These days there is no shortage of options when one considers where they will lodge during their holiday. Once upon a time, the main housing choice were hotels, but not anymore. Hotels had three main categories: budget, deluxe and luxury. Well, times have changed, and the options have become more prolific. Hotels still serve up the majority of rooms to the public, but based on the purview of the millennial traveler, other entities have become more interesting, affordable and readily available.
Hotel types range from capsule to boutique, from motel to bed and breakfast, from resorts to luxury estates. Each offer varying nuances that may appeal to the occupant’s taste, desires and needs. It is interesting to note that within the last 20 or more years the rise of room availability includes, but are not limited to entities such as: AirBnB’s, Couch-surfing, House-sitting, and Glamping just to name a few. For the adventurous traveler, these accommodation types are worth exploring.
My travels have taken me far and wide and even though my friends tell me when it comes to sleeping that I can sleep on a rock, I can still remember experiences where the accommodations were unique. I recall staying and enjoying the amenities of a traditional riad in the old city of Fez, Morocco. Entering the riad through the heavy doors from the street, I was surprised to find intricate artistry, delicate stonework, carpentry, and arboretum that could keep one intrigued for the length of their stay. The layout included an interior oasis of greenery, sculptures, and fountain. Artifacts, whether old or new lined the perimeter. The posh riad had two upper levels and my room was on the very top. Even from that height, looking down below, the beauty of the residence was not lost, especially as the evening light cast soft shadows across the floor, in subduing and romantic hues.
Another interesting sleep-away was in the Merzouga dessert. After riding on the desert limousine (camel) for about an hour, we arrived at a U-shaped group of Berber tents, covered in what looked like blankets. It was to be my sleeping quarters for the night and even though I was skeptical that I wouldn’t sleep a wink, I fell asleep in no time at all. The blankets were the warmest everrrrr, and I didn’t want to move from under them in the morning. The accommodation was basic. Shoes had to be taken off at the tent doors to avoid trekking sand onto the rug covered floor. Bundles of mats, blankets and pillows were heaped to one side of the tent. Candles were the only light in the pitch darkness, but it was cozy. After eating a sumptuous tagine meal, I asked to use the bathroom thinking their must be one in one of the other tents, the guide pointed out to the sandy landscape and told me to pick any spot. Their one caveat for the group requesting bathroom privileges, was to walk a distance away from the tents to do their business. Well, one thing I learned is, when you are all in it together, you either overcome the shyness, or you quickly forget your bathroom longings until better facilities are available. After a night of peaceful serenity, at the crack of dawn we headed back to civilization. One of the first request on everybody’s list was a bathroom break. Albeit the inconveniences of the accommodation, it was one of the sweetest sleeps I had while on vacation.
One other type of odd accommodation that I experienced was in Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey. The hotel was a cave. The walls of the room were the natural rock, as were many of the houses in the area. The room was cool and comfortable. Not very large but the bed was comfy. Stories on the dangers of inhaling the microscopic dust that falls from the rock was not a deterrent for my stay which was not very long. Besides, this form of housing is still used by the local residents today. It was a unique experience sleeping at the cave hotel.
Besides hotels and hostels, there are AirBnb residences. They give that home away from home feeling. The guest is not limited to just one room. The amenities are broader and there is freer access to coming and going without interference. Couch-surfing is another option one may consider, especially the overnighter or cash-strapped traveler. It’s level of uncertainty and possibly inconvenience can be a put-off for the tripper who wants to explore and may find their only accommodation far from the action they intended to experience. Glamping on the other hand is a glorified or luxury form of camping. These different types of lodgings are by and large stimulating and intriguing to the explorer traveler.
Other respites I’ve enjoyed include a penthouse in Caracas, Venezuela, luxury hotel rooms in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, India, more recently a luxury suite in Denpasar, Bali, and in other places where the US dollar is worth its weight in gold. Choosing where to rest one’s weary head may be first driven by cost, preference or package. Whatever the choice, the options are always increasing, and the hospitality industry planners are always working to accommodate their guests.
Community Peeps, please share with me some of the interesting accommodations you’ve had and what made them special to you. As an itinerary planner, I am always searching for unique, interesting and affordable places to stay and to recommend. You may write your experience (recent or eons ago) in the comment box below.
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