Accommodations With Unusual Means Of Arrival

Kirkenes SnowhotelPhoto credit: CC license  by Antti T. Nissinen
Imagine, if you would, flying on a zip line above thick jungle foliage to your treehouse lodge for the night. Or if the tropics aren’t your thing, how about being picked up at the airport by a dog sled team? Do these adventures sound a little unreal? Well, they’re not. These are actually ways that you can reach two very special hotels.

To get to the treehouse accommodations, which are located in the Bokeo Reserve in Laos, visitors must initially trek between one and five hours through the jungle to reach the first zip line. The amount of time you will have to hike depends on weather conditions and the type of adventure you choose. For example, the Classic Gibbon Experience adventure entails approximately one hour of trekking over steep terrain, while the Waterfall Gibbon Experience trip requires approximately two to three hours of hiking. In the rainy season, the hiking time could increase substantially as your transport truck may not be able to venture very far into the jungle. Needless to say, you should be in good shape to take part in this trip.

Once you reach the zip lines, you are strapped in by guides and sent zipping to your first treehouse. There are a total of seven of these treehouses and the only way to reach them is by the zip lines, the longest of which is about half a mile long. The treehouses are very basic and equipped with mattresses, mosquito nets, squat toilets and cold-water showers. Local food is provided as part of your stay. The big draw of these treehouses is the chance that you might hear gibbons singing or actually see these creatures swinging through the trees.

If this adventure sounds like a little too much work or if you’re a cold-weather lover, consider heading to Norway’s Kirkenes Snowhotel. This unique hotel is constructed completely from scratch each year out of snow and ice. Each room boasts a bed frame carved from ice that is topped with a mattress with thermal insulation on top. In addition, you will be provided with a sleeping bag. Bathrooms with hot water are available but are located in a separate building from the bedrooms.

The Kirkenes Snowhotel is now offering dog sled taxi pickups from the airport for an additional fee. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes and you’ll be provided with a thermal suit to keep you warm during your ride. The cost for a dog taxi trip is $372.

During your stay at the Kirkenes Snowhotel, you can also choose to take dog sledding trips out into the wilderness or to check out the northern lights. And lessons are available if you’ve always wanted to learn how to handle a team of canines on your own. If you prefer motorized transportation, the Kirkenes also has snowmobiles available for rent or you can choose to take a bus to see the northern lights. Please be aware that the Snowhotel is only open between the months of December and April.

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