Everyone should have a personal hotel bucket list—that collection of places you’d love to check out, no matter price, location or what it takes to get there. My list has a few oddballs.
In case you missed it, we ran a story earlier this week on Hotel News Now on the topic of solo leisure travelers. Our reporter Danielle Hess talked to hoteliers about some fascinating data from Phocuswright that breaks down solo travel demographics.
It’s a topic I enjoy reading about because I do a lot of solo travel. No, it’s not because I don’t have any family or friends willing to travel with me (like a lot of Ecuadoreans wondered aloud to my face when I traveled there by myself last year). It’s mostly because I do a lot of solo business travel, so it often makes sense to extend those trips, when I can, to see new places (yes, “bleisure” is alive and well for me).
I’ve found that I really enjoy solo travel. I can choose everything I do myself, come and go as I please and never have to compromise—so I can stay at whatever off-the-wall place I want. That means I’m always bookmarking lodgings for my never-ending bucket list. Today I thought I’d share a couple of my top contenders, just for fun:
Billed as “a transparent luxury capsule that hangs from the top of a mountain in the sacred valley of Peru,” the Natura Vive Skylodge suites are constructed on a 1,200-foot mountain. They’re 24-by-8-feet and made out of windows. Each one has a private bathroom, AND included in the price is a gourmet wine dinner! I mean, sure, instead of a “door” each capsule has an “exit portal,” but come on. This is amazing. To get there, you have to climb a 400-foot Via Ferrata course or hike through a zipline trail.
This is technically more of a home-stay scenario, but it’s still on my bucket list. Artist Andrea Zittel developed the Wagon Station Encampment on her property, adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park. Guests stay at one of twelve “pods,” which mimic NASA Mars prototypes designed to protect people from the elements. I can’t really describe it—just look at it. The overall project is a bit of a commune—guests can apply for twice-yearly residencies at the camp. Wonder if they have Wi-Fi?
Now this one is a little more within reach. In the 1930s and ’40s, Frank Redford developed a concept for a campground made of wigwams. What else would you expect from a guy who also built an ice cream shop to resemble an upside-down cone? Redford’s empire at one time included seven Wigwam Villages across Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, New Orleans, California and Arizona. Now only three remain, so my time is running out.
I saved my favorite for last. This remote lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon can only be reached on foot, by mule or by rafting the Colorado River. Designer Mary Jane Colter created sketches for these lodges and cabins in the 1920s and refused to release them to the National Park Service unless they used her name for them—Phantom Ranch—instead of the name they wanted—Roosevelt’s Chalets. I’ve been to Phantom Ranch, but only to pass through. The moment I saw it, I knew I’d come back someday to stay for at least a month. I better get on that.
I’d love to hear your solo-travel stories, along with the hotels, wigwams, pods or cabins on your personal travel bucket list. Let me know in the comments below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.
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