Ever dream of drifting away from it all? Amy Dawson rounds up the five of the best floating hotels…
Pumphouse Point, Australia
A DISUSED 1940s hydroelectric pumphouse has been converted into a cosy but hip wilderness lodge where you can sleep 800ft from the shoreline on Tasmania’s massive Lake St Clair. The interior is styled with a chic palette of soft greys and warm woods, with the odd on-trend nod to the building’s industrial past in the form of bare lightbulbs and exposed copper pipes.
It would be pretty much impossible to tire of the views across the lake towards the breathtaking peaks of Cradle Mountain and the Central Highlands but there’s plenty to do in the area, too. Take a trip to one of Tasmania’s wineries and breweries, such as Two Metre Tall, named after its vertiginous owner. On Sundays you’re invited to bring a picnic and sample local ales and ciders (pints from £5.69, 2mt.com.au). From £265 per night, pumphousepoint.com.au
Good Hotel, UK
MOORED in London’s Royal Victoria Dock, this floating hotel has travelled to the UK from its original home in Amsterdam. It’s decorated in minimalist, industrial-luxe style and there’s a rooftop bar with fantastic views over The Docklands. It’s a good hotel by nature as well as name with profits reinvested to help the long-term unemployed in the area and other worthwhile causes. The hotel is next door to the Emirates Air Line (£3.50 one way, tfl.gov.uk), which can whizz you to North Greenwich via a cable car, and there’s adventure right on your watery doorstep in the form of open-water swimming (£15, londonsroyaldocks.com) or stand-up paddle boarding (£20, wakeupdocklands.com). From £85 per night, goodhotellondon.com
Arctic Bath Hotel, Sweden
WILDERNESS and wellness lovers will adore this circular spa hotel, set to open on Swedish Lapland’s Lule river later this year. Brought to you by the team behind Treehotel, which is just a five-minute drive away in Harads, the Arctic Bath’s jagged design is inspired by the look of logjams. In summer it will float, while in winter it will be frozen into the ice, and a central pool will be ringed by saunas and treatment rooms (spa treatments from £80).
Guests will sleep in Scandi-chic rooms with a private deck — so you can bathe in the glow of the Northern Lights, or the midnight sun, depending on when you’re visiting, and the hotel will host yoga and meditation sessions. If you fancy some adventure to balance your bliss, you can take part in various unusual excursions run by local companies, including moose calling (£148, hideandsee.se) or a Sámi culture experience, where you get to meet (and feed) reindeer (£84, silba.se). Doubles from £553 per night, arcticbath.se
Hôtel Palafitte, Switzerland
THE only hotel in Europe to be built on stilts over water features 24 sleek and modern wooden pavilions, poised above Switzerland’s enormous Lake Neuchâtel (there are a further 14 rooms on the shore). The location, close to the French border, is glorious, featuring striking views over the water towards crisp Alpine scenery.
While the over-water cabins are the kind of thing you might be more ready to find in the Maldives, they’re actually based on ancient archaeological remains, featuring houses built on stilts, found in the local area. The hotel can provide guests with free access to a double canoe, paddleboards, bikes or fishing rods — and, of course, there’s always a dip in the lake if you’re feeling energetic. If you’re ready to venture out, the pretty medieval town of Neuchâtel is a half-hour stroll away, and a lovely place for a sunset wander. From £454 per night, palafitte.ch
Uakari Floating Lodge, Brazil
THIS peaceful and deeply remote jungle eco-lodge consists of five rustic floating bungalows, located in the heart of the Amazon’s Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. This huge area of protected forest provides a unique and precious area of biodiversity, so you might spot animals such as the uakari monkey, zigzag herons, pink river dolphins and even (on a special scientific expedition) the black jaguar.
Locals from ten communities in the reserve make up the workforce at the lodge, which runs on strict principles of eco and community tourism. The team can organise wildlife-spotting excursions by canoe or on foot, plus visits to surrounding villages. From £430 for three nights, including meals and some activities, uakarilodge.com.br