To take your travel experience to the next level, embrace the experiential resort trend and immerse yourself in out of this world adventures. Think bedding down in an igloo in the arctic, cocktails in an underwater room in Tanzania, glamping amid archaeological wonders in Jordan or afternoon tea with the giraffes in Kenya. Book a stay at any of our favorite experiential resorts around the planet to feel like you’re living in a scene from one of the best Hollywood travel flicks.
Arctic SnowHotel and Glass Igloos
Destination: Lapland, Finland
Fancy spending your vacation in your own private glass igloos to enjoy magical, unfiltered views of the Northern Lights? Or perhaps you prefer a luxury hotel carved entirely of snow? Located in the middle of the Arctic Circle, the Arctic SnowHotel and Glass Igloos which operate from September through March (Glass Igloos) and December through March (Arctic SnowHotel) offer an arctic adventure you’ll never forget.
Experiential experience: The resort’s tour guides will take your small group on a snowshoe hiking excursion to explore the snow cover forest. Or venture to adjacent Lake Lehtojärvi to ice fish for perch and whitefish. Afterward, sip on cocktails served in ice glasses at the Ice Bar, or dine inside a restaurant made of ice. With temperatures as low as -5℃, you might also want to warm up in the steamy on-site snow sauna where everything but the benches are made of snow and ice.
Destination: Pemba Island, Tanzania
If you’re looking to escape to the end of the earth Manta Resort on the remote Pemba Island, Tanzania, is one of Africa’s most remote islands and has its own underwater room. Enjoy a digital detox while immersing yourself in an untouched island paradise. Guests stay in traditional thatched-roof cottages filled with brightly colored traditional Pemban textiles with breathtaking views of the pristine white beaches, untouched coral reefs and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Experiential experience: The resort’s private underwater guest room quite literally floats in the ocean, complete with three stories of inhabitable space. Enjoy the above-water lounge area, stargazing area, and sun tanning bed. As an experiential resort, you can also choose from sea and land adventures ranging from snorkeling and scuba to fully customizable safari excursions through the Ngezi rainforest.
Destination: Nairobi, Kenya
Giraffe Manor, a stately manor house built in the early 30s is one of Nairobi’s most famous architectural treasures, but that’s not the only reason guests flock here. The manor located in a suburban Nairobi neighborhood is modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge that is home to expansive grounds, gardens, and its most beloved residents the Rothschild Giraffes.
Experiential experience: The herd of giraffes that live on the property typically visit twice a day. In the morning, they’ll pop their long necks through the dining room’s open windows looking for a treat while you enjoy your coffee and breakfast. And again in the late afternoon while you’re taking tea on the terrace. If you’re really lucky they might even come close enough to give you a “giraffe kiss.” At all other times, you can watch as these magnificent endangered creatures wander through the surrounding fields.
Bubble Luxotel Petra
Destination: Petra, Jordan
If glamping under the stars amid ancient archaeological sites sounds like your idea of a vacation, Bubble Luxotel Petra enables you to do just that. Located in Wadi Musa, the closest city to Petra is just minutes from Jordan’s famed archeological wonder The Treasury, an elaborate temple carved out of sandstone. One of the most unique hotels in the world, guests stay in one of 20 bubble-shaped guest rooms equipped with a luxe private bathroom and wooden deck with a hot tub to enjoy the panoramic sunsets, sunrises and stargazing over. Here, you will indulge in unobstructed views of the vast desert and Petra Mountains.
Experiential experience: In the evenings you will be treated to a full Bedouin feast of salads, hummus, tahini roasted meats and Kanafa, a cheesecake-like dessert made from goats milk in the main tent. Enjoy your fill before embarking on a staff-led walk away from the camp specifically for stargazing. Make sure you pack your camera and tripod for this evening walk to capture long exposure shots of the illuminated night sky.