Posted by Dabney B. on Monday, August 20th, 2012
I have a hard time making up my mind about anything. The more expensive something is, the more time I have to spend anguishing over the options before I can finally settle on the perfect choice. So, I have an absolutely terrible time trying to figure out what to do when I have vacation time. Would I be better off experiencing the world on a week-long cruise, or sitting back and recharging in a peaceful, lakeside resort?
Well, thanks to the marvels of modern aquatic architecture I can get a little bit of both by checking in at a floating hotel. Now, I know that sleeping in a buoyant hotel won’t be quite as exciting as crossing the Atlantic on a gigantic cruise ship, but they’re still cruise-esque! If you’re like me and you can’t ever decide if you’d rather spend your a cruise or a hotel, then floating hotels might just be the perfect choice by offering a little bit of both. Now, the only tricky part is figuring out which floating hotel to choose.
King Pacific Lodge
The name of this lodge is ever-so-slightly misleading. You’d think that with “King Pacific” in its name, it’d be out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s actually nestled in a river along the west coast of Canada, which feeds into the Pacific. The “King” portion of the name is well deserved — if Poseidon, God of the Ocean, ever decided to check into a hotel, this is probably where he’d stay.
This lodge is constructed entirely atop a floating barge in order to minimize the impact that the hotel has on the environment. The fact that it’s a floating structure is certainly a selling point, but it’s more of an interesting fact than a main feature. The builders just didn’t want to tear down any trees or dig down into the bedrock in order to construct this hotel, and I’m glad that they didn’t — this pristine beauty of this landscape is unmatched.
With nightly rates at a mere 4,750 CAD ($4,623), this floating hotel isn’t for everybody. If I’m dropping $4k a night on a vacation, I’d at least like to go swimming without worry of hypothermia or wild bear attacks. Considering that this hotel is a short hike from Bear Lake and Cougar Lake, I’m guessing that both of those are fairly likely. This hotel is definitely for the type of people who prefer to spend their vacations out of cell phone reception range.
The Great Barrier Reef is a natural world wonder and one of the most beautiful sights Mother Nature has to offer. The only catch is that it’s not very easy to access. The floating hotel ReefWorld offers guests an opportunity to stay near Australia’s main attraction without needing to constantly boat back and forth between the shore and the reef.
It’s got everything you could ever hope for in a floating tropical hotel, including world-class diving and snorkeling facilities, underwater viewing galleries, underwater living areas, educational centers for kids, and marine touch tanks.
It’s a bit on the tiny side, but that’s not a big deal. You’d have to be a fool to spend most of your time hanging out at the hotel rather than snorkeling through the Coral Sea. Just watch out for box jellyfish. I hear those things hurt.
The River Kwai Jungle Raft Floatel
Some people prefer hiking shoes and bug spray to spa massages and caviar. If you’re one of those folks, then the River Kwai floating raft hotel might be right up your alley.
This floating hotel snakes along the center of the River Kwai, with each room roped to the next in a long chain. The rooms are fairly small and they don’t have any electricity, so this hotel ventures over into the “roughing it” category. With plenty of hammocks, mai tais, and bikini-clad swimmers, even the most pampered city-lovers would have a blast at a place like this.
Swimming along the Kwai is a mix of excitement and relaxation. The river pulls people along at a steady pace, so the easiest thing to do is hop in upstream, splash about as you get pulled down river, and then pull yourself back up on the downstream side of the hotel and do it all over again.