Best Cave Hotels

Best Cave Hotels

Choosing the right place to stay can make or break a holiday, and everyone has their own criteria. Whether that be pool or spa (often both); right in the action or away from the crowds; or comfortable room or stellar views. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can now find a whole host of hotels that offer something slightly out of ordinary; take to the water with a stay in a boatel, hunker down in a capsule hotel or head for the lofty heights of a treehouse. Another innovation carving out space for itself within the luxury lodging industry is the humble cave hotel. The stone walls and stillness of the cavernous space instil a particular kind of peace and quiet, allowing for undisturbed slumbers and calm moments. Read on to find out about the best of the underground world, as our list of the best cave hotels sees archaeology and geology get a lavish upgrade.

  1. Le Grotte della Civita, Matera, Italy
  2. Sala Silver Mine, Sweden
  3. Gamirasu Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey
  4. White Cliffs Underground Motel, Australia
  5. Iconic Santorini Hotel, Greece


Le Grotte della Civita, Matera, Italy

If anywhere in the world was going to have a cave hotel, you’d expect it to be Matera in Italy. Situated on a rocky outcrop in the south of the country (just before you reach the heel of its boot), the city is renowned for its rock-hewn urban centre, referred to as the Sassi. There is evidence of human inhabitation here as early as 7000 BC, with people living in troglodyte (cave dwelling) settlements. Dug into the calcarenitic rock, these houses (known locally as tufo) were lived in until the 1950s, when they were declared ‘unfit for modern habitation’ by the Italian government. Today, these cave residences have been restored and remodelled, with UNESCO even getting in on the action and listing the Sassi as a World Heritage Site. Le Grotte della Civita spent almost a decade carefully crafting the ancient accommodation into boutique bedrooms, making sure to maintain a medieval atmosphere with minimal furnishings and a restaurant set within a 13th-century rupestrian church.


Sala Silver Mine, Sweden

Second on our list of the best cave hotels is Sweden’s Sala Silver Mine, which lays claim to the world’s deepest hotel suite, located 508ft underground. Sala was once the largest and most important silver mine in the country, until the precious ore ran out in the 20th century, leaving behind a honeycomb-like lattice of tunnels and chambers. The mine now serves as a tourist attraction, with guided tours, concerts and even weddings taking place in the subterranean space. Its hotel suite is designed for two, adorned with silver furnishings and illuminated by candlelight. This is certainly one way of really getting away from it all.


Gamirasu Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is another stellar natural destination for a cave hotel. The central Turkish region was home to troglodytes (cave dwellers) during the Bronze Age, who carved living quarters into the valley walls and today, this rock-cut architecture has been upgraded into comfortable lodgings. Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Ayvali boasts luxury and tradition in equal measure, making it one of the best cave hotels for a lavish, yet authentic stay. With vaulted ceilings, traditional Turkish décor and natural fairy chimneys (a charming geological feature of the region that forms within sedimentary and volcanic rock), it’s what cave hotel dreams are made of.


White Cliffs Underground Motel, Australia

Decidedly off-the-beaten-track in the Australian outback, the White Cliffs Underground Motel features 44 dug-out-style cave rooms, constructed mostly by hand in the 1980s. Venturing underground has been well-documented as a way of escaping the scorching heat of the outback and White Cliffs offers this, with pleasant year-round temperatures of 22°C inside the motel. The cave hotel also has no mobile coverage, radio or tv, making it easy to truly disconnect from the outside world (the swimming pool with panoramic views helps too).


Iconic Santorini Hotel, Greece

The Iconic Santorini Hotel is proof that cave hotels can be every bit as luxurious as their on-ground counterparts. Located in the romantic Imerovigli Village, near Fira, the boutique hotel is carved into the island’s volcanic caldera wall. Its cave suite takes things one step further, set even deeper into the rock and featuring a plunge pool that overlooks Santorini’s volcano. Having been awarded the accolade of Greece’s leading boutique hotel for numerous years in a row, the cave-sheltered accommodation certainly lives up to its name.


Written by Luisa Watts