In the shoes of a pilot
Board the Vliegtuigsuite, on the tarmac of the Teuge airport, about 60 miles from Amsterdam. Put on the uniform, sit in the original cockpit and take the controls of a 130-feet long airplane boarding 120 passengers. You'll be master and commander onboard this Ilouchine 18 airplane. Engage autopilot and visit the belly of the monster, transformed in 2007 into a luxury suite, after 15 years of use as a restaurant.
Dive under the sheets of the huge and cosy bed. Lie down in one of the leather sofas of the living room. Relax in the Jacuzzi or sauna. Displaying white surfaces, the minimalist decoration showcases both modern and vintage influences.
Way before remaining firmly on the ground, the aircraft visited Russia, Cuba, China and Vietnam. For those who wish to experience sensations up in the air, the airport offers helicopter introduction flights, flying lessons, tourism flights and skydiving activities.
Board the Orient-Express
Next stop, Petworth Old Station. The train station has been converted some 50 miles south of London, where you'll sleep in one of the two bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. Built in 1892, this train station has kept some elements of its past incarnation, like old counters or the stationmaster's desk, giving it genuine charm. Get on board one of the Orient-Express Pullman cars, turned into suites, whist not leaving the station.
At the break of day, English breakfast can be served in the old waiting room near the fireplace. And as for tea time, enjoy it in the British sunshine, comfortably sitting under outdoor parasols.
Icy night at the Hôtel de Glace
Some 120 miles away from Montréal, this surprising location appears to be frozen in time. In spite of the ephemeral nature of ice melting, many visitors leave with lasting memories. Put on your hat, scarf and gloves and sip on that welcome cocktail at the Ice Bar while dancing in rhythm with the music to keep warm. You could also choose to have dinner at the Pommery restaurant, where chef Matthieu Saunier will serve his best culinary creations.
To fully live this incredibly refreshing experience, follow the guided tour that explains how the hotel is made and what it takes to keep it running. Out in the open, get some body heat at the spa and sauna, overlooking the city. It is finally time to head back in, wrapped up in your “Nordic” sleeping bag on an ice bed (the temperature in the bedroom is about 41°F). All the conditions are met to spend an incredible moment.
Play the wildlife explorer
About 60 miles from Vancouver, enjoy complete immersion into the wildlife of the Free Spirit Spheres. Be one with lush vegetation spreading as far as the eye can see and listen to soothing silence barely interrupted by chirping birds. Tonight, you'll sleep like a log, that is a given. In this circular space made of wood and fibreglass, hanging 20-feet high by cables in trees, you will live a most unusual experience.
Forget about straight walls and ceilings. Here, you'll find nothing but curves and natural lines, accentuating softness and comfort. Discover “Eve”, “Eryn” and “Melody”, the three available accommodation cocoons for an adventurous night. Swaying softly in the wind, the balancing sphere will actually lull you to sleep, in perfect harmony with your environment. Inside, you'll enjoy functional equipment and elegant comfort. Be careful, you may like it too much!
Kerbel lighthouse, by the water's edge
Offering breathtaking views onto the Groix Island, the city of Lorient and the Quiberon Bay, this downy nest consists in one living area, a kitchen recess and a bathroom. Whether calm or stormy, depending on the winds, the sublime marine landscape will hypnotise you.
Like the lighthouse keepers of yesteryears, you first have to climb up the 120 steps (equivalent to a 7-floor building) to sleep in the former lantern room that has been entirely renovated. Pared down decoration, mahogany floors and modern furniture will make sure you pleasantly enjoy this break from the rest of the world. When weather permits, take a dive in the heated swimming pool and relax in the enclosed garden at the foot of the lighthouse. From time to time, you may want to step off your perched palace and visit Port-Louis and the citadel, by way of the marina.
Spend the night behind bars
There's no need to commit a crime to spend the night in jail. In the Malmaison Oxford Hotel, you'll be no prisoner though, and rather treated like a king. Enter this Victorian prison – closed in 1996 – turned into a luxury hotel. Admire the original architecture, iron gates and barred windows, all retained and contrasting with elegant and modern decoration, using leather and glass in sober tones.
In order to create more space in each room, several cells have actually been transformed into one bedroom with private bathroom, Jacuzzi and walk-in shower. You'll also find a restaurant serving British and European style food in the solitary confinement section. By fine weather, you could even have lunch in the prison yard or on the panoramic terrace. By night, have a drink at the cocktail bar, formerly used for visitations, and located on third floor.