Bird Island

Located in the Caribbean just off the coast of Belize, Bird Island is a secluded off-grid paradise. The private island is just a 20-minute boat ride from the mainland, which is included in your stay. Accommodations for six are spread out between the main house — equipped with a kitchen and living room — and two separate cabanas, powered by solar and wind generators. Even the water is collected and filtered on-site. The island isn't the only thing that's self-sufficient. Guests supply their own food and entertainment, with swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking right outside your doorstep.

  • Arctic Bath

    Free floating in the summer and frozen in place during the winter, the Arctic Bath is a hotel in the middle of the Lule River. Resembling a bird's nest, the circular structure is built around a central bath. But you won't seek refuge from the frigid Swedish climate here — the water is kept at a cool four degrees. After a refreshing dip, guests can warm up with a visit to the sauna or spa. Although the hotel also offers a shop, lounge, and restaurant, the main attraction is what's above. Its location allows for uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights.

    Photos: Arctic Bath

  • Freehand Hotel Los Angeles

    With a mix of shared rooms and luxury suites, Freehand Hotel Los Angeles provides a laid-back hostel atmosphere in the middle of downtown. Although the prices are comparable to that time you backpacked through Europe, the accommodations are not. Shared rooms can sleep four to six people in their custom cedar bunk beds, featuring hand-woven linens, privacy screens, reading lights, and en suite bathrooms. If the communal thing isn't your cup of tea, the hotel also has 167 private rooms, including a 745-square-foot Burroughs Suite with a king bed, living room, and sweeping city views. With restaurants, bars, a rooftop pool, and cafe serving the finest Nicaraguan coffees, there are plenty of other ways to socialize that don't require bunking with strangers.

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