It can be amazing to be the only passenger in an international first class cabin of an aircraft. It is perhaps more unusual though not unheard of to be the only passenger on an entire flight. Most recently, in late October a woman flying from Glasgow to Greece got the 189-seat plane all to herself when the other two passengers didn’t show up. Last year a man was the only passenger on a 160-seat Delta flight bound for Atlanta.
Being the only passenger is a bit special, as it can be similar to flying on a private plane. Plenty of room, a quiet and calm atmosphere, undivided attention from the crew, and painless boarding/exiting from the aircraft.
With hotels, being the only guest at a property is also pretty rare. Typically, hotels need to maintain around a 40 percent occupancy rate so as not to dip towards operating at a loss. In the event of natural disasters where guests are unable to reach hotels or there is property damage, the properties may choose to close temporarily and contact guests to re-accommodate them in nearby hotels. However, there are times when there can be a lull in bookings and for whatever reason guests find themselves in a ghost town. As an example, a guest at a property in Egypt noted that out of the 410 guest rooms available, only 5 were booked. This is usually not a good thing as a hotel might ordinarily have restaurants, gift shops, spa, etc. open but with very low guest counts the hours, food, and service might suffer due to reduced staff count.
On the flip side though, imagine all the really great aspects of being the only guest at a hotel. No loudly guffawing guests walking by your room late at night, no crying kids or amorous adults heard clearly through the walls, no 30 minute waits to be seated at the restaurant. Perhaps the best part is the undivided attention of the staff.
Here are 4 hotels you can stay at where you are the only guest, as the entire hotel has just one guest room –
4. The aptly named One Room Hotel, in Prague, Czech Republic.
Perched at the very top of the Television Tower which is 230 feet off the ground (and the highest in all of Prague), you can leave the noisy world below to rise up above the clouds and experience a quiet haven. Your unique and private suite features sweeping views of the city below, and the stars above. It is as if the view is only for you. You can also relax in the soaking tub and look out the window without any concerns that anyone will be looking in.
If you get hungry and don’t mind seeing other people, you can go down to the “Cloud” restaurant a few levels below that is open to the public (though hotel guests may get priority reservations). There’s also an observatory. Rates for One Room Hotel start at 549 EUR (around 652 USD) per night.
3. Casa Manni, Rome, Italy
Casa Manni is a luxury penthouse at the top of a 17th century palazzo right in the heart of Rome. Owned by an olive oil maker with a passion for quality, your 900 square foot living space comes complete with bedroom, full kitchen, bathroom, dining area, and living room, washer and dryer, and there’s a terrazzo with views of old Rome. Your stay includes free wifi, loaner mini-iPad, and personalized wines chosen by you (from a provided list) will be waiting in the wine cellar. One couple or one family at a time is accommodated.
Your personal concierge can do everything from arranging sightseeing tours to booking a private pasta making class with a famed Italian pasta maker. Correct-sized bathrobes and preferred pillow types make the house feel as if it is your own, and full daily housekeeping is provided. The VIP welcome even includes homemade jam, eggs, butter, milk, Coca Cola, prosciutto, etc. Rates for Casa Manni start around $1200 a night.
2. The Villa at Taprobane Island, Sri Lanka
This privately-owned hotel offers more than a guest room – you get the whole island when you book this 5 bedroom 1920’s mansion complete with verandas, tropical gardens, and an infinity pool. A private chef offers home-cooked Indian cuisine, and a staff of five make sure you enjoy your 2.5 acre paradise. Rates start at $1000 a night.
1. Eh’häusl, Germany
Nestled in between two large homes in Amberg, Eh’häusl was built in the 1700’s (and renovated in 2008). Steeped in history, the tiny property (named marriage house) was built by a ingenious businessman wanting to skirt the law requiring ownership of land for a couple to get married. The barely 8 foot wide home was sold quickly for a reasonable price to a groom who used it in order to provide the necessary proof for marriage. Once the couple was married, the house was then sold to the next groom. And so on, and so on. Today, the hotel touts itself as being smallest hotel in the world, as well as a luxury retreat.
Accommodations include breakfast for two, and underground parking. Today’s hotel includes a fireside lounge, as well as the bathroom and bedroom. Rates start at 240 EUR (about 285 USD) per night.