The salt hotel

Would you like to stay in a hotel made out of salt? Watch this video to find out more about this unusual hotel in Bolivia. 

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercise. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni, Bolivia

Dario Lora, manager of Luna Salada Salt Hotel: The hotel is unique. It is made of salt, it is like a museum. You can sleep in a bed made of salt bricks, you have the desk made of salt bricks, you have the floor made of salt, everything made of salt! It’s the biggest salt flat in the whole world having a stretch of twelve thousand kilometres. Here’s where everything begins. The people from Colchani strike the salt bricks. You can see here, lines ... these small lines represent the rainy season and the sediments in the salt.

We select this location in the hill so we have a really nice landscape of the salt flat. You can see all the salt flat from the Luna Salada Hotel. Here in the restaurant everything is made of salt. Here we have a table made entirely of salt. These chairs are made inside the salt flat. The local people here in Colchani they are specialists in making handicrafts, everything made of salt.

Here in the hotel we are in a high altitude. We have more than three thousand metres. So one of the challenges is cooking the food at this altitude because the cooking takes more more time for the pressure than we have in the altitude. So one of the popular dishes that we have in Bolivia is quinoa.

[Dario Lora speaks to the chef in Spanish – At altitude around 18 to 20 minutes and 8 to 10 minutes at sea level.]

All the salt that we use in the dishes came from the salt flat. It’s a better flavour to have this salt, it’s stronger, the taste, and it's more pure.

One of the biggest challenges we have is the rainy season is because the weather destroys all the salt bricks. That’s the reason that all the time we are changing all the salt bricks around the hotel. Another problem that we have in the hotel is the corrosion in the wires. Sometimes we have to change all the wires because it is very corrosive the salt. All the wires are made of copper and we have to put a plastic tube to protect all the wires. In some cases we have to change the plugs because the salt destroys all the plugs from inside.

I am excited to be part of the hotel. There is only in Bolivia this kind of hotels. It's like a piece of art.

© National Geographic

Task 1

Check your understanding: multiple choice


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Language level

C1 English level (advanced)

Submitted by hknayd on Sat, 07/05/2022 - 20:19


I have heard "salt hotel" for the first time. I really would like to stay there. It would be an exceptional experience for me. I have never stayed in an unusual hotel. Shame on me.

Submitted by Kibidango on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 06:51

My answers are the followings: Yes, I'd like to visit there because it would be a great experience to stay at such a unique hotel. Yes, I have. Actually, it was not a hotel though. I stayed at a small cabin made of ice bricks in my town about 30 years ago. Back then we had much snow, but unfortunately there have been almost no snow for the past ten years mainly because of global warming. I miss the unusual place.

Submitted by Camila Abreu on Mon, 29/03/2021 - 14:51

I woud love to stay at the salt hotel in Salar Iuni. It's on my wish list. I never stayed in a different hotel.

Submitted by Alexis Leonel Toledo on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 01:15

yes, I `d love to. NO but I would like to

Submitted by Liz Vásquez on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 00:54

Would you like to visit a hotel made of salt? I would like to, because it would be a different experience from which I would learn many things. Have you ever stayed in an unusual hotel? i haven't stayed in an unusual hotel, yet

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Thu, 09/07/2020 - 13:16

Yes, I want to visit that hotel. No, I `m stay in normal hotel, maybe I don`t have enough money for unusual hotel :)
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 18:44

Yes. I would. Yes. I had.
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Submitted by ckwgary on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 09:39

It is wonderful to know that there is such a hotel in the world. I would like to visit the hotel and admire the scenery of the salt lake. However, I am concerned about the altitude sickness. I have been to Lasa, Tibet. High altitude can cause sickness because of the shortage of oxygen in the air that we breathe at the place. I wonder if there are sufficient medical facilities in the hotel in case of the altitude sickness. In Lasa, hospital and even coaches for the tourists are equipped with oxygen cylinders for the use of the tourists in case of need. Though I did not have altitude sickness in Lasa except for experiencing severe pain at the back of my head in one or two occasions, I still regard safety as the utmost important issue when we travel to places of high altitude.

Submitted by lolosantos on Wed, 12/02/2020 - 18:46

I would like to visit because is an interesting site. I apreciatte the construction system and how use the salt for all elements necessarys for the hotel. Also, the situation is wonderfull and there is a lot of peace.
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Submitted by The Queen of Egypt on Fri, 07/02/2020 - 00:48

I would like to visit a hotel made out of salt, here in Egypt we have lakes of salt, I stayed before in an unusual hotel, it was in an island in the lake of salt.

Submitted by Phasit Soulimo… on Thu, 19/12/2019 - 02:57

This is awesome. I would like visit once in my life

Submitted by Khaled v on Sun, 22/09/2019 - 09:00

I suppose that the salt around the world is the same (NaCl) Sodium chloride But I shocked by the quantity .

Submitted by Fudhol on Tue, 10/09/2019 - 03:33

I would like to visit an amazing place like that, but I have never stayed there. In my country, there are many beautiful places you guys have to visit. We have Bali Island, Lombok, Borobudur Temple, Raja Ampat and many more which have amazing landscape. I recommend you to visit Wonderful Indonesia :D
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Submitted by hnin hnin naing on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 09:29

I have watched the video.But, I wonder how it looks alike. I never stay an unusal hotel. And l would like to trym

Submitted by Victoria on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 20:19

What an amazing place!There's something bewitching in it.
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Submitted by FrancktheDodger on Tue, 13/03/2018 - 11:32

Would you like to visit a hotel made out of salt? I would like to travel and experience new costumes and places, which are rather different from my country. So, I think this hotel made out of salt is interesting and healthy too, in some ways. In facts, I know that salt has got many positive properties, for example, because it may influence the functions of thyroid. Anyway, as this hotel appears, it is fascinating, both for the building, the handicrafts themselves and for the view: it has a wonderful, wide open place with great altitude. Have you ever stayed in an unusual hotel?  I cannot affirm that I have ever visited bizarre hotels. In Paris, I looked for some chains of hotels which offer a charming stay, considering they are ancient, French buildings, readapted to touristic purposes. The one I stayed then was a XIX century polytechnic college, and the building surrounded a courtyard, with a lovely garden, some tall trees and a fantastic little yard where having breakfast outside, at summertime. The hotel has got a gate, which preserves the privacy of the place from the nightlife of the Latin quarter. In my building there was not any lift, any TV, but there were fascinating little mansarded windows, viewing over the other ancient, classical Parisian buildings of the neighborhood. Next our hotel, along the street, there were bistrot, bookshops and houses where famous writers and popular singers used to live, such as Ernest Hemingway and Paul Verlaine. The atmosphere was really charming and it was possible to live as part of the city, hearing the sounds of restaurants and little coffee-houses where students and tourists as well were enjoyed their stays.

Submitted by LAUWICK on Thu, 22/02/2018 - 10:48

I have never stayed in an unusual hotel and I think I would really appreciate to have a night in such a strange place. I had already heard about icy hotel in the north of Europe, but never about salt hotel.