by Allen J. Sheinman | February 10, 2012
The list

Kokopelli's Cave, Farmington, N.M. (
Just a quick three-hour-plus drive (preferably in an all-terrain vehicle) north of Albuquerque takes you to the rugged Four Corners region where New Mexico abuts Arizona, Utah and Colorado, and where, embedded in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone cliffs some 70 feet below the surface, you'll find Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast. This fully carpeted, 1,650-square-foot establishment can hold up to four guests ("rooms" are an abstract concept here) and includes plumbing, electricity and plenty of breathable air, along with a waterfall shower and climb-up patio overlooking the spectacular La Plata River Valley. Rates range from about $240 per night for up to two people and $280 for four. Don't bring your pet, as a golden eagle is liable to swoop down at any moment and take little Freckles on a harrowing jaunt.

The Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat, Greenland (
You'll never need to call room service for ice at the Hotel Arctic; just open a window, reach out and start chipping away. Somewhat less easy is getting there: From Baltimore, say, it's a five-hour flight to Greenland's Kangerlussuag Airport, then another one-hour flight over the Greenland ice cap to Ilulissat, then a short drive to Disko Bay (perhaps so named because you have to keep gyrating to stay warm) and voilà! At some 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the 87-room property qualifies as the world's most northerly four-star hotel (starting at just US$250 per night) and comes complete with eight meeting rooms and a conference hall that holds up to 120 attendees. For an extra kick, you can stay at one of the hotel's two off-site igloos perched at the edge of an ice fjord.

The Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Gurransaikhan National Park, Mongolia (
To reach this exotic establishment, first make your way to Seoul, South Korea, then take a two-hour flight Northwest to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, then catch an intriguingly rattling prop plane for an hour's hop into Dalanzadgad, provincial capital of the South Gobi Desert, and then it's just a 90-minute drive on a bracingly unpaved road. With rates of US$175-$300 per person, per night, the Three Camel Lodge consists of 20 deluxe gers (latticed wood structures covered with layers of felt and canvas) outfitted with private bathrooms, wood-burning stoves, king-size beds and amenities such as felt slippers, camel's-milk moisturizing lotions and luxurious Mongolian-style bathrobes. The on-site Dino House offers a small library, entertainment and, for the homesick, an actual roof. Local activities include camel rides and visits with goat-herding nomads.

Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Fla.
Named after pioneering science fiction writer Jules Verne, this property actually is pretty easy to find -- assuming you know your way among the coral byways some 21 feet beneath the surface of the Florida Straits, at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon off the coast of Key Largo. A former undersea laboratory, the lodge includes two bedrooms, a living room and a wet room, the latter to get into and out of the scuba gear you'll need in order to come and go. The rooms have large windows that let you spy on the abundant sea life (and vice versa), including tropical angelfish, parrotfish, snappers and barracuda (don't let them see you tucking into the fried scallops). The place is pricy, starting at $550 per night, but that includes unlimited cavorting in the wrap-around infinity pool.

Garvault Hotel, Sutherland, Scotland (
Proudly billing itself as "the most remote hotel in mainland Britain," Scotland's Garvault Hotel is nestled among the heather-clad hills of Beinn Griam Mor, overlooking the leafy loch Rimsdale (in other words, we're lost). The eight-room property features log-burning stoves, a cozy bar with pool table, a most friendly staff and relaxing natural environs, perfect for bird watching, trout fishing and navel gazing. The kitchen offers a tasty roast venison, and when the chef suggests the house special of "haggis, tatties and neeps," you're liable to exclaim, "Oy Garvault!" Rates start at around US$110, which is the best deal you'll find in the area, wherever it is.

Sources:, Travel + Leisure, Meetings & Conventions