Hotels, Hostels, Resorts + More! | The 20 Most Amazing Accommodations I’ve Ever Experienced

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I have been thinking a lot lately about my past travels, and of course, there are certain places, activities and experiences that my mind will continue to fondly reminisce about. Over the years, I have stayed in some pretty incredible places. Sometimes these places are memorable for being luxurious, other times for being unique, and sometimes there is just something about them that I can’t quite pinpoint, but when I think about them, I am left with a big grin on my face.

So, I have to decided to collate (in no particular order) the 20 most amazing accommodations I have ever stayed in, with everything from hostels right through to luxury resorts included. For each one I will give you a rundown of why I think it is special, and I will also give it a label according to the budget that it requires.

$1 to $100 per night: Budget Beauties

$101 to $300 per night = Mid Range Marvels

$301 to $1000 per night = Lovely Luxuries

$1001 and up per night = Bucket List Blowouts

Also, I feel that it is necessary to mention that NONE of the links featured below are affiliate links. I am not making any moolah from this post and even though some of my actual stays in these places were sponsored, none of the features in this actual post have been sponsored. I just honestly think that these places are great and I enjoy giving recognition to the companies that deserve it.

1. Maalifushi by COMO, Maldives

Why is it amazing?

Maalifushi by COMO will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the first place I ever stayed in the Maldives, and probably the first time I ever experienced true luxury lodgings. The villas boast clean and minimalist interiors that open up to gorgeously thatched roofs and the most beautiful infinity pools I’ve seen. Access to the ocean below is everywhere, and the wildlife that inhabit these waters are abundant. Expect to see reef sharks, stingrays, dolphins and much more. Finally, all of the food at Maalifushi was wonderful, but their Japanese themed restaurant is truly spectacular, and provided me with some of the best seafood I’ve ever eaten.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay at Maalifushi by COMO isn’t exactly cheap, and it easily earns a Bucket List Blowouts label. An overwater suite will set you back $1400 USD per night on a bed and breakfast basis for two adults. However, it is worth noting that by Maldivian accommodation standards this is not a completely unreasonable price, and if you book far enough in advance you can score some decent discounts.

For more information about Maalifushi, you check out blog posts from my stay and/or the Maalifushi website.

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2. Kunja Villas, Indonesia

Why is it amazing?

I just did the math in my head and I think I have stayed in around ten different villas in Bali. That is a teeny tiny fraction of what is available, honestly there would easily be thousands of different villas scattered across the Indonesian island. But, of the ten that I have visited, the Kunja Villas were by far my favourite.

Located in the heart of Seminyak, Kunja boasts a stunning locale within walking distance of many popular restaurants and bars. Despite being set in one of the busiest parts of Bali, the villas remain quiet, calm and a tranquil oasis away from the hustle and bustle that awaits outside.

As an added bonus, the in villa massages are wonderful, and the surprise flower bath was an awesome touch.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay at Kunja Villas falls into the Mid Range Marvels category, but only if you book at the last minute! A one bedroom villa with a private pool can go for as little as $260 USD per night if booked last minute, but the official published rates are $349 per night inclusive of breakfast.

For more information about the Kunja Villas, you can check out this blog post or visit their website here.

3. Sea Change Eco Lodge, Tonga

Why is it amazing?

Well, first and foremost, they offer trips to swim with humpback whales, which is honestly reason enough!

But, in addition to offering whale swims, this ecologically friendly resort is set on a stunning island with beautiful blue water, incredible sunsets, wonderful tent fales that are pretty much the ultimate glamping set up and a chef who makes absolutely amazing meals. Wi-Fi access is expensive and unpredictable, so I chose to forgo it completely and enjoyed switching off from the world for a while.

It is so lovely that I am going to be returning in August of 2019!

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

In peak season, a two person tenting fale will cost $170 NZD, making this a Mid Range Marvel! Humpback whales swims are $210 per day, and it is worth noting that if you intend to get out on a boat for numerous days that lunch is included in these trips and thus it would be more cost effective to skip the full board meal package and simply pay as you go.

For more details about Sea Change, check out this blog post or click here to be directed to the Sea Change website.

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4. Fairy Knowe Backpackers, South Africa

Why is it amazing?

This was my favourite hostel in all of South Africa. The lodgings are a little basic, but there is no denying how fantastic the vibe of the place is. Morning yoga sessions, communal meals, a great little bar and being surrounded by the forest is just wonderful. Plus, all the local hiking and canoe trails leave from nearby, so if you are looking for an active few days, this is the perfect place to base yourself.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

One night in a dorm bed will go for around $18 AUD on a self catering basis, making this well and truly a Budget Beauty! For more details about Fairy Knowe Backpackers, you can check out this prehistoric (and mildly cringey) blog post, or you can click here to check out their website.

How my camera gear has changed over the years! This was taken in 2014 on an iPhone 5… which at the time I thought was the height of photography equipment

5. Hotel Arctic, Greenland

Why is it amazing?

Because they have igloos!

These futuristic yet cosy little igloos sit on the rocky outcrop of the Ilulissat Icefjord, providing unbelievable views of enormous icebergs moving through the fjord below. They are also a great place to see the Northern Lights. I stayed in one of these igloos quite a long time ago, but they are still firmly etched in my memory, and the memories I have of my stay are so glowingly positive that they are borderline blinding.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

The Hotel Arctic has only a small group of igloos which are available to book in May through October each year. A stay in one of these igloos goes for around $400 AUD per night, making them a Lovely Luxury! 

It is worth noting that I attempted to look up more precise rates through the Hotel Arctic online booking form, but I couldn’t find a single night on which there was actually an igloo available! I only booked a few months in advance when I stayed there, but that was three years ago now and Greenland is only becoming a more and more popular travel destination – so if you want to stay in one of these igloos, you might want to book quite far in advance!

For more information, you can read about my Hotel Arctic stay by clicking here, or you can head to the Hotel Arctic website here.

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6. Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Why is it amazing?

When I first decided that I was going to visit the Maldives, I had it in my head that in order to have that quintessential luxury Maldivian experience, I needed to stay in an overwater villa.

Soneva Fushi proved me wrong.

This unbelievable resort is set on what is really quite a large island (by Maldivian standards) and with such a large island comes Robinson Crusoe jungle vibes that when are paired with the effortless luxury of the Soneva resorts company provides you with a truly amazing resort that exudes barefoot and laidback luxe.

Also, this resort has three self serve bars, one dedicated to chocolate and sweet treats, one to ice cream and one to cheese and wine – does life get much better than that?

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

Soneva Fushi has a huge array of villas, with the cheapest starting at $1149 USD per night, and the most expensive 9 bedroom hideaway going for a pretty staggering $31,167 USD a night! This easily makes Soneva Fushi a Bucket List Blowout, but having stayed there (and in numerous other Maldivian resorts) I gotta be honest with you, these prices really aren’t that insane.

Most high end resorts in the Maldives easily go for more than $1000 per night, and given the exceptional service, life changing dining and vast range of amenities, $1149 per night is actually pretty reasonable.

I can say with complete honesty that I would like to return to Soneva Fushi one day, and I would have no problem with saving my money for months to be able to do so.

For more information about Soneva Fushi, you can check out this blog post or click here to be directed to the Soneva website.

7. Nomads Hostel Iguazu, Argentina

Why is it amazing?

While this hostel is definitely not the prettiest, it does boast a beautiful pool, really helpful staff, a great location and easily the fastest Wi-Fi I came across during all my time in South America.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay at Nomads Iguazu will set you back a measly $13 AUD per night, making this one Budget Beauty that won’t break the bank! For more information about Nomads Hostel, visit Hostelbookers by clicking here.

Image courtesy of hostelbookers.com

8. Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia

Why is it amazing?

Four words for you: double storey infinity pool!

In addition to the ridiculous pool, Hanging Gardens also boasts bright and beautiful villas with perfectly secluded private pools and terraces. The jungle location just outside Ubud is stellar, and the food on offer will not leave anyone wanting.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A two person villa will set you back around $650 AUD per night, making Hanging Gardens a Lovely Luxury, but to be honest, by Bali standards, this really is quite expensive. For more information about Hanging Gardens you can check out this blog post, or click here to head to the Hanging Gardens website.

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9. Loft Hostel, Iceland

Why is it amazing?

I have visited Reykjavik on three separate occasions (soon to be four) and each time I keep returning to Loft. This is my perfect kinda hostel. There is a fantastic happy hour, the location is amazing, the beds are far more comfortable than most and the vibe is so good, that each and every time I visit, I make a whole bunch of new friends. If you are heading to Iceland, I highly recommend the Loft Hostel.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay in an 8 bed dorm starts at around $98/night, meaning that Loft just scrapes in as a Budget Beauty! For more information about Loft, you can click here to check out my extensive guide to the city of Reykjavik, or you can click here to head to the Loft Hostel site.

Photo courtesy of thesunnytraveler.com

10. Barry’s Place, Timor-Leste

Why is it amazing?

If you are looking for an off the beaten track beach holiday, there wouldn’t be many places in the world as underappreciated as Barry’s Place. This tiny beach resort (although I use that word very loosely) is the very epitome of peace and solitude. Boasting beautiful thatched bungalows located right on the waters edge, Barry’s Place is not only stunning, but it is also the epicentre of numerous NGO projects occurring on the isolated Timorese island of Atauro. Barry (an Aussie who has been residing in Timor for a few decades) employs only Timorese locals and pays a fair wage to these locals, even going so far as to keeping them all employed full time – even when the place doesn’t have a single guest!

If that wasn’t enough, the reef around Atauro is one of the brightest, most colourful and least disturbed coral reefs you’ll ever see – making it a haven for snorkellers and divers alike.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay in one of these small huts will set you back a measly $35 USD per night, which includes ALL meals and tea/coffee services, making this one of the most cost effective Budget Beauties on this list. For more information about Barry’s Place, click here to check out a blog account of my stay or click here to check out their website.

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11. Paa & Jannik, Greenland

Why is it amazing?

Paa and Jannik are an Ilulissat based couple who run a small bed and breakfast. They have three rooms available in their own home and three self serviced apartments. I have stayed with Paa and Jannik on two occasions and both stays were lovely. Jannik has done airport pickups and drop offs for me at no extra cost, he took me to the hospital when I hurt my knee and had no problem paying the hospital deposit when I had no cash, not to mention the fact that they upgraded me from a room to an entire apartment at no extra cost. These guys are wonderful hosts and beautiful people, I cannot recommend them enough.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A room in Paa and Janniks home will set you back 650 DKK ($135 AUD) per night, and an entire apartment will cost 1175 DKK ($245 AUD) which believe me, is good value in Greenland! Technically this makes P&J a Mid Range Marvel, but honestly, by Greenlandic standards, this is a an absolute bargain. For more information about this beautiful b&b, click here.

Image courtesy of bb.gl

12. Soneva Jani, Maldives

Why is it amazing?

Just take a look at the photo below! These overwater villas are innovative, spacious and the absolute epitome of luxuriousness. Oh, and the waterslides that go from your villa straight into the ocean aren’t bad either!

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A stay at Soneva Jani is 110% a Bucket List Blowout! One night in a one bedroom villa starts at around $2400 USD – which is by no means cheap! For more information, click here to read a blog post about my stay at Soneva Jani, or here to be directed to the Soneva Jani website.

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13. IceHOTEL, Sweden

Why is it amazing?

You get to sleep on a bed of freaking ice! Also, ice bar cocktails, delicious food served on plates made of ice and incredible artwork – what more could you ask for?

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

One night in a cold room goes for anywhere from $400 to $600 depending on when you visit and whether or not you stay in an ‘art room’ or one of the more standard ice rooms. For more information about IceHotel, you can check out a blog post here or the official website here.

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14. The Siem Reap Hostel, Cambodia

Why is it amazing?

If 50c beers, a gorgeous pool, delicious food and a fricking fantastic vibe sound good for you, then you’ll probably love this hostel. I stayed in the most basic 8 bed dorm and the 5 nights I spent there flew by so unbelievably quickly. I made great friends, enjoyed the Cambodian nightlife and nursed more than one hangover in a seriously comfy bed.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A basic 8 bed dorm will set you back only $7 USD per night! If that ain’t a Budget Beauty, then I don’t know what is. To book a stay at The Siem Reap Hostel – click here.

15. Ortelius MV, Argentina to Antarctica

Why is it amazing?

Well… it takes you to Antarctica!

This should be reason enough, but if that isn’t enough incentive, the food is delicious, the beds are comfortable, the staff are passionate and helpful, plus, the bartender Rolando makes a mean Black Russian!

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A 12 day basecamp voyage starts at around $9650 USD, which works out to around $800 per night, making this a Lovely Luxury – which is actually pretty reasonable considering that for many people this would be bucket list adventure. For more information about Antarctica and my voyage with Oceanwide Expeditions – click here to be directed to all of my Antarctica related posts. For those who just want to get on with the planning, you can click here to be directed to the Oceanwide Expeditions site.

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16. Arpacay Backpackers, Prague

Why is it amazing?

It is super well located just a stones throw from Prague Castle, the beds are comfy, the showers are so unbelievably good, and the dorm rooms are actually as spacious as they appear in pictures.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

Unfortunately it seems like this hostel has closed since I visited – such a shame!

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17. Jumbo Stay, Sweden

Why is it amazing?

This is a hostel… in a jumbo jet!

Probably the only time I’ll ever get to properly lie flat in a plane, this amazingly unique hostel has singles and dorms, and even a room in the cockpit! How cool is that? As an added bonus, it is right near the airport, so it is perfecting for anyone transiting through Stockholm overnight.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

A bed in a four bed dorm will set you back around $68 AUD, or you can splurge on the cockpit room for $288 per night. This can either be a Budget Beauty or a Mid-Range Marvel depending on which room you choose. Personally, I stayed in a dorm when I visited, but when I return to Stockholm I will definitely be splurging on the cockpit room for a night! For more information about Jumbo stay, click here.

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18. El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island, Philippines

Why is it amazing?

I’ll always have a soft spot for El Nido Resorts. It was the first overwater bungalow I ever stayed in, and what a wonderful way to kick things off! These bungalows are on the smaller side, but what they lack in size they make up for in rustic beauty.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

Hot tip, if you ever visit, ask for villa #1 – it has the absolute best views! An overwater villa starts at around $980, making this a Filipino Lovely Luxury. For more information about El Nido Resorts, check out this blog post or click here to be directed to their website.

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19. Kandolhu, Maldives

Why is it amazing?

Another Maldivian entry here! So why Kandolhu?

Well, the villas are stunning, the snorkelling is incredible and the bathrooms in the overwater bungalows are truly a revelation.

Also, the reef surrounding Kandolhu is home to a huge number of turtles, so if snorkelling with turtles is something that you’d love to do, Kandolhu is a great place to base yourself.

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

One night in an overwater pool villa starts at around $1444 USD per night. For more information about this Bucket List Blowout you can check out this blog, or you can click here to be directed to the Kandolhu site.

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20. Soneva Kiri, Thailand

Why is it amazing?

Soneva Kiri is the only 6 star resort I’ve ever been lucky enough to visit, and it was all that I’d hoped, and much more.

Tree pod dining, the biggest villas you can dream of, outdoor bathtubs you can practically swim laps in, an outdoor cinema and the fun of riding around in your own personal golf buggy all combine to make a resort experience that you’ll never forget!

Can I get some costs, details and more info?

One night in a Bayview Pool Villa suite starts at only $873 per night! When you consider what an incredible stay is on offer, this Lovely Luxury is an absolute bargain. For more information about the incredible Soneva Kiri, click here to read about my stay or click here to head to the Soneva website.

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There you have it!

These are the 20 most incredible places I’ve ever stayed, but I am thinking I will make this a yearly post, writing about the best places I have stayed in each calendar year.

To finish off, I’d love to hear about the most amazing places you have ever stayed! Please leave recommendations in the comments, help my bucket list keep on growing!

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

5 thoughts on “Hotels, Hostels, Resorts + More! | The 20 Most Amazing Accommodations I’ve Ever Experienced

  1. You simply astound me young Lady ! The Ice Hotel in Sweden looks amazing, I have travelled a lot but mainly for business purposes so none of these places have been on my itinerary, however, thanks to your marvellous blog and sharing your knowledge I am definitely going to do some of them ! Vick xx

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