Underwater Room, Manta Resort (themantaresort.com)
List Words : Amy Horsfield | 13 April

9 of the most incredible places to sleep

Fancy sleeping somewhere more memorable than a hotel room or regular campsite? From treetop tents to a human-sized nest, you'll have a night to remember in these spectacular spots

Best for... A night under the stars

Want to spy on Africa's Big Five from the comfort of your bed? At Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, you can do just that. The hotel's two Star Beds overlook the Kiboko waterhole, so you can bed down under a blanket of stars and wake up to the sounds of the animals springing to life.


Star Bed, Loisaba Conservancy (loisaba.com)

These immensely cosy, handcrafted four-poster beds are equipped with insect netting – so you're protected from mosquitoes while you're admiring your surroundings. This is wildlife watching at its most comfortable and luxurious.

Best for... Daredevils

Tired of your tent? Take camping to the next level at Waldseilgarten Hollschlucht – an adventure centre deep in Germany's Pfronten mountains. Here you can sleep in the treetops, in a specially-designed tent that swings from the forest canopy.

Tree camping, Waldseilgarten Hollschlucht (waldseilgarten-hoellschlucht.de)
Tree camping, Waldseilgarten Hollschlucht (waldseilgarten-hoellschlucht.de)

The tents are only accessible via a rope, but once you're settled for the night you're in for a real treat. Where else could you appreciate the beauty of the German Alps in such tranquility? And if you want to really test your limits, Waldseilgarten Hollschlucht also offers guests the chance to sleep on a tiny shelf on a sheer rock face, 2,000m above the ground.

Best for... Adventure seekers

You must complete a challenging climb in order to reach your far-flung accommodation, but a peaceful night's sleep in this utterly remote location is well worth the effort. 2,835 metres above sea level on the Frebouze Glacier in the Monte Blanc massif, the Bivacco Gervasutti capsule – named after Turin-born Alpine climber Giusto Gervasutti – is a sleeping experience like no other.

Bivacco Gervasutti (bivaccogervasutti.com)
Bivacco Gervasutti (bivaccogervasutti.com)

It's simple but functional. Guests spend the night in basic bunk beds, but of course the real attraction is the awe-inspiring location. Bivacco Gervasutti sleeps up to 12 people, and also includes a kitchen and living area.

Best for... High fliers

Sleeping on planes isn't usually fun or easy, but businessman Oscar Dios changed all that when he converted a retired jumbo jet into a 33-room hotel. Located just steps away from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden, the Jumbo Stay Hotel offers guests a truly original sleeping experience.

Jumbo Stay Hotel (jumbostay.com)
Cockpit Suite in Jumbo Stay Hotel (jumbostay.com)

You can choose to stay in standard rooms, shared dorms or suites (including a double en suite room in the cockpit). And if you need some time to unwind, you can kick back in the communal lounge, with a cocktail from the 'onboard' bar.

Best for... Waking up in the wilderness

Travel deep into the Arctic wilderness and sleep on board an ice-bound ship, the only one of its kind in the world. After a 70km journey across Svalbard by a husky-driven sled or snowmobile, you will reach SV Noorderlicht, a 105-year-old Dutch schooner marooned in the ice.


SV Noorderlicht (naturalworldsafaris.com)

A night onboard this frozen ship is like stepping into the shoes of an Arctic explorer – with a few extra mod cons. Below deck you'll find a warm lounge and cabin, home-cooked food, and a licensed bar stocked with Expedition Champagne. If you're lucky you might spot Arctic foxes, walruses, seals and even polar bears around the ship. The hotel will reopen in 2017.

Best for... Getting back to nature

This small but homely cabin in the middle of the Swedish woodland, with no electricity or showers, will put you back in touch with the natural world. The Hobbit-style huts of Kolarbyn Ecolodge are well camouflaged by mud and grass whilst mushrooms and bilberries grow on their roofs.

Kolarbyn Ecolodge (wildsweden.com)
Kolarbyn Ecolodge (wildsweden.com)

Each cabin has two beds and its own fireplace, but guests must provide their own sleeping bags. It's a novel way to get back to nature – and a spectacular spot at dawn, when the forest awakens to the sound of birdsong.

Best for... Sleeping with the fishes

Explore under the waves at Manta Resort on Pemba Island, Zanzibar, without even getting your feet wet. The Underwater Room is suspended nine metres below sea level, so you can spy the island's sea life in comfort.

Underwater Room, Manta Resort (themantaresort.com)
Underwater Room, Manta Resort (themantaresort.com)

Breakfast and dinner is served above deck in the luxury dining area, and from there you can descend into your underwater bedroom. Spotlights shine beneath each window, attracting even the reef's most timid animals.

Best for... Creating your own wild nest

Want to wake up to mesmerising vistas of Big Sur? Bed down in the Human Nest at California's Treebones Resort – a cosy bolthole reached only by ladder, where breathtaking views come as standard.

Big Sur at sunset (Dreamstime)
Big Sur at sunset (Dreamstime)

The Human Nest is the work of Californian artist Jayson Fann, who created the structure entirely from wood. It sleeps a maximum of two, and guests must bring their own sleeping bags and pillows (though mattresses are provided). As the Human Nest is not water proof, you might want to bring your own tent in case of bad weather.

Best for... Watching the Northern Lights

The thermal glass igloos in Hotel Kakslauttanen in Finland give you a private view of the Northern Lights, all from the comfort of a luxury lodge. The hotel is nestled deep in the Arctic Circle near Finland's Urho Kekkonen National Park. The non-existent light pollution in this remote area offers guests the best possible view of the Aurora Borealis, whilst the insulated igloos keep your cosy and warm in the freezing climate.

Glass Igloos of Hotel Kakslauttanen (kakslauttanen.fi)
Glass Igloos of Hotel Kakslauttanen (kakslauttanen.fi)

Hotel Kakslauttanen also boasts the world's largest smoke sauna, plus an ice bar and snow chapel (built from scratch every winter). This is a spell-binding place to witness one of the world's most incredible natural phenomena.


Main image: Underwater Room, Manta Resort (themantaresort.com)