For many travelers, a hotel room is just a place to sleep and store luggage while they explore their surroundings and enjoy local attractions. However, these unique accommodations represent the heart of any journey. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-them pop-up hotels are located around the world and offer amenities for their guests ranging from concierge service to gourmet meals.
1. Ice Hotel, Northern Finland
The best place to view the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, is north of the Arctic Circle. Each winter, the Ice Hotel in northern Finland allows guests the opportunity to do just that. By the time spring arrives, each year’s version of the Ice Hotel is well on its way to melted oblivion.
Each room is actually an igloo created from carved blocks of ice, with an appointed with animal skins to provide warmth and carvings for decorative interest. There is a common area with indoor heat and a fireplace to allow guests to warm up, along with a sauna, Finland’s gift to the world.
2. The Pop-Up Hotel, Various Locations, United KingdomPhoto: thepopuphotel.com
The Pop-Up Hotel “chain” is hardly made up of hotels at all. Instead, these temporary accommodations are comprised of tents, yurts, mobile homes and other unusual places to stay. These luxury-appointed pop-up hotels include gourmet meals and are often located near happenings throughout the United Kingdom, allowing attendees to soak up more of the atmosphere of each event.
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3. Papaya Playa Project, Tulum, Mexico
If your fantasy is spending your days in a tropical paradise, the 34-room Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, located in southern Mexico is ideal. These hut-based accommodations are far from rustic featuring gourmet foods and linen bedcovers. Located steps from the water, this pop-up hotel redefines the term”getting away from it all.”
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4. Sleeping Around, Antwerp, BelgiumPhoto: sleepingaround.eu
You thought shipping containers were just for shipping goods across oceans and roadways? The four converted shipping containers that make up the Sleeping Around pop-up hotel in Antwerp, Belgium contain every amenity travelers could desire. Rain showers, iPod docking containers along with a communal lounge and sauna allow guests to relax in style. The exact location of the Sleeping Around pop-up hotel varies from time to time, so visitors get to see different aspects of Antwerp.
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5. San Giogio, Mykonos, Greece
For luxury that is inspired by natural surroundings, the San Giorgio pop-up hotel located in Mykonos, Greece is just the ticket. Opening in May, the San Giorgio’s season spans the warmer months. Good food and luxury accommodations are also part of the package, and, of course, visitors are treated to the spectacular beauty of Greece.
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6. Citygate Central Sydney Pop-Up Hotel, Sydney, Australia
How would you like waking up to a view of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge? Guests of the Citygate Central Sydney Pop-Up Hotel enjoyed just that. In addition, they were treated to the services of a concierge, security guard and a personal chef in addition to luxurious tent-based accommodations.
7. A Room for London, London, England
Do you feel lucky? This single room designed for one or two guests takes bookings based on a lottery. Located in the heart of London, A Room for London is a converted boat that is located atop the Southbank Centre. A stay at A Room for London allows lucky lottery winners the opportunity to explore England’s capital city.
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8. Hotel Everland, Lake Neuchatel, SwitzerlandPhoto: everland.ch
Making its initial appearance in 2002 on the shores of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, Hotel Everland has been called the world’s first pop-up hotel. This one-room accommodation began its life as an art project collaboration by Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. The hotel has since moved to Leipzig, Germany and to Paris, France, where it remained open from 2007 to 2009.
9. The San Vicente Bungalows, Los Angeles
The San Vicente Bungalows offers tourists an experiential yet comfortable stay. There are 29 whitewashed bungalows along with a great pool surrounded by fascinating gardens. The service is excellent and the staff is friendly. If you are looking for a serene environment, this hidden oasis in the heart of west Hollywood is your perfect bet.
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10. Snoozebox, Various Locations, United KingdomPhoto: snoozebox.com
Snoozebox pop-up hotels are comprised of converted shipping containers grouped in collections varying in size from 40 to 400 rooms. Each individual shoebox sized room nonetheless contains all the usual amenities travelers expect, including comfortable beds, air conditioning, private baths, televisions and Wi-Fi connections. Snoozeboxes accommodated many of the attendees of the 2012 Olympics.
Each of these accommodations has unique features, yet many of them share several features, including spectacular scenery, small size and first-class accommodations. Would-be guests should book early – besides being temporary, these pop-up hotels are often booked out months in advance. Guests should also be prepared to open their wallets. While many of these accommodations are tent-based or converted shipping containers, there is nothing rustic about any of them.