began life as an authentic research habitat, and today it is a hotel for up to six people.”Guests with dive certificates are invited to enjoy unlimited diving. If you aren’t certified as a diver, a three-hour course is required in order to reach the hotel, and you can practice with dive excursions in the lagoon with an instructor. Nothing about the “lodge” sounds luxurious.

Underwater hotel? Dive certification required? Yes, I think that would qualify as extreme.

Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast, Farmington, New Mexico


“Being at one with the earth takes on new meaning at Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast. Originally intended as a geological research office, this man-made one-bedroom cave dwelling sits 70 feet below the surface of a mesa and is accessed through an entrance carved into a cliff face. Complete with a working fireplace, it is reminiscent of the nearby Anasazi cliff ruins … with the exception of electricity, carpeting, a Jacuzzi, waterfall shower, flagstone hot tub and comfy Southwestern furnishings.”

There’s a fully stocked kitchen for meals, but you’ll have to cook them yourself. In addition, a patio barbecue and catering team is available. The view spans across four states, as Kokopelli’s is located in the famous Four Corners region of the U.S.

This is extreme in my handbook. A cave? Yes, extreme.

Hotel Kakslauttanen, Lapland, Finland

“Situated next to Urho Kekkonen National Park in remote Lapland, this resort features a variety of lodgings, including gorgeous glass igloos. Built of thermal glass and designed to stay frost free, these truly unique guest rooms offer the opportunity to watch the northern lights from the toasty comfort of your own bed.”

You can also stay in classic snow igloos or log cabin. There are four dining options including a snow restaurant and dining room in a traditional Lappish kota (tent).

I would give glass or snow igloos an extreme factor.  They’re located in one of the more remote areas of world – near the Arctic Circle – and the cold temps alone make it extreme.  This is one place on my bucket list.

Green Magic Resort, Kerala, India

“Surrounded by coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations in the heart of a tropical rainforest, Green Magic Resort is a dream come true for kids at heart. Consider this your own private playground and choose from one of the four two-story tree fort accommodations , located about 80 to 90 feet off the forest floor. One of the tree houses is accessed by an indigenous cane lift that uses a unique water counterweight, while a second accommodation is reached by a hanging bridge.”

I don’t know that I’d consider this extreme. Yes, it’s high up, but it just doesn’t seem that extreme.

Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, Matera, Italy


“This enclave of cave buildings is not what most travelers envision for accommodation when planning their Italian hill town escape. But although the architecture may bring to mind Fred Flintstone, the décor is all about rustically sophisticated charm. The eighteen guest rooms are spread throughout a complex of ancient cave dwellings in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Each features simple furnishings influenced by traditional designs (a local museum was consulted during the reclamation process) and made by area craftspeople. The caves have been modernized for comfort (running water, electricity, etc.), but the focus is on conservation and historical integrity, ensuring a memorably authentic experience.”

Hmmm….extreme? Cave dwellings, yes, I think that would count as extreme. The bed alone looks pretty extreme (as in where’s the soft mattress)

The Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, Cortes de la Frontera, Spain

“Usually, yurts are associated with the outer reaches of Mongolia, but Hoopoe has made these traditional tent-like accommodations an accessible “glamping” experience by setting up six in the rugged Andalusian landscape of southern Spain. Situated within three hectares of olive groves and cork oak forest, each yurt at this fully solar-powered retreat has its own private bathroom and is decorated with antique Mongolian furniture and textiles from a variety of different countries.”

 Again, I’m not sure I really would consider this extreme. Whenever you add the word “glamping” to the description, I think you loose extreme.

So, what do you think? Extreme?  The only one on my bucket list is the igloo in Finland, I’ll pass on the rest.

2 Comments on "10 Extreme Hotels, Maybe"

  1. This one seems in a similar vein – we looked at this place quite seriously for our honeymoon many moons ago now. Basically a small rock in the ocean with a “hotel” on it.


    In the end we went for the larger but still very remote: http://www.denisisland.com/

  2. Great post, it was real fun to read. Personally, I´m a big fan of tree houses and tiny architecture, so I would definitely include Harads tree hotel in Sweden as well. It´s basically a mirrorcube built around a tree trunk. Breathtaking design! And it blends into the background incredibly thanks to the reflective glass panes. They even had to laminate ultraviolet color into the panes so that the birds wouldn´t collide with the surface.

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