Building accommodation from locally available materials is obviously the most sensible approach. Perhaps, that is what the Palacio de Sal is conveying to the world! Palacio de Sal, which means “Palace of Salt” in Spanish is a one-of-its kind hotel built from salt blocks. The Salt Hotel is in Bolivia on the border of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s biggest salt flat.
Spanning an area of 4,500 sq. meters, the Salt Hotel was constructed using an astounding one million 35cm-salt blocks made from compressed salt grains. It took two years to complete the building, which is structured like a palace with a diverse range of amenities. The hotel has 16 twin rooms and 8 double rooms with per-night rates starting from £85. Rooms have domed roofs resembling igloos.
Virtually every part of the hotel, ranging from the swimming pool to the dining area, is made of salt. The walls, ceilings, floors and furniture, including bed, chair, table and couch are made from salt blocks. Salt blocks extracted from the salt flat were used as bricks to make the building. Parts of the structure are re-constructed after the rainy season as rainwater inflicts some extent of damage.
Amenities include a spa with dry sauna and steam room, whirlpool baths and a saltwater swimming pool. There is a nine-hole golf course featuring a hard surface made of salt. The dining room provides salt-based cuisine like salted chicken and the region’s special flame and lamb.
Though curious guests may be tempted to taste the walls or furniture to see if they are really Sodium Chloride, the hotel rule strictly prohibits licking!
The Salt Hotel was built in 2007 to provide accommodation for travelers in southwest Bolivia. The hotel is about 25km from Uyuni. An earlier building constructed in mid-1990 was pulled down in 2002 due to sanitation problems.