A taste for the alternative … .jpg

A taste for the alternative …

IF YOU’RE tired of staying in the same old standard hotel rooms with matching mini-bar and en suite, why not get away from it all at one of the more unusual accommodation options on offer throughout the world?  

Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast in Farmington New Mexico is a privately owned luxury cliff dwelling, located near the Mesa Verde National Monument. The views from the cave and the cliff tops are unparalleled, offering the chance to unwind and watch the beautiful southwest sun set over the four states of the Four Corners area. The cave itself is 70 feet below the surface and is reached by a combination of steps and ladders. But, once inside, the 1,650 square foot, one-bedroom cave home, carved from a 65-million-year-old sandstone formation, you’ll find plush carpeting, hot and cold running water, a fully-fitted kitchen including microwave and washer/dryer, cascading waterfall-style shower, and a flagstone hot tub.

Or, how about a stay in PJ’s Underground Guesthouse – a unique bed & breakfast in the township of White Cliffs, Western New South Wales? This unusual abode offers three-and-a-half star accommodation with five guest rooms at the base of an old renovated mine in historic Turley’s Hill. Cave dwelling became popular in the Coober Predy area because the summer temperatures were so intense – even today many of the town’s 150 inhabitants live underground. This is not a place for claustrophobics, but if solitude is your goal, you’ll find it a plenty here.  Perhaps camping is more your style? In Washington, US, you can sample life in a genuine Native American tepee. Located 50 miles north east of Seattle, Skyland Ranch is nestled in a valley next to the Snoqualmie National Forest, which provides 250,000 acres of wilderness for riding and hiking and is surrounded on three sides by 6,000-foot high Cascade Mountains. Your hotel consists of traditional painted tepees, complete with beds and wood fires. Here you can relax in a wilderness setting, eat native dishes, learn authentic native games and skills, while discovering the lifestyle of a people who lived with the earth rather than upon it. But if you really want to get away from it all, why not book a trip to Robinson Crusoe Island, off the coast of Chile? This island offers the ultimate in adventure, romance and the simple life, for those wishing to follow in the footsteps of the famous Alexander Selkirk, a.k.a. Robinson Crusoe.

Crusoe was marooned here for four years and four months until he was finally rescued in 1709 and became the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel. Today, the island has a population of 500 and, with direct flights from Santiago, you too can explore the contrasting landscape of mountains, valleys, ravines, pastures, beaches and bays that provided Crusoe with almost unlimited possibilities of adventure and exploration. There are two lodges for hire, both offering comfortable accommodation, or for the more adventurous, you can camp for one or two nights in the actual cave where Robinson lived. If you fancy something a bit more luxurious, how about camping Maharajah style? For centuries, tents have been an integral part in the life of the desert peoples of India, from the fixed tents of the nomadic tribes of Northern India, the caravanserais of the ancient traders to the seasonal campsites of the rural tribal communities. Now you can experience the opulence of the former royal hunting parties of the Maharajah in The Royal Tents of Rajasthan. These luxurious desert camp tents come equipped with twin beds, en-suite bathrooms, custom made furniture, mosquito nets, electricity, hot water and even room service.

If you prefer something a bit more sturdy, how about hiring your own log cabin for a weekend, complete with a clear mountain stream flowing by and a view of Mount Rainier from your bed? The only difference is that, if you book a room at Cedar Creek Treehouse Mount Rainier, US, you’ll find that your cabin is 50 feet up in a giant cedar tree. You’ll be living in the tree canopies of a lush temperate rainforest, complete with a mammoth tree trunk growing straight up through the floor of your kitchen and disappearing through the ceiling – a magical experience.  Finally, if you feel you’ve seen all there is to see of the earth, why not explore below the surface of the ocean? Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, US, is an authentic underwater research habitat that is open to anyone – even those who have never dived before. And although the lodge still functions as a research lab, you will be pleased to know that it has air-conditioning, hot showers, a fully stocked galley and unlimited diving for certified divers!

And if Key Largo is too far to travel, fear not! Plans are also being considered for an undersea hotel in the Mediterranean. Crescent Hydropolis Resorts Plc, which is currently building a deep sea resort in Dubai, is also considering building an underwater resort in the Bay of Palma in Majorca, as well as in nine other locations in North America, the Indian Ocean and the Far East. The Dubai project will offer luxury accommodation surrounded by high-class restaurants, bars, a ballroom, cinema, casino, shops and a children’s sea world education centre.  So, whether it’s Wild West wilderness, cool caverns or even refreshingly different underwater lodgings you’re after, call us here at PDM and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!