There's nothing wrong with a dingy hostel in a seedy part of town – well, apart from the obvious. Sometimes you have to put up with bad accommodation. It serves a greater good. It gets you where you need to be.
Sometimes, however, your accommodation is your holiday. You travel purely to stay in an amazing place, to experience a location that couldn't even be accessed if you weren't staying at a particular hotel.
Some of these are extremely expensive. Some, not so much. But all are in amazing locations.
Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, Australia
Somewhere between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, far away from the rich faux-hippies and the surfer dudes, lies Crystal Creek, a rainforest set high in the hinterland. And somewhere deep in that rainforest lies Crystal Creek Retreat, an adults-only property of rooms that look out into the trees, of hammocks spread across bubbling rivers, of fireplaces and birdsong. Songs pretty good to me.
How much? From $503 per night.
Airstream Camper, Lake Uyuni, Bolivia
You haven't truly experienced the world's highest and largest salt flat until you've spent the night there, and there's only one way to do that: in an Airstream Camper. This luxury campervan is parked up in the middle of nowhere on Lake Uyuni, and as the sun goes down you get to be the only soul for hundreds of kilometres, surrounded by nothing but salt, stars and silence.
How much? Chimu Adventures has seven-day Bolivia packages that include a night in the Airstream Camper, from $5910 per person.
Terelj Lodge, Mongolia
It takes long hours of bumping down bad roads through some fairly average-looking towns before you enter Mongolia's Terelj National Park, which would have to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's all rugged hills and grassy plains in this part of the country, and the best way (actually, the only way, really) to enjoy it is to stay in a traditional ger at Terelj Lodge.
How much: From $181 per night, all-inclusive.
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, Namibia
There are plenty of properties in amazing locations in Africa, from campsites by the Nile in Uganda to safari lodges right next to waterholes in Zimbabwe, but this has to be up there with the most spectacular – and the most remote. Set in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, about a six-hour drive from Windhoek, Wolwedans makes the most of its desert location with rooms that open out to the fresh air, and a pool deck suspended above the sand.
How much? From $420 per night, all-inclusive.
Wait A While Daintree, Australia
Deep in the Daintree Rainforest, about one and a half hours north of Port Douglas, you'll find the Wait A While Retreat, so named because that's what most guests end up wanting to do when it's time to leave. The location has the best of both worlds: seemingly endless rainforest on one side, and tropical beach near the Great Barrier Reef on the other. The building is a PNG-style longhouse with all of the mod cons.
How much? From $390 per night.
Wayra Lodge, Peru
While most travellers end up hiking the Inca Trail and camping out with 500 of their closest friends, there are better options to get to Machu Picchu. For example, the Salkantay trail, another path built by the Incas in the high Andes. The difference here is that the trail is dotted with luxury mountain cabins such as Wayra Lodge, while nestles almost 4000m above sea level on a plateau in the shadow of Salkantay peak.
How much? Seven-day, six-night packages with Mountain Lodges of Peru that include a night at Wayra Lodge start from $$4560.
Attrap Reves Hotel, France
The location is part of it: Attrap Reves is set in a forest in southern France, far from the bustle and glam of the Riviera. But what's most amazing about this hotel is the rooms, simple futons that are completely enclosed by glass bubbles. That's it. That's the room. It almost seems a shame to go to sleep as the stars come out at night and the forest rustles and you can lie there taking it all in.
How much? From $169 per night.
Aescher Cliff, Switzerland
Switzerland is a country blessed with many a stunning vista. In fact you almost get vista fatigue in this part of the world, as alpine panorama after alpine panorama flashes past your eyes. The cure for all that, however, is a stay at Aescher Cliff, a dorm-style hotel that commands perhaps the greatest view in a country of seriously great views. You could never tire of it.
How much? From $64 per night.
Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge, Australia
This doesn't really feel like camping. The roof is made of canvas and the great outdoors stretches on into infinity outside, but when there's air-conditioning, when there's an ensuite bathroom, when there's a comfy bed and doona, it doesn't really feel like camping. Not that you'd ever complain. This is luxury in the middle of Australia, and the middle of nowhere.
How much? From $395 per night.
Conrad Maldives, Rangali
Though it's hard to look at this place and not think of Troy McClure from the Simpsons (you might remember him from such films as "The Erotic Adventures of Hercules", and "Dial 'M' for Murderousness"), it's still undeniably amazing. A dining room under the sea, surrounded by all the beautiful fishes? That's worth the price alone. But then throw in the overwater bungalows, and everything else the Maldives has to offer, and you know why this has been named "Best Hotel in the World" twice, and it can charge what it does.
How much? From $1671 per night.
What's the most spectacular location you've ever stayed in?