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by Allen J. Sheinman | August 3, 2014

Hotels, bless 'em, where would we lay our luggage down without them? As long as we're getting all misty here about lodging, we thought it would be fun to suss out some Guinness World Records-worthy properties, like the following handful.


1. The oldest hotel, per Guinness, is the Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan (bit.ly/1m5g1NN) in Yamanashi, Japan. This venerable venue, known for its six hot springs with various healing properties, has been open continuously since 705 A.D. — and if you have to specify A.D. to begin with, you know it's old. Some of the staff positions have been handed down over generations. Indeed, the place is so old, the Middle Ages is best known around here as "Phase 3."

2. The smallest property in the world officially is considered to be the one-room Eh'hausi Hotel (ehehaeusl.de) in Amberg, Germany. It's all of 8 feet wide and is wedged between two buildings so tightly, it has no side walls of its own. At a total of 215.28 square feet, the place is considered packed with two guests. The hotel can accommodate one-on-one meetings — providing attendees are of less than average weight and are willing literally to meet one-on-one.

3. The tallest hotel is the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, UAE (bit.ly/ObfyiL), which rises 1,165.84 feet, from which it would require but a slight neck-tilt up to see the top of the Empire State Building, if that landmark was standing next door. The first of the property's two 77-floor twin towers (806 rooms) opened in 2012, and the second is due to debut next year.

4. The property sitting at the highest altitude on earth is the 160-room Hotel Everest View (hoteleverestview.com) above Namche, Nepal. Opened in 1973, it sits at 10,000 feet above sea level. Room service will be happy to supply an oxygen tank; to locate the concierge, look in the hotel directory under "sherpa."

5. The world's most northerly full-service hotel is the 95-room Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen (radissonblu.com/hotel-spitsbergenin) in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway. About 828 miles from the North Pole, the hotel sits on an archipelago that is 60 percent covered by ice. They call it the Radisson Blu because that's the color your face will turn if you go outside.

Source: Guinness World Records; guinnessworldrecords.com, and Meetings & Conventions