5 Unbelievable Hotels Made of Natural Materials
Part of the excitement of going on a vacation is finding that special home away from home for the trip. Why not go all-natural with your vacation fantasy? One look at some of these impressive hotels made of natural materials and you'll be booking that reservation faster than we can say eco-adventure time!
For an extended winter wonderland experience, shack up in the Hotel de Glace in Quebec for a weekend. Not only is this hotel made entirely of ice, every year features a new theme (this past year's theme was Northern Quebec) so that visitors get a unique experience every season. This elaborate ice castle includes an icy cafe, art gallery, themed suites, and for those with impending nuptials, they even have a chapel. Just make sure to make your reservations early, this hotel is only open from January 5th through March 24th. And don't worry, if a whole weekend is just a little too bone-chilling for you, stay for a night and spend the rest of the weekend in the warmth of hotels nearby.
At the Palacio de Sal located along the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, salt isn’t just that staple mineral on the dinner table; it’s what the dinner table is made of. That’s right, what makes this hotel unique is that the entire building, complete with furniture inside, is made from 100 percent salt. But that doesn’t limit the luxury; the hotel features a lavish dining room, game room, and even a saltwater pool for guests to enjoy during their stay. One of the most interesting features about the hotel are the bedrooms built to resemble igloos—giving guests the effect of sleeping in an ice-themed room without the bluster at bedtime.
If you find yourself in Austria on your next vacation, check out the Forsthofalm (Holz Hotel) for luxurious and sustainable accommodation. Made from 100 percent natural materials found in the area, wood is the predominate resource used for this dwelling. Hundreds of tons of wood were used to create this hotel that fuses modern and traditional styles. What's interesting about these accommodations is that neither glue nor metal were used to assemble the walls and furnishings. The walls, made of solid wood, were put together using wooden bolts to create a more organic atmosphere.
Rather than building their destination, the Kokokelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast in Farmington, New Mexico utilizes a sandstone cave originally carved out to be an office for consulting geologist Bruce Black and his son in the 1980s. By the late 1990s the Blacks converted the space into a simple, chic B & B for adventurous dwellers. Kokokelli’s is located 280 feet above the La Plata River, so pack lightly and prepare for a hike; but once you get there you’ll spend the night in style as this one bedroom cave-home comes complete with Southwestern style furnishings, a fully functional kitchen, a waterfall-style shower, and even a flagstone hot tub. Proof that caves aren’t just accommodations for bears, bats, and cavemen alone.
If you’re planning to head off on a tropical adventure, the accommodations at Huilo Huilo Montana Magica Lodge in Chile might be right up your alley. This hotel features a little bit of everything really. Made of rock and moss from the surrounding area, this hotel has been shaped to resemble a volcano—but instead of spewing lava, a fountain of water springs from its peak. Other unique features include a rope bridge, wooden rooms and guided tours through the surrounding forest region.
--Jess Krager is an editorial intern at Sierra and freelance editor. She graduated from CSU, Chico in 2009 with a certificate in literary editing and publishing. When she is not editing, she likes to go on random adventures or curl up with a good book.
--Hotel de Glace photo courtesy of iStock/cotesebastien, all other photos provided by the hotel pictured.