While we usually only consider hotels or homestays when we book vacations, spending the night on a boat offers life from a unique new perspective. The wind in your hair and the view of the shore can be enjoyed from boats that are quirky or luxurious, docked at a harbor or motoring downriver. Take a look at these unique boat hotels from around the world to start dreaming of finding your sea legs.
Ha Long, Vietnam
At Aphrodite Cruises, luxury is the name of the game. The gracious staff makes you feel like a VIP from the moment you step on board, and the lavish meals have foodies swooning. Some of the rooms come with hot tubs and terraces, so you can soak by the sea in utter privacy – otherwise the panoramic views from the deck will have to do.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Ms 3 Gebroeders houseboat is the place to stay if you want to experience authentic Amsterdam houseboat life. Smack in the city center, there’s nothing better than escaping the tourist throngs and sipping a drink on the deck. The complimentary wine, beer, and snacks, and breakfast don’t hurt either.
Yacht Bert Venezia is a classic yacht that will leave boat-lovers starry-eyed. The elegant 30 meter vessel, docked in the Marina of Sant’Elena, features six elegant air-conditioned cabins with views of the Venice Lagoon and Lido, and three decks where guests can enjoy breakfast. The yacht is moored just far enough from St. Mark’s Square to ensure that the only sound you’ll hear at night is the lapping of the sea.
There’s no better way to explore Kerala’s peaceful backwaters than by kettuvallam – a traditional houseboat made out of jack-wood and fish oil. The big, beautiful boats of Xandari Riverscapes float along Lake Vembanad’s palm-lined shores, offering an experience than can only be described as poetic. All meals are included – an apparent treat, since guests raved about the food.
Houseboat Hotels are warm, welcoming, and moored at Sheffield’s Victoria Quays, just a 5-minute walk from the city center. Each boat has a fully-equipped kitchen and can sleep up to four people, so it’s a great option for families – and the kids will love watching the fish and ducks swimming in the canal. Extra touches like a music system, board games, and an outdoor area decorated with fairy lights make this place special.
Suisun City, USA
Docked in Suisun City, the classic décor of the Barkissimo Yacht Hotel will have you feeling like a ship captain. Think elegant wood furnishings, panoramic views, and a daily three-course gourmet breakfast. Guests who are in need of some serious relaxation, can visit the wine bar on the upper deck or chill out in the spa bath available in selected rooms.
Floatinn Boat-BnB features modern rooms that all come with a porthole facing Lake Geneva, so you won’t miss an inch of the famous Jet d’Eau water fountain. The property offers a sun terrace on the deck and is a favorite amongst guests, probably because of the friendly service and the uninterrupted views.