And so to bed - these are like no others

From reindeer skins in Sweden to a bed out of rock'n'roll history, we suggest 10 sexy places to settle down for the night
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The Independent Travel

1. Icehotel, Swedish Lapland

1. Icehotel, Swedish Lapland

The trend for ice hotels continues apace. The original, the Icehotel at Jukkasjarvi, on the banks of the river Torne, 200km (125 miles) north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, first opened its doors 15 years ago. But the concept has since been copied across the globe's icier wastes, from Finland to the US. Whatever your destination, the experience is largely the same. At Icehotel, you will be accommodated at minus 4C in a choice of four rooms - double, family, suite and deluxe suite - where you'll spend the night snuggled up in special sleeping bags on a stylishly fashioned block of ice, draped in reindeer skins. Next morning, a reviving cup of hot lingonberry juice will be brought to your bedside. Then, in true Scandinavian style, you can take an invigorating sauna before breakfast.

Ice Hotel, 981 91 Jukkasjarvi, Sweden (00 46 980 66 800; www.icehotel.com). Doubles start at Swedish kronor 2,800 (£218) with breakfast and the loan of warm outer clothes. Discover the World (01737 214255; www.discover-the-world.co.uk) offers three nights at the Icehotel from £813 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Heathrow to Kiruna via Stockholm, transfers, one night in an ice room and two nights in heated accommodation on a b&b basis. Departures available until April.

2. Round Bed Room, Portobello Hotel, London

You don't get more rock'n'roll than sleeping in a bed created for Alice Cooper. The raven-haired rocker checked in to room 16 at The Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill in 1979 - but not before commissioning a circular bed for himself and his pet boa constrictor. Standing right next to the bed is the Jules Verne Fantasy Bath, which can host four saucy bathers at once. Fifteen years later, it was reputedly filled with champagne by guests Johnny Depp and Kate Moss. Rock on.

The Portobello Hotel (020-7727 2777; www.portobello-hotel.co.uk), 22 Stanley Gardens, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 2NG. The room costs from £275 per night, including breakfast.

3. Harlingen Harbour Crane, Netherlands

Leave the world below you at the Harlingen Harbour Crane, which stands in the Wadden Sea off the Dutch coast. A local landmark since it was put to work in the 1960s unloading timber from Russian and Scandinavian ships, the crane has been refitted to provide a unique place to spend the night. Visitors are whizzed 17m by lift above the waves for a taste of the high life in the old machine room, now a luxuriously appointed pad with bed, sitting area and shower-bath for two. This must be the only hotel in the world where you can choose the view from your bed: just climb the little staircase to the top cabin, pull on the lever and rotate the 65,000kg steel giant until you find your preferred position.

Price €299 (£214) per night, with breakfast. Harlingen Harbour Crane, Dokkade 5, Harlingen, The Netherlands (00 31 515 540 550; www.vuurtoren-harlingen.nl).

4. Star Beds, Loisaba Lodge, Kenya

Never mind going up the wooden stairs to bed, at Loisaba Lodge in Kenya you'll have to take a camel, horse or 4x4 to hit the sack, if you're staying in one of its Star Beds, which are strategically placed beyond the main camp, at the Kiboko waterhole and on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river. At night, the beds are wheeled out on to wooden platforms, partially covered by a thatched roof or open to the stars, for the ultimate Africa experience. And while you might not see much wildlife once the sun goes down, you'll certainly hear it.

Loisaba Lodge, PO Box 1348, Nanyuki, Kenya (00 254 62 31072; www.loisaba.com). Scott Dunn (020-8682 5070; www.scottdunn.com) offers a four-night safari from £1,165 per person, based on two sharing, including return scheduled flights on Air Kenya from Wilson to Nanyuki and private charter return flights from Nanyuki to Loisaba, all meals and drinks, game activities, laundry and conservation fees. International flights cost extra.

5. Lioness's Suite, The Hempel, London

There's no snoring, just growling at the Lioness's Suite in über-minimalist London hotel The Hempel, where guests sleep suspended in a cage over the lounge. Owner Anoushka Hempel came up with the idea of primal luxury when she opened the hotel nine years ago - it has proved a popular choice for honeymoons and anniversaries ever since. A staircase leads from the lounge to a mezzanine floor encased by stainless steel bars. Potential guests will be relieved to hear that a night on the floor of this cage is made a little more comfortable for you and your mate thanks to a king-size futon-style mattress and Frette linen.

The Hempel, 31-35 Craven Hill Gardens, London W2 3EA (020-7298 9000; www.the-hempel.co.uk). The Lioness's Suite costs from £795 per night, with breakfast.

6. Eastern & Oriental Express to Singapore

Any train journey is high on romance, but the Eastern & Oriental Express, which threads its way down the Malay Peninsula from Bangkok to Singapore, is more evocative than most. OK, the bed in question is a pair of single beds, several chaste inches apart, but there is still something undeniably sexy about spending two nights lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the rails through the steamy tropical jungles and plantations of Thailand and Malaysia. The train stops en route for visits to the River Kwai and the colonial Georgetown, Penang, or you can always make up for lost time by spending the 52 hours on board canoodling in the privacy of your own compartment. You only need venture out for champagne at the bar and a gourmet dinner à deux in the restaurant car.

Eastern & Oriental Express (0845 077 2222; www.orient-express.com). Itineraries start from £990 per person, based on two sharing, including all meals on board and two sightseeing excursions. There are regular departures throughout the year and the journey can also be done in reverse from Singapore to Bangkok.

7. MyBed, Sofitel hotels

MyBed provides guests with not one but two duvets - one to sleep on and one to sleep under: you'll feel as if you're dozing off on a cloud. A "featherbed" is attached to the top of the mattress, so you sink into the plump bed, while good posture is maintained by the supportive mattress. The top duvet feels almost weightless so you shouldn't overheat, and beds are raised high: order breakfast in bed, lie back and enjoy. There's even a pillow menu for the most discerning guests.

Sofitel (0870 609 0964; www.sofitel.com) has MyBeds in approximately 60 per cent of its European and North American hotels, with plans for further expansion in Asia and South America.

MyBed can also be purchased from the Sofitel So Boutique (00 800 1763 4835; www.soboutique.com). The cost for a bed, mattress and featherbed is €1,089 (£778), delivery to the UK starts at €195.

8. Absolut Love room, Hotel Pelirocco, Brighton

What was once one of Brighton's best-kept secrets has inevitably become a much sought-after base for both celebrities and weekenders. The Pelirocco has 19, individually designed bedrooms, one of which is the Absolut Love room, a raunchy red boudoir centring on a king-size bed with a red, heart-shaped headboard and bedstead. The huge bed was created especially for the room and sits in an alcove, with views of the Channel. Absolut vodka bottle "chandeliers" dangle above. Heavy red velvet curtains block out every splinter of sunlight behind the bed, allowing guests to make the most of their time between the sheets. The hotel's Bubble Suite has an altogether different view - the 8ft round bed has a mirror mounted directly above it on the ceiling. For couples or narcissists only.

Hotel Pelirocco (01273 327055; www.hotelpelirocco.co.uk), 10 Regency Square, Brighton BN1 2FG. Doubles start at £90, including breakfast.

9. John & Yoko Suite, Amsterdam Hilton

Stage your own bed-in in the room used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono when they were trying to change the world in 1969. The room was once a forerunner of minimalist chic but has since mellowed, Yoko overseeing the introduction of natural fabrics and textiles. Although the couple's bed for a week has gone, its successor stands on the same spot. Suite 702 has a spacious lounge, modern furniture and original photographs of Lennon. The room is also a popular venue for wedding ceremonies, and guests can arrive by boat at the hotel's private canal landing.

Amsterdam Hilton (00 31 20 710 6000; www.amsterdam.hilton.com), Apollolaan 138, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The suite costs from €965 (£689), room only.

10. Dhoni Mighili, Maldives

After the tsunami, south-east Asia is imploring tourists to return, as they provide the area with one of its main sources of income.

The Maldives is one of the region's great destinations for couples, and Dhoni Mighili offers unusual accommodation on dhonis, traditional Maldivian boats that ply between the islands and atolls. Guests are invited to sleep afloat on these luxury, 65ft wooden structures, which have been converted into floating hotel rooms. They feature sails and a motor, so they can be moored at sand banks or uninhabited islands in the Ari Atoll.

The beds sit in the middle of the boats and have goosedown duvets with linen covers and silk cushions. Those with questionable sea legs can choose to moor their dhoni beside a thatched beach bungalow at Mighili.

Dhoni Mighili (00 960 450 751; www.dhonimighili.com), Mushimas Mighili, North Ari Atoll, Republic of Maldives. Packages are available through Seasons in Style (0151 342 0505; www.seasonsinstyle.co.uk) offering seven nights at Dhoni Mighili for £3,630 per person including return flights from London, Manchester, Glasgow or Birmingham to Male via Dubai with Emirates, seaplane transfers and all-inclusive accommodation in a dhoni and beach bungalow. The offer is valid until 21 March.

Compiled by Sophie Lam, Kate Simon and Aoife O'Riordain

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