North Korea’s Masik Pass ski resort joins a slew of other unusual-yet-luxurious travel destinations around the globe. From a five-star underwater resort in Fiji to an indoor man-made beach in Japan, here are 8 of the most surprising.
Dubai’s Indoor Ski Resort
Courtesy of Ski DubaiSki Dubai
The first indoor ski resort in the Middle East comes complete with five runs, a ski lift and three football fields worth of real snow year-round. It’s also home to the largest indoor snow park for kids, themed restaurants like the St. Moritz Café and, most impressively, snow penguins, who entertain during their daily ‘March of the Penguins’ performance.
Beijing’s French Chateau
Courtesy of the Zhang Laffitte Chateau hotelThe Zhang Laffitte Chateau Hotel
Chinese real-estate developer Zhang Yuchen was so taken with Château de Maisons-Laffitte, a Paris landmark, he decided to build one for himself. The $50 million hotel and seminar center is an exact replica of the one in Paris, built using the manor’s original blueprints and 10,000 photos of the property.
The Middle East’s Thai-Style Resort
Courtesy of Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & SpaAnantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Guests at Anantara Dubai are transported from the Middle East to Dubai in a matter of minutes. The luxury hotel, which opened in September, features 293 Thai-style rooms and villas. Longboats float through lagoons on the property and serve tropical beverages, while three-wheeler tuk-tuks transport guests around the resort.
China’s Austrian Town
Courtesy of FlickHallstatt 2
A Chinese real estate development company recreated Austria’s Hallstatt village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Southeast China. The city features high-end residential housing, an evangelical church and an exact replica of Hallstatt Lake.
The World’s Largest Swimming Pool
Courtesy of San Alfonso del MarSan Alfonso del Mar
San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile is home to a 3,324-foot long lagoon, dubbed “the world’s largest pool” according to the Guinness World Records. Its location? Just steps from the Pacific Ocean. The pool (also pictured right) is frequented by kayaks, sailboats and scuba divers.
Fiji’s Five-Star Underwater Resort
Courtesy of Poseidon ResortsPoseidon Resorts
Located 40 feet underwater, the property (which has yet to open) has everything you’d expect from a five-star resort: 25 suites, a spa, gym, dive shop, two fine dining establishments and even a conference room that doubles as a wedding chapel.
The Man-Made Beach in Japan
Courtesy of FlickSeagaia Ocean Dome
It’s summer all year long in Miyazaki, Japan, thanks to Seagaia’s Ocean Dome. The world’s largest indoor beach contains artificial sand, palm trees and 13,500 tons of salt-free water. It can accommodate 10,000 tourists at once.
The Train Station Hotel
Courtesy of Tokyo Station HotelTokyo Station Hotel
The luxe 150-room hotel, which reopened in October 2012, is located in a 1914 red brick train station that remarkably survived World War II firebombing and a deadly earthquake in 1923. Besides its red-brick exterior, the hotel’s a stand-out for being three stories high in a city of skyscrapers and modern architecture.
Shop This Story: Packing for Visiting 8 Bizarre Luxury Destinations.