‘Most dangerous hotel in the world’ surrounded by sharks that guests can only access by helicopter

When you think of a hotel by the sea, you probably imagine sun-kissed beaches, palm

When you think of a hotel by the sea, you probably imagine sun-kissed beaches, palm trees, golden sands, or maybe fresh lobster and bracing sea air.

You probably don’t imagine an enormous metal structure miles offshore surrounded by sharks and churning ocean.

But if you booked in at the Frying Pan Hotel, that is exactly what you would get.

The hotel consists of an enormous metal structure mounted in shallow water around 32 miles off the east coast of North Carolina.

It towers some 41 metres above sea level suspended on four enormous legs which are joined together with metal struts.

But what exactly is the purpose of this structure plonked in the middle of the ocean?

Well, it was originally constructed back in 1964 to protect passing ships from running aground in the shallow waters on the Frying Pan Rocks.

These are a lucrative spot for fishermen, but are incredibly treacherous as more than 130 new shipwrecks were found on the 28 mile stretch in just 14 years.

The shoals would be very treacherous to vessels passing through the area, so the tower was built to warn them to keep their distance. Effectively, it was a lighthouse.

The Frying Pan Hotel in the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: fptower.org
The Frying Pan Hotel in the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: fptower.org

While lighthouses are normally built on solid ground, this one had to be out in the middle of the ocean, which is why it looks more like an oil platform.

More advanced GPS later rendered the tower defunct in its original purpose, but it can be used for other things as well.

These included as an observation platform to study local wildlife.

In 2010 the platform was purchased by Richard Neil from Oklahoma, who decided to turn it into a unique place to for people to stay.

It’s safe to say that this is not a five-star luxury experience, but it can certainly offer quite the adventure if you’re into a more active holiday.

You can be hoisted up from the boat. Credit: fptower.org
You can be hoisted up from the boat. Credit: fptower.org

There is a helipad on the platform, or you can be hoisted up to the top from a boat. Maybe not one if you’re afraid of heights.

It can also lower you back down into the water for a scuba diving session on the spectacular protected reef which lies beneath it.

Inside, the accommodation is not luxurious, but it’s as comfortable as it can be.

What you can expect however, is spectacular views of the sea and incredible sunrises that you can see from the viewing balcony.

If you suffer from seasickness however, it might be worth splashing out for a helicopter to take you there.

Just watch out for the sharks.