Sauna Gondola – Yllas, Finland
Ylläs ski resort, not only has Finland’s longest and highest gondola, but the world’s only Sauna Gondola. The Sauna Gondola can hold 4 sweaty people at a time, is wood-clad, has one-way windows, and made according to the Finnish sauna culture… meaning prepare to go in naked.
At the top, if you feel the need for more sauna action, you can hang at the highest sauna in Finland (complete with fireplace, showers, and frozen dipping pool – for the full Finnish experience). You can rent the Sauna Gondola for 2 hours, and you and your 12 friends can hang at the summit sauna and switch in/out of the Gondola. The combination gondola and main sauna package is €1,500 for 12 people.
Revolving Swiss Gondolas
The Stuckli Rondo was the world’s first gondola with fully rotating cabins. During the six-minute ride, each comfortable eight-seater cabin makes two full 360-degreee turns around its axis. The Stuckli Rondo connects the Swiss village of Sattel (800m) to Mostelberg (1200m).
The Titlis-Rotair in Engleberg connects the intermediate station of Stand and the 3,020-meter-high mountain station Klein-Titlis. During the last 600 meters of the ascent the gondola lift revolves once by 360 degrees and gives visitors an unrestricted view of Mt. Titlis (3,238m). We won’t comment on the name…
Couple’s Cabin or Wedding Gondola or Banging Cabin – Arber, Germany
A gondola ride straight to pound-town. The “cuddle cabin” – complete with tinted windows and leather seats – is popular among newlyweds and recently introduced Après ski lovers. No reservations or extra fee is required to ride the Couple’s Cabin, but since the Gondola only has one, scuffles to board occasionally break out. Note: the lift serves the highest summit in the German Bavarian Forest, but the ride is only 4 minutes, so use your time wisely.
Luxury Gondola – Yabuli, China
In 2009 China’s most luxurious resort Yabuli opened a Gondola with heated VIP cabins, polished timber trim, leather seating, a mini bar, cabin lighting, and a BOSE stereo system. Why bother getting out?
BMW Gondola Cabin – Hochzillertal, Austria
Hochzillertal ski area in the Austrian Tirol transformed one of its gondola cabins into the interior of a BMW 7-series limousine, complete with brown leather seats with massage and heating function, multimedia system and most importantly a champagne glass holder. A ride in the BMW cabin is €25 per person for guests staying at associated hotels or €75 per person (including ski pass and lunch at one of the properties) for non-guests.
Glass-Floored Gondolas – Kitzbühel, Whistler, and Taipei
Glass-floored cabins have been interspersed with regular opaque-floored cabins at gondolas in Kitzbühel, Whistler and Taipei. At it’s highest point Kitzbühel’s 3-S-Bahn gondola rises to 400m above the Austrian valley floor. Whistler’s Peak 2 Peak lift is even higher at 436m. Hope you’re not afraid of heights! In 2010 when the Maokong Gondola in Taipei introduced 30 glass-floored cabins, ridership doubled. The Maokong Gondola connects Taipei’s southern Muzha suburb and the mountainous Maokong area.