Only Your Mind Will Sail Away on These 10 Beautiful Boatels
Enjoy delightful breezes and nautical views without ever setting sail on these floating hotels.
Photo By: Covington Inn
Photo By: Boatel Charlie
Photo By: Queen Elizabeth 2
Photo By: Le Pirate
Photo By: Making Waves Boatel
Photo By: PADI Travel / Scubaspa Ying
Photo By: Botel Pressburg
Photo By: Shutterstock/Kit Leong
Once the most stately ocean liner in the world, the Queen Mary carried dignitaries, royalty and celebrities alike before departing on her final cruise in December 1967. Today, the Queen Mary is retired from service and docked in Long Beach, California, operating as a floating hotel with more than 350 staterooms and suites. The guest rooms have been freshened up since its last voyage, but much of the original paneling, built-in storage and fixtures remain to preserve the integrity of this famed cruise ship.
Situated on the Mississippi River, the Covington Inn is a 1940’s tugboat turned bed and breakfast docked just a five-minute walk from downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Boasting four elegant staterooms, each with private bathrooms, working fireplaces and air conditioning, this former towboat offers guests an intimate escape and amazing views of the city skyline. Enjoy a hot breakfast cooked in the boat’s galley before heading out to explore the city. Guests can even book an in-room massage to cap off a day filled with sightseeing.
Set on the shores of the Danube River in Belgrade, Serbia, Boatel Charlie looks more like a floating hotel than a retired boat that’s since been transformed into an inn. Adjacent to a leafy, public park, this minimalist, eight-room hotel is breezy and relaxing thanks to its location on the water. Pop into nearby shops or enjoy a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe just a 10-minute walk from Boatel Charlie, which also offers bike rentals. Or, simply sit on one of the floating hotel’s shaded decks and take in the nautical views.
Queen Elizabeth 2
The world-renowned Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), which sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for nearly four decades, completing more than 800 crossings, has a new, permanent home in Dubai. The QE2 opened as a 13-deck floating hotel in April 2018, boasting 224 thoughtfully restored staterooms and suites featuring period furnishings, original porthole windows and historic memorabilia. The luxury hotel includes a world-class spa, multiple restaurants and impressive views of the Dubai skyline. An onboard interactive exhibit explores the heritage and history of the QE2.
Le Pirate Boatel
Docked in a blue lagoon just 10 minutes from Labuan Bajo, a delightful fishing village in Indonesia is Le Pirate Boatel. This refreshing floating hotel features 10 waterfront cabins, each with its own private deck, swim ladder and hammock. Check out a canoe or paddleboard and venture to nearby beaches or try snorkeling; then relax in the evening with a picturesque sunset at the onboard barbecue restaurant. Stay on the floating hotel for the entirety of your stay or take a free shuttle boat into town for explorations on foot.
Making Waves Boatel
Set in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Making Waves Boatel is a short walk to restaurants, as well as top attractions, like CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. This 65-foot private yacht turned floating bed and breakfast boasts three cabins and delicious hot breakfast selections, like blueberry pumpkin pancakes and whole wheat banana pecan waffles. Relax on one of three decks and take in postcard-perfect views of the city skyline. Throughout the day, enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and cookies.
Divers will want to explore the new "liveaboards" from PADI Travel, including the Scubaspa Ying, a five-star floating hotel that’s ideal for those eager to explore colorful coral reefs and marine life in the Maldives. This luxury yacht boasts 19 cabins, a spa, onboard dining, and fine wines, as well as daily diving and snorkeling. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and yoga sessions are also available to guests. PADI Travel offers liveaboards all around the world, including the Caribbean, Central and South America and Europe.
Botel Pressburg is situated in the heart of Bratislava in southwestern Slovakia, a short walk from famed Bratislava Castle. All 32 well-appointed rooms include flat screen televisions, private bathrooms and delightful park and city views. Enjoy delicious meals onboard, including a free breakfast, or walk into town for a diverse range of bars and restaurants. Rent bicycles to explore the town or opt for a boat cruise to see the sights from the waterways.
Sunborn London Yacht Hotel
Book your stay in London right on the water at the Sunborn London Yacht Hotel, a floating luxury hotel featuring 136 staterooms and suites. Moored at London’s Royal Docks, this superyacht offers world-class dining and some of the best views in all of London. While onboard, book a seat at Afternoon Tea Under the Sea for a traditional tea service served with a selection of sea-themed cupcakes, scones, fruit tarts and finger sandwiches. A sister superyacht, Sunborn Gibraltar, is also available for bookings.
Situated in Old Sacramento, the Delta King is a former riverboat from the 1920s that sailed daily between San Francisco and Sacramento until 1940 when completion of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge marked the end of California’s riverboat industry. The Delta King has since been transformed into a floating hotel. Docked on the Sacramento River, the Delta King boasts 44 comfortable staterooms and suites across three decks. All stays include a full breakfast at the award-winning Pilothouse restaurant, which delights with its relaxing river views.