It’s finally summer at our house. School is out, and we are all precisely as happy as you would expect. Our family gets to take occasional weekend getaways, but summer is the time when we really get the vacation bug. With kids and work responsibilities, everyone has to plan and save and schedule vacations — us included. But what if you could go anywhere? What if you and your spouse or even the whole family could pick a vacation that really is like a dream? Where would you go?
I have some ideas. Thank you, Pinterest.
Here are a few places that are on our list … as long as it’s a money-is-no-object/trip-of-a-lifetime kind of list.
1. Manta Resort on Tanzania’s Pemba Island: Get this … Your room is anchored in the water offshore! You can go downstairs in your cabin thingy and be underwater. Or you can dive off your deck and snorkel. If I ever make it to Manta Resort, I might never leave. Except during hurricanes.
(Photographer: Jesper Anhede)
2. Hotel Kakslauttanen (Finland): If you’ve ever want to experience the outdoors in the winter but don’t like the cold — which would be me, of course — you can enjoy all the snowy beauty while staying cozy and warm. Because: Glass igloo!
3. Treehotel (Sweden): Just as the name suggests, you can stay in ultramodern rooms built in trees in a Swedish forest. To name a few: The Mirrorcube, the Bird’s Nest, and the Tree Sauna. Um.
4. Phinda Homestead (South Africa): What’s more fun than your family and African wildlife together in a lodge on a private games reserve? Good morning, elephants! (Are those walls lion-proof?)
5. Conrad Maldives Hotel: Sure, you have to take a 30-minute private seaplane to get there. But that’s kinda required if you want to sleep and eat while being surrounded by sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and turtles. Out here, the aquarium is YOU.
6. Hotel de Glace (Quebec, Canada): This hotel opened in 2001 and has been rebuilt every December since. Why? Because it’s made of ice. It’s the first true ice hotel in North America. And it has a grand ICE SLIDE, y’all! Ice sliding wasn’t on my bucket list until right now.
7. Marataba Safari Lodge (South Africa) I love that this is a not for-profit hotel. It’s on a game preserve that generates revenue to support the preserve’s continued projects and restore the natural balance of flora and fauna in the region. But bean bags on a tall porch in Africa? Sign me up.
8. Montaña Mágica Lodge (Chile): First, this structure is a “manmade geyser.” I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’d rather stay in a “manmade geyser” than a “Holiday Inn.” Second, it’s a UNESCO biosphere reserve that has hot springs buried in the center of tree trunks. Third, it’s home to the pudú (the world’s tiniest deer). I didn’t know tiny deers existed until today, but now I have to see a pudú before I die. Do hobbits ride those? This looks like a hotel for hobbits.
9. Juvet Landscape Hotel (Norway): This is described as Europe’s first “landscape hotel.” It’s built with seven stilted glass-walled cubes in an effort to maintain the illusion of complete integration with the surroundings.
10. Astarte Suites Hotel (Greece): Luxury for the sake of luxury. This place has the best infinity pool I’ve ever seen, a Jacuzzi in every room, world-class pampering plus a volcano. I think I’ll leave the kids at home for this one.
Looks like I need to start saving for at least ten separate vacations. Who’s coming with me?