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Ever felt like getting away by hibernating in a cave? Albeit with luxurious amenities, of course. With these spectacular cave hotels, now you can.
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Nestled along the cliffs of the Basilicata region is the village of Matera in southern Italy, Matera is a fascinating destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique cave-like homes and structures that were carved out of the limestone rocks. There are two neighborhoods referred to as “Sassi,” that is made up of these ancient stone dwellings. Wealthier residents returned to renovate the old cave houses. Today, Matera is an increasingly popular tourist attraction for visitors, with many of the caves transformed into stylish eateries and hotels, like Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. Built into the sheer rock face, this cave hotel’s rooms and suites are vaulted caves. There are log fires and generous stand-alone bathtubs, while the hotel’s kitchen turns out some rather outstanding cuisine. Breakfast (and dinner on request) is served in a former 13th-century cave church.
Cappadocia in Turkey’s Central Anatolia is believed to house the biggest concentration of cave hotels in the world, like the Gamirasu Cave Hotel, as civilizations of people have been settling in this unique geological site since Roman times. The region is famous for its hot air balloon opportunities and otherworldly landscape of fairy chimneys, honeycombed hills and massive boulders that make it appear as if it was plucked from a whimsical fairy-tale and set down upon the stark Anatolian plains. One of the best ways to experience it is by hot-air balloon, where you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of it all before celebrating the adventure with a champagne toast and heading to your unique cave hotel, Gamirasu, for an unforgettable stay in a modern cavern dwelling. The hotel features 35 restored cave rooms as well as an intimate restaurant that serves dishes using only organic ingredients only. The swimming pool, a more recent addition, has a heated floor and overlooks the valley below.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a cave better to escape the chaos of the modern world for a while than the Perivolas Hotel on the beautiful island of Santorini in Greece. The Perivolas Hotel is surrounded by the cerulean waters of the Aegean and is built into traditional white-washed cave houses, each with a minimalist design. There is an amazing infinity pool and even more spectacular views of the caldera. Located within walking distance from the Town Center of Oia and Santorini’s alluring attractions, it offers the ultimate cave hotel experience, with an incredibly relaxing atmosphere and 5-star luxury.
Coober Pedy, far from the beaches of Sydney or Cairns, sits in the barren desert landscape of South Australia between Alice Springs and Adelaide. It was established in 1915 following the discovery of opal when many Europeans flocked to the area to strike it rich in the mines, but quickly discovered working below ground was a lot easier than living above it due to the extreme desert temperatures that can reach as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, residents still prefer staying underground, in caves bored into the hillsides known as dugouts. Some residences are nearly 5,000-square feet, and the town also includes underground churches, stores, galleries, campgrounds, and an award-winning underground hotel, the 4-star Desert Cave Hotel. The hotel offers insight into the traditional ‘dugout’ style homes by staying in any one of the 19 underground suites. It also includes an underground shopping arcade that features an extensive range of opals and opal jewelry.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Loire Valley just minutes from the beach, Les Hautes Roches is considered to be one of the finest luxury Troglodytic hotels in all of France. Formerly a monks dormitory at Marmoutier Abbey, it was later transformed into a luxury escape. The 12 guest rooms in the rock were all carved out of the limestone rockface. The caves themselves were dug out to quarry the light-colored stone used to build some of the most famous chateaux found in the surrounding area, and they became famous as monk refuges during the war of religion. The property also features a large garden and outdoor pool.
The troglodytic Hotel Marhala features rooms that were all dug into the ground, providing a unique experience as well as a comfy temperature. While the chance to sleep in a cave hotel is enough to make it a popular place to book, it draws “Star Wars” fans by the droves, as the setting for scenes from several of the films. Dating back to the 4th century, when the Berbers constructed an underground town, the hotel offers modern convenience, along with a stay in a truly ancient environment.
Built into the Tertiary Ojo Alamo sandstone cliffs in New Mexico, Kokopelli’s Cave is one of the few other options of its kind in the entire U.S. If you’re looking for a remote stay without leaving America’s borders, it’s hard to find better than this. Set 70 feet beneath the ground, in the Four Corners area, guests have to travel across a rough dirt road, walk down a sloping path, and finally climb a ladder, to reach the cave house that’s built into the vertical cliffs of Tertiary Ojo Alamo sandstone overlooking the La Plata River 300 feet below. Not only does it offer the tranquility and solitude of cave-dwelling, but unparalleled views of stunning southwest sunsets overlooking all four states that make up the Four Corners: New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.
Located just outside of Granada, renowned for housing the Alhambra, the whitewashed facades of the Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcon hotel make it hard to tell that you’re actually walking right into one of the originally inhabited caves of Guadix. Not only will you enjoy a very unique stay, but panoramic views over Guadix and the Sierra Nevada, as well as access to an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and bar, which are all on-site. Each cave has rustic-style décor with red clay and white-washed walls, along with a fireplace, kitchenette and satellite TV.