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India’s Mihir Garh - world’s most extraordinary hotel
March 2, 2014, 11:31 am

There are dozens of converted historic forts and palaces offering luxury accommodation in India but a fort, built from scratch in the Rajasthan desert just five years ago, has been named the most extraordinary hotel in the world by Lonely Planet.

Perched on a sand dune, overlooking the parched earth and shrubs of the Thar desert, Mihir Garh – or the fort of the sun – was a labour of love for owner Sidharth Singh, who says he was driven by intuition rather than reason; hiring more than 100 local craftsmen and carpenters who worked for two years to create nine 1,700sq ft suites, each with its own plunge pool, fireplace (made in the local style, from cow dung) and decorated in furnishings from Jodhpur.

“Few hotels are created without compromise, Mihir Garh is a rare example. This is not just a unique place to stay, it is a shrine to the artistic and architectural traditions of Rajasthan in general and Jodhpur in particular,” says Lonely Planet writer James Kay.

The top 10 most extraordinary hotels, is one of three inaugural lists naming the guidebook publisher’s favorite places to stay in the world. The other two are best-value hotels in the world.

Most extraordinary hotels

1 Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India
2 Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana
3 Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy
4 Qasr Al Sarab, UAE
5 Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, TAS, Australia
6 Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada
7 Taskonak Hotel, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
8 Thonga Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
9 Saugerties Lighthouse, New York state, USA
10 The Gibbon Experience Treehouse, Bokeo Reserve, Laos

Best value hotels

1 The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa
2 Sydney Harbour YHA, Australia
3 Inkosana Lodge, Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa
4 Old Plovdiv Guesthouse, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
5 Hotel Gruner Baum, Glorenza, Sudtirol, Italy
6 Oztel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
7 Fauzi Azar Inn, Nazareth, Israel
8 We Hostel Design, Sao Paulo, Brazil
9 Hotel Hotel Hostel, Seattle, USA
10 On the corner, Kolomyya, Ukraine

Outstanding eco-hotels
1 Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica
2 Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa
3 Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania
4 Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru
5 EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile
6 Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco
7 Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA
8 Dana Guest House, Jordan
9 Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea
10 Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia

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