Staying at a unique hotel with breathtaking views of otherworldly landscapes is many vacationers’ dream that can easily become a reality. The location and accommodations of certain lodgings may even astonish the most experienced travelers. When four boring walls, a large bed and a mini-bar fridge are acceptable but not exciting, use your imagination and book a cave. Not all underground rooms are equal. Some are luxurious, while others are very basic. In any case, they all have their own unique history and mystery.
Corte San Pietro, a tiny neighborhood with a courtyard where rooms and suites are carved out from the tufa stone, soft local sedimentary limestone. It has everything you need for an intimate and comfortable vacation, including bathtubs for two. Designed by a romantic couple, the five-room stylish lodging where the walls are made of stones also has candles, large beds, flat screen TVs and Internet. The hotel also offers baby-sitting and massages upon request. The historical structure has been laid bare, enhancing the masonry in tufa stone featured by niches and old-aged openings, and topped by large vaults. A standard room for two is €250 ($275) per night.
Why not stay at the “largest, deepest, darkest, oldest, quietest motel room in the world” or at least in the U.S.? The Grand Canyon Caverns are 200 feet by 400 feet with 70-foot ceilings (there is no chance you will feel claustrophobic), formed more than 65 million years ago, and located 220 feet below the surface. The Underground Cave Suite is $800 per night for two people. It is completely furnished with all amenities one would need – two beds, sofa, kitchenette, bathroom, tables and chairs. The water is hand carried down and up by staff. Possibly the best part of the trip is the chance to explore the caves without the crowds.
While there are above ground options, you can opt out for the dug-out style living and find everything you need underground – from rooms to stores and bars. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings, quiet, cool, dark and airy. Go on a specialized tour to explore the surrounding rugged and stunning outback. Drive over to Lake Eyre, the lowest natural point in Australia at approximately 50 feet below sea level. Underground rooms are about $160 per night.
Cappadocia is a semi-arid region in central Turkey that is most famous for odd rock formations clustered in Monks Valley. Tourists go to explore Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by cave dwellers and later used as refuges by early Christians. There are many hotels you can stay in including the Uchisar Cave Pansion, which offers hiking, horseback riding, hot air balloon tours as well as bike tours. Other popular choices are Kısmet Cave House in Göreme, known for its colorful rooms, Serinn House, a small cave inn, and Cappadocia Cave Suites with folk and handicraft items as décor. Some of the 33 guest rooms even have a Jacuzzi. The rate is about $100 per night.
Sala Silvermine is known as the deepest hotel room in the world at 500 feet underground. It can only be accessed through a mine lift shaft. As you can imagine, there is no room service or anything you’d expect in a luxurious hotel, except a comfortable double bed, silver furnishings and champagne platter. It’s cold and damp, but absolutely gorgeous. One night in the bizarre suite will cost about $500. Sala Silvermine, as the name suggests, was a mine, which produced about 3 tons of silver a year used mostly for coins.
The five levels of about 260 abandoned caves in Almeria Province, Southeast Spain, about 240 miles from Madrid, were inhabited during the silver rush. The caves were created between 1900 and 1300 BC and were first home to prehistoric dwellers. Many of the caves have been destroyed by erosion but some have been made into homes and tourist lodgings. The nearby Cuevas del Almanzora even has a luxurious golf resort. Cuevas el Guindas are three self-catering caves with kitchens, rocky bathrooms and a pool terrace. The rate is about $55 per night per person, or $75 for two people.
Star Wars fans are going to love Hotel Marhala. Some scenes, mostly from Episode IV were shot there. Rooms are dug into the ground, remnants of a constructed underground town dating back to the 4th century. The experience may even feel a bit like camping, but with beds and other simple accommodations. “The rooms are quite basic and the bathroom is shared, but they have a good bar and the Wi-Fi in the lobby is good,” one person wrote on TripAdvisor.
Exclusive, incredible and expensive – staying there will cost you about $1,600 per night. Nestled into a living cave, Beckham Creek Cave Lodge, is a 6,000 sq. ft. lodge with every modern amenity you can imagine, wrapped into a natural cave. The cave hotel is in the Ozark Mountains just minutes from the Buffalo National River. There are cavernous ceilings, walls of rock and a natural waterfall in the center of the main room.
The Kokopelli’s Cave house is built about 70 feet underground into the vertical cliffs of Tertiary Ojo Alamo sandstone. It overlooks the La Plata river valley, a stunning location for sunsets and sunrises, as well as for views of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado that make up the Four Corners. People can reach the cave by walking down a sloping path and steps that cut into the sandstone along the pathway. The man-made cave has a bathroom with a waterfall shower and Jacuzzi, a kitchen, Kiva area, a living room and bed room. The rate is $280 per night per one or two people.
Santorini, an island in the Aegean Sea, is a dream vacation for any adventurer, especially those who like unconventional trips such as hiking an activevolcano or staying in cave dwellings. Caves are even available for rent on AirBnb and usually cost around $350 per night. The Lava Caves Suite, and its pearl white walls, is minute away from the ruins of the old castle. It features a comfy bedroom, living room, kitchenette, private veranda, Jacuzzi, and views of the Caldera’s rugged volcanic beauty.