Traveling and exploration are main hobbies for many. There are so many different experiences our planet has to offer. The 2020 travel industry was estimated to be worth approximately $396 billion US dollars and that includes a decrease of around 42.1 percent from the previous year.
Many hotels and travel destinations are established on the idea of uniqueness or offering an experience you can’t find elsewhere. Hotels made of ice, floating in bodies of water, or converted from different historic structures – your imagination is the limit. We looked at 32 of the most unique and uncommon hotels around the world. Some of these, you’ll have to see to believe, so let’s get going.
32. Hotel Costa Verde – Costa Rica
If you love flying, this may be the perfect getaway for you. Spending your vacation on an airplane might sound crazy with how cramped commercial airspace is these days, but that’s not an issue here. Hotel Costa Verde is tucked away in a lush coastal rainforest in Costa Rica and provides the perfect balance between modern life and escape from responsibilities.
The 727 Fuselage home is an exclusive, 1965 remodeled Boeing that now sits perched on a 50-foot pedestal and rises out of a jungle canopy to offer a panoramic view you might only see if you were flying. Visitors have access to restaurants, cliff-sided pools, and sundecks.
If you’re a flying fanatic but don’t really love the idea of the hot rainforest, how about heading to Sweden? This unusual hotel is near Stockholm Arlanda Airport within a decommissioned 747-200 jetliner. It offers up to 33 room options with 76 beds in total, plus an exciting “cockpit suite.”
A small restaurant is also available. Shared facilities may be a small price to pay for such a different experience, though! This hotel is slightly less “carefree vacation” and more along the lines of “do it for the experience,” as some rooms may not have private restrooms or showers.
If Paris or Rome sounds romantic but cliche and slightly dull, why not try spending your night in an elephant-shaped hut under the star-filled sky of Sri Lanka? The Kumbuk River Resort is an eco-resort right on the bank of a river.
The hotel offers an expansive menu of activities like animal watching, fishing, hiking, and testing new cuisines. Exclusivity is the name of the game in this place, though, so if you’re interested, you’d better book fast. The resort only allows 10 guests at a time to guarantee a fully relaxed atmosphere.
Ok, so you probably have never dreamt of staying in a giant potato. But now that you know it’s an option, you’re a little curious, right? The owners originally built the Big Idaho Potato Hotel for a potato celebration, but they converted it into an AirBnb afterward.
It has a queen-size bed, a bathroom, kitchenette, climate control, a skylight, and a fireplace. The interior is surprisingly grand for a giant, dirty spud on the outside. It may be time to head to South Boise and take in the views of the Owyhee Mountains from your humble spud. This eco-friendly tater is energy-efficient. Its bathroom is actually an outhouse. It’s not too shabby, though, as it features a whirlpool.
Idaho may be a spot to hit up more than once if you’re in the mood for unusual hotels. The Big Potato has nothing on the Dog Bark Park Inn. The “Sweet Willy” bed and breakfast is inside a 12-foot beagle. The owner is a self-taught chainsaw artist and has been carving for over 30 years. In 1995, he sold dog carvings on QVC, and those puppies ran off the shelves.
They invested their profit into creating the Dog Bark Park Inn and plan to do so until “life returns (them) to the earth.” To enter, you’ll need to climb up to the second-story deck. You can bring four guests and of course it is pet-friendly. In fact, they can work off your pet photos to create remarkable carvings for your furry friends!
Mattel and Jonathan Adler designed the Barbie-themed suite at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and it’s a sight to behold. Whether you’re there for a birthday or bachelorette party, you’ll find Barbie wallpaper, Barbie statues, and more Barbie swag all over the place.
The view of the Las Vegas Strip is amazing, and of course, you’ll love the humongous bedroom. The bathroom is another noteworthy feature with two showers, pink strobe lights, and a stripper pole to let out your inner goddess. You’ll definitely be living in a Barbie world here.
If you feel the need for speed, rush over to Stuttgart, Germany, for the ultimate automotive experience. All the furniture, including the beds, is made from actual vehicles. The hotel reflects the history of automotive engineering throughout the years. There are 26 rooms in the hotels.
You can interconnect the V6 design double rooms as a family room, so you can experience it together. Book the V10 apartments, including living and sleeping areas, bathrooms, kitchenettes, and terraces, if you’re considering a more extended stay. The cherry on top is the V12 Mercedes-Suite located in the former airport tower of the V8 Classic hotel. The four-story suite has its own sauna and terrace.
If you’d prefer to head to Sydney and meet new people from all around the world, why not stay at a laid-back hostel? The Railway Square YHA adjoins Central Station and is within walking distance to the best bars and eateries in the city.
The interior is neat and clean and you’ll have your choice of private or shared rooms. They also offer discounts to their guests to museums, theaters, and other great activities to explore the area. The hostel also hosts activities for its guests, so you can have fun without ever leaving.
This fantastic hostel, located in the center of Coober Pedy in the South Australian desert, will allow you to travel back in time. Visit the underground museums and shops, visit the Opal Fields, or take in the Southern Night Sky.
You could evenwatch movies at the open-air drive-in theater or take on one of their guided tours to the Moon Plain Desert or ancient Breakaways Scenic Reserve. The rooms manage to stay warm in winter and cool in the summer, so don’t let the idea of the desert scare you off.
Sewer pipes are not usually the stereotype of luxurious hotels, but this may surprise you. Das Park Hotel decided to revolutionize the idea of hotels and create the maximum amount of comfort in the smallest amount of space possible.
However, you will have to forego some amenities like room service or an in-suite bathroom. The drain pipe rooms are surprisingly comfortable with a double bed, electricity, and blankets, but you’ll need to walk to the bathroom at the nearest gas station. Here is a bonus feature: pay what you want! Yes, this may not be a hotel for the faint-hearted, but it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget.
Some adrenaline junkies may want to experience the heart-stopping moments of movies when a car is teetering off the edge of a cliff and about to fall off. If that describes you, you need to visit Bivacco Gervasutti, set 9,300 feet above sea level on Mont Blanc.
Its wooden structure includes a dining and living area plus two sleeping quarters that can shockingly fit up to 12 people. It’s well-placed to protect from the elements, but you’ll need to bundle up if you’re going out onto the mountain.
If you want to stay in an actual living piece of art, you might want to don your winter gear and head to Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden. Each winter since building the original Icehotel, artists get together in the town and make a new version of the hotel. It melts in the spring, then is rebuilt in its new form again. Staying a night here can range from a standard ice room (with ice beds) to stay in a unique art suite designed by commissioned artists.
Experience the ice and watch the Northern Lights anywhere from December until April. If you can’t fathom sleeping in the ice and just want to experience the joy of snow for a while, stay at the Icehotel 365, which is a specially designed area with art houses, luxury suites, an ice bar, and an event hall.
Many of us don’t grow out of our fascination with treehouses. If you want to relive your childhood for a night or two, try the Mirrorcube. It is a tiny treehouse in a forest in northern Sweden camouflaged by mirrors on the outside. The mirrors give the illusion that the room is hidden. However, there are walls and windows with a panoramic view of the forest on the inside.
It’s a perfect hideaway for two people, as it features a double bed, a seating area, and a restroom. Otherwise, you can stay in your little treehouse and hide from the world. Just a short stroll away, you’ll find Britta’s Pensionat, where there is a restaurant, bar, sauna, relaxation area, T.V., and internet.
There’s nothing more romantic than private hotels and resorts on a tropical island, so why not head to the Maldives? The peaceful atmosphere, far away from any crowded cities, will allow you to relax under the sea, swim in the beautiful turquoise waters, and live your best life. You may need to start saving up for a while, but this trip will absolutely be worth it.
You can get a 24-hour private butler, a private chef, and tailored experiences for your expenses. Sleep and eat five meters below sea level and make friends with your new fish neighbors.
The Crazy Bear Beaconsfield is the oldest documented building in the area: a fifteenth-century coaching inn. But don’t worry; you won’t feel its age. It’s been meticulously restored and designed to bring all the drama and luxury without the dust.
It has received spectacular reviews since its opening in 2008, and why wouldn’t it? Get a Thai massage, visit the peacocks, or zip downstairs for champagne Wednesday. The hotel has a dress code: smart casual is the minimum; no sneakers, football shirts, or flip flops allowed.
We mentioned this list would be full of, well, wacky hotels. Dutch architect Jupe Van Lieshout created this project, representing the bottom end of a digestive tract. This rather strange hotel may surprise you on the inside, however. The interior is bright white, and it features a double bed, windows, climate control, and, obviously working plumbing.
It’s in the Verbeke Foundation Art Park near Antwerp, Belgium. For the cost of a night’s stay in the installation, two people can sleep in the giant colon, eat breakfast, and enter the museum.
If you’re seeking out unusual accommodations, mark this one down. You can stay in a lifeboat, a lighthouse, or a harbor crane. Professionals have renovated everything and modernized it into comfortable rooms. The lifeboat in Harlingen has unusual windshields and beautiful sea views and should be easily accessible to anyone.
The harbor crane is harder to access, as there are steps to get to it, but if you do stay, you can do something very cool: you can swing the crane.
15. Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel – Shenzhen, China
We all know it is a matter of time before robots run everything. This hotel is ahead of the curve with its small rooms and affordable rates, robots host the futuristic hotel almost entirely! All room capsules come with a T.V., work desk, and shared bathrooms and showers.
The main event of the hotel is really the lounge, where robot butlers wait on you. The hotel is close to the Bao’an Airport, Luohu Railway station, and the East Gate pedestrian street. If you’re trying to escape the robots, the pedestrian street might be the way to go.
Palacio del Sal is Spanish for “Palace of Salt.” It’s at the edge of the largest salt flat in Salar de Uyuni, in Southwest Bolivia. The salt flat has long attracted tourists, but the great distance between civilization and the area created a need for a resting spot before their return. They built the first hotel around 1994, but mismanagement caused issues, and then they needed to dismantle it in 2002. In 2007, professionals constructed a new hotel using 1 million salt blocks.
The floor, walls, ceiling, and furniture are all salt blocks! Obviously, there are rules against licking the walls, so please behave yourself. The hotel even has a dry sauna and steam room, a saltwater pool, and whirlpool baths.
Hotel chains are a dime a dozen, but this is truly something special. Brace yourself, though. These have been called the “most primitive hotel” by their own founder! With no electricity or water, a series of grass-covered cabins in the middle of a forest can really show how addicted we are to our modern conveniences. Thankfully, these little cabins do have their own fireplaces.
If you’re looking for a place to commune with Mother Nature, this is it. These cabins aren’t exactly hotels. They are covered in mud and grass and spaced out by trees. Visitors actually call them forest houses sometimes. They’re not just wacky hotels but eco-lodges.
12. Free Spirit Spheres – British Columbia, Canada
Each of these three spherical treehouses is a place for inner peace while reducing the carbon footprint to zero. Each sphere features wires for electric power, and some can even fit two people. There are fold-out tables and mirrors with curved loft-beds, plus benches and tiny appliances inside the structure
If “roughing it” isn’t your cup of tea, but you’d still love to be one with nature, try meditating and reconnecting with nature in one of these spheres. If you thought treehouses couldn’t be amazing hotels, think again.
If you seek a unique hotel for the photos but just want a regular bed, maybe this is more your pace. The hotel on the inside isn’t all that different from others, but the outside is impressive. The giant statues of the Chinese Gods of prosperity, status, and longevity, Fu, Lu, and Shu, look down upon all those who pass.
Entering guests come in through Shu’s right root and can go all the way up to the god’s heads. You can even stay a night in Shu’s peach.
10. Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast – Massachusetts, USA
Any spooky story lover knows the rhyme of Lizzie Borden. She took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks… Well, if you want to see where it happened, you can. The 19th-century murder house is now a famed bed and breakfast with terrible photos from the crime scene if you can handle it.
You can rent one of eight rooms, including the room where they discovered the bodies of Lizzy’s parents. If you’re in the mood for a creepy vibe, book your trip to one of these hotels.
If you’re a panda fan, book this hotel immediately. Every one of the 32 rooms features a panda theme. Beds, tables, art – you name it, it’s panda-themed. What do the staff wear? Panda costumes, of course. Did you think we were kidding? No, there aren’t real pandas, but you barely even miss them.
The rooms aren’t huge, but that’s just Chinese hotel design so don’t fret. There’s a Chinese restaurant in the courtyard, and the hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the high-speed rail station. But that’s not the point. The point is pandas, of which there are many.
Some people will ‘nope’ straight to the next item on this list, and we can’t blame them. What’s creepier than a clown-themed motel? Well, for starters, how about a clown-themed motel located next to a cemetery?
The clown paraphernalia in this place would make anyone a little uncomfortable. Clown dolls hang down the lobby walls, life-sized clowns face you at every turn, and clown paintings adorn the ceilings above the beds. Are you ready to face over 2000 clowns?
Moving away from the creepy and onto the serene, this lodge is genuinely astonishing. It was built right into a volcano and had a waterfall built into it. Each suite features a name of a local bird species, and all feature modern amenities that rival the most luxurious hotels in the country.
Getting to the lodge can take about two hours from the closest airport, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. There are hot tubs made of enormous tree trunks, a mini-golf course built into the forest, and outdoor activities like horseback riding, rafting, and hiking. You can also take the longest zip-wire in South America which is 1500 feet from the ground.
Farmers often use grain silos to store bulk materials like grain, coal, or even sawdust. SiloStay renovated these silos into eco-friendly lofts filled with comfortable amenities like dining tables, queen-sized beds, and skylights. They retrofitted everything in the room to accommodate the lack of corners too. There’s an art gallery and cafe just next door, and so much to see around the area.
The location in Little River, New Zealand, along the landscape of rolling hills, can be reached through public transportation or self-driving. Out of all of the hotels on this list, this one is a favorite for people who already love farms or don’t understand them at all.
Sala Silvermine’s suite is built for guests to stay over 500 feet underground in Västmanland in Sweden. The quiet suite has a large bed, a dressing mirror, and a lighting system. No one considers how dark it is so far underground until you’re stuck without power.
It’s worth noting that the only way to communicate with the outside world is an intercom, which allows you to contact a staff member. If you’re claustrophobic (or unnaturally attached to your phone), maybe skip this spot. If you’re adventurous and love a little bit of a spook factor, however, then this is definitely a must-try.
The Manta Resort on Pemba Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago. If you stay here, you can stay on a private island that floats. The floating structure has three levels; the landing deck, the top floor for daybeds and relaxing, and the sea room, which is your bedroom.
Step out of your bedroom and take a swim in the ocean, or go downstairs to your underwater sea room. Next time you travel to Tanzania, check out amazing hotels like this resort.
This eco-luxury hotel combines comfort and ecological consciousness for a totally guilt-free trip. Stay in one of these pods overlooking the stunning mountain view with all the amenities you might want. They carefully designed the pods to sit on wooden platforms to provide a majestic view of the mountains and Lake Geneva. An A.C. thermal pump can cool your pod in the summer, with a pellet stove, breakfast brought to you, a coffee machine, and Netflix at your disposal.
If you wander out, you can take a nice sauna break or head to the bar for refreshment too. The hotel also provides tours of museums, chocolate factories, suspension bridges, zip lines, and so much more. You’ll never want to leave.
Why not head to a family hotel in Finland’s Lapland, about 250 km north of the Arctic Circle? The largest of Finland’s natural parks is just a stone’s throw away, and it’s so clean you can drink from the surrounding streams. The nearest hotel is just 30 minutes away, though you’ll feel like you’re entirely in the wild once you are there.
The glass igloos include toilets and beds, but the four-person igloos include their own shower as well. The glass allows for a totally unfettered view of the Northern Lights. You’ll also have breakfast and dinner served for free, and who doesn’t want that?
If you’re a history buff, consider this labyrinthian hotel of UNESCO-listed caves. Professionals renovated the rooms using traditional techniques and tools since the caves are ancient dwellings carved into the stone face of the hill.
There are 18 rooms to book, and all seating, beds, lights, bathing areas, and kitchenettes include indigenous materials. The upgraded rooms have terraces, where you can request an in-room massage whenever you feel like it. Please sign us up for a room in each of these hotels.