Caves. Naturally-formed hollows extending deep into cliffs and underground, the mysteries they contain have fascinated humankind for millennia. Thousands seek to unearth their dark secrets…while others build a cavern hotel into them! Either from the sheer fun of novelty, or from a universally-felt desire to normalize the vast unknown, enterprising individuals have decked out ancient caves with all the perks you’d expect from a luxury resort.
Hubristic? Maybe. But whatever helps them sleep well at night. And the guests at these cavern hotels, plunged into antediluvian darkness, are guaranteed to do exactly that. Read on to discover the best cave-dwelling destinations, from the zany to the opulent. And don’t worry, these caves are less likely to have creepy crawlers than your average American motel.
Cavern Hotel or Motel Suite Deep Underground?: The Grand Canyon Caverns, Arizona
Declared on the company’s website to be “the largest, deepest, darkest, oldest, quietest motel room in the world” (no argument here), the Cavern Suite, located 9 miles east of Peach Springs, Arizona, and 200 feet underground, combines a pleasant hotel stay with an unforgettable sensory deprivation experience. At this depth, the air is bone-dry, so there are no creepy-crawlies – but there is also no light, and no sound. The surreal atmosphere of the natural cave, 345 million years in the making, provides a piquant contrast to the cozy furnishings. For $850 a night, you can abandon your worldly preoccupations to the darkness of the cavern.
The Luxury Ozarks Cavern Motel: Beckham Creek Cave, Arkansas
This cavern hotel was built inside a naturally-formed cavern in the Arkansas Ozarks. Because of its higher elevation, the cave offers an abundance of natural light, which significantly dials down the claustrophobia factor. Beautifully remodeled and decorated, and featuring a wealth of contemporary amenities, this spectacular cave is the ideal compromise between awe-inspiring natural wonders and desirable accommodation. Thermal heating and rain showers make this a spa-like spot to get away from it all. With rates starting at $1,200 per night, and with 6,000 square feet of space to spread out in, you can bring some of your friends along for the ride, or make it a family affair.
The Remote New Mexico Cavern Hotel: Kokopelli’s Cave, New Mexico
Looking for more of a challenge? Search no more. This cave house motel, built 300 feet up into vast sandstone cliffs, overlooks the La Plata river valley far below. Guests must brave the pathway and steps hewn out of the living rock before safely reaching their room. This unique destination features many of the kitsch features we’ve come to appreciate in themed motels, including a replica Native American kiva and a Jacuzzi tub. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Starting at $310 a night, Kokopelli’s Cave is a steal for anyone looking for an unforgettable motel stay.
The Italian Luxury Cavern Hotel: Le Grotte della Civita, Matera, Italy
Venturing out of the United States, you’ll find the cave trend is popular all over the map! A standout example of a cave motel, the Civita cave is located in Metera, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travelers can stay in one of eighteen spectacular rooms that have been carefully created in the ancient cave homes of the region. In these rooms, respect for the historical value of the site and traditions of the locale exists in harmony with meticulous, contemporary-minded design. Guests can enjoy modern amenities while enjoying the authentic aesthetic of the cave dwellings. Starting at only $165 a night, Le Grotte della Civita is a truly remarkable cavern hotel that is certainly worth the trip.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of spectacular cave motel options in America and beyond. If you have any cool cave recommendations that I didn’t include here please feel free to share in the comments!