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Cave hotels: the most unusual places to sleep

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Cave hotels: the most unusual places to sleep

Those who are not afraid of confined spaces will love the extraordinary "cave" hotels. Tucked away from the outside world, these underground hotels are the perfect retreat: gilded grottoes with all the best 21st century hotel service has to offer, surrounded by stone walls and real torches in case of power outages.

Le Grotte Della Civita, Italy

Le Grotte Della Civita is located in the oldest part of Sassi, a stunning, well-preserved ancient village where hundreds of caves were converted into dwellings, churches and palaces centuries ago. The Magic District has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Le Grotte della Civita offers 18 bedrooms, on the territory there is an old church Cripta della Civita, which is now used as a common area. The cave complex has been carefully restored and retained the original details - hand-carved bricks, sculptural niches.

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, South Africa

Away from the city lights is the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve - a nature reserve in the picturesque Söderberg Mountains, 300 km north of Cape Town. The resort offers 10 "cave suites", bedrooms blending in with the impressive sandstone formations that surround the site. Handcrafted facades, natural sandstone interior walls, each room has a small terrace overlooking the vast, stone-strewn desert. The restaurant serves South African cuisine, wines from the nearby Winelands, spa, two swimming pools, mini golf course.

Museum Hotel, Turkey

The inhabitants of the Turkish region of Cappadocia have lived underground for centuries, and today many of the historic underground dwellings have turned into fabulous hotels. The chic museum-hotel was created on the site of ruined caves, becoming the first luxury hotel in the area with 30 rooms. One of the cave rooms can be accessed through a long natural tunnel, while the other houses one of the largest and oldest dovecotes in the area. Traditional antique furniture, handmade carpets, original kerosene lamps add to the charm of the boutique hotel. Lil'a Restaurant welcomes all diners for lunch and dinner with expertly presented Turkish cuisine.

The Grand Canyon Caverns Inn, United States

Travel 22 floors down to the deepest hotel room, Grand Canyon Caverns and Inn (Northern Arizona)! The room is located 67 m underground with a ceiling height of 21 m4 and offers two double beds, a living room with a queen-size convertible sofa - ideal for a group of six. It houses a library of old books, including the collection of National Geographic magazine dating from 1917.

Beckham Creek Lodge, United States

Located in the Ozark, Arkansas, Beckham Creek Lodge serves clients with luxurious taste. This posh lair was carved out in the early 1980s as an air raid shelter when the US and USSR were in the Cold War. After renovation, the 518 m² cave is now rented out to vacationers. A four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with geothermal heating, stunning stalactites and chandeliers hanging from undulating ceilings, set on 104 hectares of private land suitable for hiking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding.

Les Hautes Roches, France

Carved into a limestone cliff overlooking the winding Loire River, Les Hautes Roches in Rochecorbon, central France, was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An elegant 18th century main building, a Michelin-starred restaurant where chef Didier Edon prepares local produce paired with wines from the Loire Valley, Les Hautes Roches is part of the Relais & Châteaux portfolio of luxury hotels and restaurants.

Mira Mira Fantasy Accommodation, Australia

Located 90 minutes from Melbourne, Mira Mira Fantasy Accommodation takes travelers to another world with themed apartments. Four hotels in one - it is geared towards guests looking to please their inner Batman. The 2-bedroom deck is accessed by a spiral staircase, the living area has natural walls, the owners added the sound of water to “truly enhance the feeling of underground living,” and a spa menu with hot stone massage will delight lovers of relaxation.

La Claustra, Switzerland

La Claustra can be mistaken for the lair of the villain James Bond, hidden under a rocky mountainside. A former army fortress, which is almost impossible to see during the snowy winter months, it prides itself on being cut off from the outside world - there is no TV or mobile connection. The underground hotel is a network of corridors leading to 17 simply decorated rooms with shared bathrooms. Amenities include a sauna, seasonal outdoor pool, and a restaurant that serves a six-course dinner every evening. Due to changeable mountain weather, the hotel is open from May to October and must be booked directly and in advance.

Sidi Idriss, Tunisia

Sidi Idriss in Matmata, Tunisia is the ideal destination for those looking for an “unforgettable intergalactic stay”. The underground dwelling served as the backdrop for George Lucas's Star Wars movie 1976, 1997, 2000, 2003. Fans of the sci-fi series will no doubt recognize Luke Skywalker's childhood home on the planet Tatooine. The hotel is located in the village of Matmata, where locals have been digging houses in the ground for thousands of years to avoid extreme heat and desert winds, but before its movie debut, the place was hardly mentioned on the travel map.

Today Sidi Idriss is a hotel complex with 20 cave rooms furnished with simple furnishings. The kitchen serves typical regional dishes including lamb tagine, pea stew, couscous, chorba soup, while the bar offers mint tea and local beer.

Caves Beach Resort, Egypt

The quaint Caves Beach Resort Hurghada in Egypt with its prehistoric décor is an all-inclusive hotel that blends in with the rocky coastline. The hotel has 383 rooms with stone walls, animal print bedding and natural wood furniture. Playing on the Flintstones theme, two restaurants and six bars were named after the cartoon's fictional characters. The hotel is only for guests over 16 years old, there is a water sports center, gym, tennis court, swimming pool, mini-football field.

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