Frying Pan Tower: The remote US Lighthouse converted into a hotel

Set 55km off the coast of North Carolina at the southernmost edge of an area known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic", guests at the remote 25.9-metre-high Frying Pan Tower enjoy panoramic views of the ocean from the hotel's 80ft by 80ft helipad.

Described as something between camping and a beach house stay, this historic former lighthouse sits on stilts and is accessible only by boat or helicopter. It can accommodate eight to 12 guests and comes equipped with eight bedrooms (five with twin beds, three with queen beds), six hammocks on its helipad deck, a full kitchen, a pool table, and internet access.

Linens as well as basic meal supplies are provided but a chef is also available for hire for the duration of a stay. One or two tower staff will also remain on site during a booking, which is priced from $US598 ($A790) per person for a room and meals for three days and two nights, including boat transfers. Transfers by helicopter can also be booked, with the latest departures in May and June priced from $US1175 per person for a three-day stay.

Situated over a protected reef full of shipwrecks, including more than 130 newly discovered ones between 1994 and 2008, the tower offers a great base for fishing directly from the property or guests can also charter a boat for fishing trips further afield.

Hovering above the shallow waters of the Frying Pan Shoals, which run 35-50 feet deep, the historic property was a fully manned US Coast Guard light station for 110 years from 1854, before it was reconstructed as an automated lighthouse on steel stilts in the Sixties and Seventies.

The Frying Pan Tower is the latest in a series of unusual places to be converted into a hotel. Earlier this year, a lifeguard tower in Tel Aviv was made into a luxurious pop-up two-level seaside retreat, featuring stylish decor, a freestanding bathtub, and the services of a personal butler.

Closer to home in Britain, 2015 saw the opening of No Man's Fort, a Victorian fort-turned-luxury hotel at sea, set in the middle of the Solent. Built between 1867 and 1880 at the request of Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, the fort was built in order to protect Portsmouth from an attack by Napoleon III (an attack that never came).

Those who suffer from vertigo might want to avoid the Crane Hotel Faralda in Amsterdam, a three-suite property housed in a converted crane overlooking the city.

"Opulent and obscure in equal measure, it's ideal if you're looking for something alternative," described travel writer Gavin Haines, who stayed at the hotel recently.


The Telegraph, London

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