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26 February 2014 09:13
The joys of Jodhpur: Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, also home to the award-winning Mihir Garh hotel
India's opulent Mihir Garh has been crowned the world's most extraordinary hotel.
Lonely Planet's expert authors chose the Rajasthan state venue because of its "mirage-like qualities".
Although officially in the city of Jodhpur, the hotel is an isolated fortress atop a sand mound at the edge of a desert.
Holidaymakers may be attracted to its remoteness.
But a stay in accommodation off the beaten track away from the metropolises' certainties makes the peace of mind gained from taking out
travel insurance even more advisable.
Lonely Planet spokesman James Kay said: "Few hotels are created without compromise; Mihir Garh is a rare example."
This is not just a unique place to stay, he said. It is also a shrine to the area's artistic and architectural traditions.
Meerkats might have had a hand (or paw) in helping Planet Baobab to second place in the top 10 list.
The Botswana Kalahari desert venue sees guests sleep in distinctive African thatched huts sprinkled among the eponymous baobab trees.
Tourists can spot lions on the vista, together with groups of meerkats and elephants, who gather at the neighbouring waterhole.
Lonely Planet writer James Bainbridge said: "Seeing lions in that bleached-out landscape was certainly memorable."
Italy's romantic hideaway of The Torre Prendiparte B&B, with its 900-year-old tower and unrivalled views of Bologna, finished third. Guests can reserve the whole tower, which once served as a religious prison.
The top 10 list also features Free Spirit Spheres in Canada, where guests sleep in spherical pods suspended among the trees on British Columbia's Vancouver Island.
Intrepid tourists who enjoy monkeying around should visit The Gibbon Experience Treehouse in Laos. The resort's treehouses are suspended 100ft (30.5m) above the ground and can solely be accessed through an exciting zip line strung across the forest canopy.
Turkey's Taskonak Hotel in Turkey, a retreat that has been carved into the rock in Cappadocia's Göreme village, also features.
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