World's 10 best cave hotels

GAMIRASU CAVE HOTEL, AYVALI, TURKEY

Cappadocia is troglodyte HQ, a fairytale region of honeycombed hills set on the stark plains of Anatolia, and Gamirasu is the standout among its cave hotels. Located in Ayvali Village the 35-room hotel consists of converted village houses and a Byzantine-era monastery, complete with wall frescoes, and such un-monkish refinements as a heated outdoor pool, an organic food restaurant and Wi-Fi. All-white rooms are stylish, romantic and silent. See gamirasu.com

DESERT CAVE HOTEL, COOBER PEDY, AUSTRALIA

In a town where most of the population lives and works below the surface, no surprise that the best hotel in this opal-mining town is underground. The miracle is that life in a cave is so luxurious. Rooms are comfortably cool, dry and totally silent. There's also a pool, an underground bar and Opal World – an underground shopping arcade with some of Coober Pedy's finest gemstones. See desertcave.com.au

SEXTANTIO LE GROTTE DELLA CIVITA, MATERA, ITALY

SunFeb17Ten - Traveller 10 Best cave hotels - Michael Gebicki
SEXTANTIO LE GROTTE DELLA CIVITA
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In this ancient town in the Basilicata region of southern Italy, this is a sensitive transformation of a group of the town's sassi, simple cave houses once a synonym for poverty, into a beautiful and atmospheric hotel. Rooms are powerfully evocative of their surroundings, and simply but exquisitely furnished. Breakfast is served on a communal table in a medieval church. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage site, popular with filmmakers for its biblical backdrops. See legrottedellacivita.sextantio.it

KOKOPELLI'S CAVE, FARMINGTON, USA

Set in cliffs 100 metres above the valley of the La Plata river valley in north-east New Mexico, this spacious, man-made cave consists of a master bedroom, kitchen, living and dining area, a bathroom with a waterfall shower and Jacuzzi. There's also a Native American kiva, a room used for rituals by the original Pueblo Indian people of the region. Solitude is five-star, and views from the terrace are dazzling, especially when sunset brings fire to the valley skies. Expect the local wildlife to attend. See kokoscave.us

THE MINE SUITE, SALA SILVERMINE, SALA, SWEDEN

In the world's deepest hotel suite, 155 metres underground, you're guaranteed absolute silence and total privacy. In the depths of what was once Sweden's deepest silver mine, there's a touch of fantasy about the single guest suite, with its chandelier, candles and silver armchairs. In-room heating and a cosy bed wards off the cave's natural temperature, which never rises above 2 degrees Celsius. Guests get a snack basket with wine and breakfast, served in their private dining alcove. See salasilvergruva.se

LES HAUTES ROCHES, ROCHECORBON, FRANCE

SunFeb17Ten - Traveller 10 Best cave hotels - Michael Gebicki
LES HAUTES ROCHES, ROCHECORBON, FRANCE
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A cave hotel is not what you expect among the chateaux of the Loire Valley but these caves bored into the cliff face were once monks' cells. Today it's a luxury 14 room hotel with Relais & Chateaux credentials, done out in a pretty French country style. Guest suites are made less cave-like by the big windows that open to a lovely view of the Loire slinking through the countryside. See leshautesroches.com

ICONIC SANTORINI, GREECE

This luxury boutique hotel has been crafted from the traditional Santorini village house known as a skafta, a horizontal tunnel bored into the cliff wall with a door across the front. Each of the 19 suites is different, decorated in a pretty white and sea-blue colour scheme that echoes the colours of the Greek flag. More expensive suites have terraces with jetted plunge pools from which you can admire one of the world's best sunsets. See iconicsantorini.com

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MIRRA MIRRA, CROSSOVER, AUSTRALIA

The Cave House is one of three types of accommodation at this bushland retreat in Gippsland, 90 minutes from Melbourne, where fantasy takes a front seat. Pass through the mouth of Magog and you're in a gorgeously private, naturally cooled two-bedroom hideaway with coloured uplighting accenting details in the stone walls. There's a log fire and full-size kitchen where you can grill a chunk of prime local beef to complete the Fred Flintstone, yabba-dabba-do experience. See miramira.com.au

BECKHAM CREEK CAVE HOUSE, PARTHENON, USA

SunFeb17Ten - Traveller 10 Best cave hotels - Michael Gebicki
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BECKHAM CREEK CAVE HOUSE, PARTHENON, USA

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Located on the northern side of Arkansas' Ozark National Forest, this modern luxury lodge combines style and adventure. Set in a natural cavern, high within a bluff overlooking a green valley, there are just four suites at this high-end retreat, and four lavish bathrooms. There's a chef's dream kitchen, and a plush lounge area with a natural waterfall that dominates the centre of the main room, the ultimate in a self-catering, rough-edged adventure with a silk finish. See beckhamcave.com

KAGGA KAMMA NATURE RESERVE, CEDERBERG, SOUTH AFRICA

In the Cederberg Wilderness Area of Western Cape Province, Kagga Kamma offers Open Air Rooms – literally a bed and bathroom in the great outdoors – plus 10 unique and superbly comfortable cave suites carved from sandstone. This natural paradise also includes a spa, swimming pool, restaurant and a comprehensive activities program that showcases the flora and fauna of the region, much of which is rarely seen in other parts of South Africa. See kaggakamma.co.za

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