The term “adventure travel” has many definitions, and each one varies based on the traveler. I’m not adverse to adventure – I’ve hit the rapids in what seemed to be nothing more than a floatie device I’d find in my parents pool; I’ve jumped from a tall building with only a cord and a little spring keeping me from face-planting into concrete; I’m about to take on one big bridge in Sydney next month. But there’s one difference between me and the other adventure travelers out there: I wouldn’t do it again.
OK, never say never. Truth is, I’ll be the first one to safari walk with lions and tigers, and as soon as I collect $200,000 I’m buying a seat on the first Virgin Galactic flight to space. But in the meantime, I’ll get my kicks by staying at some of the most adventuresome hotels in the world. No, not the kind of adventure that includes bed bugs and dirty bathrooms, and violates every health code in the system. These hotels add a little excitement to your stay, which can be the perfect dose of adventure for the not-so-adventurous traveler.
1. One by the Five, Paris: The floating beds add excitement to this hotel. Too much champagne at dinner and you’ll fall right off in the middle of the night, but the design technique that keeps the bed ‘floating’ is pretty spectacular. (The ‘floating bed’ concept could add a little spice your late-night, too…) If Paris is too much love-not enough adventure, Berlin’s Propeller Island City features similar rooms with ‘magic mirrors’ that create various illusions, including one room with a flying bed.
2. Loisaba, Kenya: Talk about unleashing your animal instincts… If sleeping with the animals sounds exciting, but a little too dangerous for your blood, the “Star Bed” in this Kenya resort might be the perfect compromise. The beds are on raised platforms (complete with mosquito nets) so you can watch the stars, or gaze at the animals roaming in their natural habitat. Reviews note that most people don’t get a good night’s sleep the first time they take on these beds, thanks to the unfamiliar sounds from wild kingdom just meters away from where you sleep.3. The 727-suite at the Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica: Some people can sleep on planes, some choose to sleep IN a plane. The fully outfitted two-bedroom executive Boeing 727 fuselage suite at the Hotel Costa Verde allows travelers to sleep in a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727. This hotel rooms adds a whole new meaning to the mile-high club.
4. Park Hyatt Shanghai: The bedrooms on the 88th floor of the Park Hyatt in Shanghai are not for the faint of heart. If you want to conquer your fear of heights, this is the place to stay. One piece of advice: don’t look down when you wake up in the morning – the drop might be too much for your decaffeinated brain to comprehend. The Park Hyatt Shanghai was the tallest hotel in the world until the recent opening of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. We’re not sure what type of views the Burj has but it’s a good bet they’ll rival the Park Hyatt.
5. Magic Mountain Hotel, Panguipulli, Region X, Chile: What’s so magic about this hotel? It’s built under a waterfall, which makes walking into the hotel an adventure in and of itself. Located in the heart of the Huilo Huilo nature reserve, this hotel was built with Mother Nature in mind- miles of walkways that snake through the forest and a mini-golf course 40 feet above the ground give this hotel its dose of adventure.