Sure, 4-star hotels with their infinity pools, plush bedding, and gourmet mini-bars are great. But what happens when an elite traveler’s appetite for the unusual demands a vacation that is just a bit on the strange side. If your resolution for 2013 includes taking more chances as you jet set around the globe, check out our top hotels that truly set the bar for international originality – you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the future.

1)      Treehotel, Sweden: Journey deep into the heart of Scandinavia, and some of the most whimsical accommodations on the face of the planet. Take your pick from five different, sky-high rooms – the Cabin (above), the Mirrorcube (featured image, top), the Bird’s Nest, the Blue Cone, and the UFO – and marvel at a thoroughly modern world up in the treetops. Each room is beautifully furnished with sleek Swedish furniture, and each stay includes a breakfast buffet and access to the Treehotel’s restaurant and Tree Sauna (yes – there’s a sauna…nestled in the trees).

2)      Hotel de Glace, Quebec City, Canada: Tropical vacations are so 2012! For a cooler travel experience this year, check out the infamous Hotel de Glace in Canada’s historic Quebec City brings a distinctly luxurious spin to the igloo concept. And far from feeling rugged or cold, the result is a dazzling ice palace perfect for weddings, unique family vacations, and ultra-chill romantic getaways. The Hotel de Glace offers guests cozy rooms complete with toasty sleeping bags and reindeer skin mats – complete with breath-taking ice and snow art at every turn.

3)      Palacio de Sal, Bolivia: If blocks of ice aren’t your thing, head south to Bolivia and check into the Palacio de Sal – a hotel constructed solely from blocks of salt. Bolivia is famous for its ethereal salt flats, making salt blocks a lovely tribute to the local natural wonders. The hotel features both “matrimonial” and double rooms, each complete with traditional amenities and cheery color-blocked décor that definitely looks more sweet than salty.

4)      BubbleTree, France: Available in several locales across France, BubbleTree lets guests experience their surroundings. The idea is to reconnect with nature while still enjoying the luxuries of a room in a world-class hotel. There are several different bubble models to choose from – including the Crystal Bubble (above), the Bubble Room, and the Grand Lodge – but one thing they all feature is a cozy interior and clearing dome, which makes observing nature a snap. Think of a BubbleTree weekend as a more elegant, futuristic take on the old-fashioned practice of camping!

5)      Waldseilgarten Hoellschlucht, Germany: For the truly exploratory traveler, we recommend the hands-on experience of climbing tree-scapes and rock faces, and then pitching a suspended tent in the treetops. While such rugged adventures aren’t for the faint of heart, we think the hanging tents – known as Portal Edges (above) – could probably be pretty romantic for any extreme excursion-loving couples out there!

Via Travel + Leisure 

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