Five Best: Cave hotels

Try a taste of prehistoric living - with all mod cons. Rhiannon Batten goes underground


Les Hautes Roches, France

At this former monastery turned upmarket retreat on the banks of the Loire, 12 of the 15 lavish rooms are set in caves. However, even if you get one of the three "ordinary" rooms, you don't have to go without the troglodyte experience altogether, since the hotel's bar is also set into the rock. When you want to come up for air, this Relais & Châteaux property also features a sunny terrace, pool and restaurant.

Les Hautes Roches, 86 Quai de la Loire, Rochecorbon, France (00 33 2 47 52 88 88; www.leshautesroches.com). Doubles start at €135 (£93), room only.

The Caves, Jamaica

Definitely the world's grooviest cave hotel, The Caves belongs to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell's portfolio of Caribbean properties. Brightly coloured bohemian decor, a great, all-day, food and drinks list and the most chilled-out atmosphere this side of Alaska are all part of the package. While the guest cottages are all above ground, the hotel is built around a cave-peppered outcrop, dropping directly into the sea. Cool off by swimming in and out of the caves below. Otherwise book in for a massage in the Aveda spa or grab a candlelit table at the hotel's cave restaurant for a dinner to remember.

The Caves, Lighthouse Road, Negril, Jamaica (00 800 688 76781; www.islandoutpost.com). Cottages start at $515 (£286), all-inclusive.

Cappadocia Cave Suites, Turkey

The rooms at this romantic cave hotel are dubbed "fairy chimneys", which isn't stretching the imagination too much. From churches to houses, so many of the buildings in this historic region of Turkey are set into the rock - some so deep that whole cities have developed underground - that the landscape looks completely otherworldly. If you want to try Flintstone living for yourself, Cappadocia Cave Suites is a former hay barn, restored in the 1990s and now serving as a boutique hotel, with 18 atmospheric rooms.

Cappadocia Cave Suites, Gafferli Mah Unlu Sokak 19, Goreme, Turkey (00 90 384 271 2800; www.cappadociacavesuites.com). Doubles start at $150 (£86), including breakfast.

Alexander's, Greece

Set in the picturesque village of Oia on the island of Santorini, Alexander's has taken the idea of the traditional cave house and given it a modern twist. The architecture is still reassuringly Cycladic in style, however, (white-washed walls and domed roofs) and the décor features a mix of antique wooden furniture. There's no forgetting where you are when you step outside. From the hotel's terrace the view spins out over sugarcube houses clinging to the rock and the sun setting over the sea.

Alexander's, Santorini, Greece (00 30 228 607 1818; www.alexandershotel.com). Cave houses start at €85 (£47), including breakfast.

Desert Cave Hotel, Australia

Not so much a hotel as the world's most luxurious mine shaft, the Desert Cave opened in Coober Pedy in 1988, making excellent use of the underground climate. That isn't as radical as it sounds - the local opal miners had been living below ground for years, gladly escaping the outback heat. Today's guests don't have to rough it, though. The hotel's 50 suites all have TV and internet and, although a little dated now, were cleverly designed to reflect the landscape. If you think you might get cabin fever, the hotel also has rooms above ground.

Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy, South Australia (00 61 886 725 688; www.desertcave.com.au). Doubles start at AUS$192 (£81), room only.

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there