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.

Transcript

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

Exercise

Discussion

Language level

Advanced: C1

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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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Yes, I want to visit that hotel. No, I `m stay in normal hotel, maybe I don`t have enough money for unusual hotel :)

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 18:44

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Yes. I would. Yes. I had.

Submitted by ckwgary on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 09:39

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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

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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.

Submitted by The Queen of Egypt on Fri, 07/02/2020 - 00:48

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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

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

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

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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

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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

Submitted by hnin hnin naing on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 09:29

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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

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What an amazing place!There's something bewitching in it.

Submitted by FrancktheDodger on Tue, 13/03/2018 - 11:32

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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

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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.

Submitted by minijack on Thu, 14/12/2017 - 11:10

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Hi What is the correct form in this sentence? 'Why haven't we been informed / weren't we informed about this earlier? We were only told about this two days ago', said Marjory Calder.

Submitted by Kirk on Thu, 14/12/2017 - 12:59

In reply to by minijack

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Hello minijack,

The best form here is the past simple, because of the word 'earlier'. Without 'earlier', which implies a time that is conceived of as distinct from now, the present perfect would also work, however.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Wanda on Fri, 24/11/2017 - 19:25

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I did'nt even know that a pace like this exsists. It reminds me the ice hotel in Finland.Awesome places to visit.

Submitted by Wang Zijian on Thu, 23/11/2017 - 02:59

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I was wondering when I watch the video that if the people who live there may have a high probability of suffering from thyroid problems, because I think salt is a major contributor to thyroid problems. Also, I believe the salt hotel would be a tranquil place because I didn't see many buildings or crowds near the hotel in the video. If I had a chance, I would like to try the salt hotel.
You probably mean Goiter as thyroid problems here. Well, but these conditions develop in inviroment with iodine deficiency, and have nothing to do with sodium chloride...

Submitted by fahri on Tue, 21/11/2017 - 06:57

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Very amazing video. Thank you very much

Submitted by Dr Khan Asghar on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 01:11

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Hi Here is Asghar.In Transcription I think you made a mistake.You wrote a word Plaque instead of Plug.Plaque has something to do with the teeth and not with the electrical tools.The man is using the word Plug not Plaque.Due to salt the Plugs will be damaged and need to be repaired.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:26

In reply to by Dr Khan Asghar

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Hi Asghar,

Thank you for your comment. You are quite right and I will update the page accordingly.

We try very hard to ensure that our transcripts are accurate but occasionally errors creep through and then we are reliant on our users' powers of observation. Thank you for spotting this and letting us know.

The word 'plaque' does refer to a build-up of damaging material on teeth, as you say. It is also used to describe small stone, wood or metal tablets mounted on walls with information about, for example, historical places.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by dr.ekaterinatyurina on Tue, 17/10/2017 - 14:34

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This place absolutely awesome and I can image breathtaking meditation practice there. Lovely for mindfulness activities!

Submitted by Metallica on Thu, 12/10/2017 - 14:14

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7/8 first time of course i did not get the numbers right as well :P restaurant was amazing ! entire location is just .. PIECE OF ART as he says

Submitted by MariZ on Sun, 08/10/2017 - 12:55

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Hi. I know that Dario Lora doesn't use a word 'square' when he tells about a stretch of the salt flat but shouldn't the correct measure be used in the answers? 'According to Dario Lora, the salt flat is the biggest in the world and it covers 12 thousand square kilometres.'

Submitted by Kirk on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 08:02

In reply to by MariZ

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Hello MariZ,

Yes, I think you make a good point and so we've changed the answer to say 'square kilometres'.

Thanks very much for pointing this out to us!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Svetlana Limontova on Sun, 24/09/2017 - 17:58

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The place is very interesting and unusual. Of course I'd like to stay in this hotel but not for long because I think it's not very comfortable. I've never stayed in an unusual hotel but I've stayed in hotels located in old buildings. It was interesting too.

Submitted by Mohamed Sayed … on Thu, 07/09/2017 - 08:14

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Of course I'd like to visit this hotel, but in a dry season because if it rained, the hotel may turn into a big salty lake. I have never been to a special hotel from the same kind.

Submitted by MarinaPalomar on Mon, 04/09/2017 - 16:46

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Yes, I'd like to visit a place like that. It would be very exciting! I've never stayed in an unusual hotel, but I have stayed two times in old Soviet hotels in Lithuania and Bulgaria. It was not the same experience, but there was a special atmosphere.

Submitted by Alberto O on Thu, 31/08/2017 - 10:16

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The place is awesome. I would like to visit it, indeed, and the food looks good as well. I've never been at an unusual hotel to date.

Submitted by Kaixuan on Tue, 22/08/2017 - 17:09

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Well yes, absolutely, it's sounds like An adventure come true, its probably could be a good story I can share with people after I stayed that. Um... Unfortuntely not yet, not a particular speacial one, I hope it does happened in future

Submitted by Abu salem Abeer on Mon, 14/08/2017 - 19:07

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how can i teach and useful from this moive

Hello Abu salem Abeer,

There are many ways to use the material on LearnEnglish. On this page there are instructions to guide you:

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

 

There is always at least one task with each text which are designed to test and practise your understanding, and often there are more tasks focusing on language issues (lexis, grammar etc). You can also use the transcript (look for the word on the page and click it) to read along while you listen, which can be very helpful for developing listening skills.

We have a section on how to best use our site. You can find it here - just click on the links to see different kinds of advice.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by CHN on Sat, 29/07/2017 - 11:34

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Yes, I would love to visit a hotel made out of salt. But, I wonder if it is cold in there. No, I have never stayed in an unusual hotel and I would like to stay in a hotel which is built in not so deep and very clean water like in Hawaii because I can get into the water whenever I want, get fresh air and eat all the sea food.
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