A big part of your experiences when traveling comes down to where you stay. We’ve all had experiences of staying awful hotels but then we also have great memories of awesome hotels. A great hotel can make or break your holiday.
Not all great hotels have to be 5 star. Hotels come in all shapes and sizes and with the popularity of Airbnb we can all now experience the weird and the wonderful on a budget. While most hotels cater to the generic needs of travelers, there are those who stand out for being weird, wonderful or just plain absurd (see #18. Hotel CasAnus).
Below is a collection of our 21 most favorite weird hotels from across the world. Whether you want to stay in a 5-star Italian designed hotel, or sleep in a plastic bubble on a mountain top – its all in here. There’s absolutely no reason to be boring when traveling.
While some of these hotel rooms might not satisfy your idea of ultimate comfort, they are definitely different and if anything its a novelty that should be on your travel bucket list.
Some of the more budget hotel options like Jumbo Stay (see #22) and Das Park Hotel (see #12) are truly great places to spend a night. If you are more adventurous then you should definitely try the Free Spirit Spheres in Canada (see #15) or the Whitepod Hotel in Switzerland (see #38).
If you are looking for a tropical adventure then check out the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji (see #29) or the Cocoa Island Hotel in the Maldives (see #5).
Named after Bivacco Gervasutti, the Turin born Alpine climber, this is one of the most secluded hotel rooms in the world. Its little more than a bedroom pod but it sleeps 12. The real kicker is that you have to climb the Val Ferret to get there. During the winter months its truly spectacular as it can be completely snowed in.
The Palms Hotel is known for its quirkiness and decadence. This Barbie Suite takes it to a whole new level. Inspired by all things Barbie it offers more than a little girl’s dream room. It comes complete with a two-way fireplace, VIP Nightclub passes and a car service. Paris Hilton is rumored to have stayed here on several occasions.
If you want a truly authentic wildness experience then this is it. Sleeping under the stars with wild animals roaming freely around you, this is a treehouse hotel unlike any other. Located in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve you will be stunned by the natural beauty – and the wildlife. This “hotel room” has stripped everything away – including the roof to bring you as close to nature as possible.
A luxury 5-star hotel in Milan, its become famous for its eccentric spaces and unique design. While the hotel itself is quite exclusive, a large part of it is open to the public. Almost every space in this hotel looks designed with some truly eccentric designs that screams luxury all the way. In a city that breathes design, this hotel first right in and a must see on your visit to Milan.
For most of us the dream of an island getaway involves sleeping on a stilted bungalow. The calm ocean waters, the crystal clear blue surrounds and nothing but empty horizon is enough to make even the busiest jet-setter relax. This private island resort will give you all that and more. With some stunningly luxurious bungalows built right in the water its a short walk along the jetty to the stylish restaurants on the main island.
The Bubble Hotel takes staying close to nature to a whole new level. It consist of a series of room pods made of recycled plastic and kept inflated by a silent blower. The design is based around maximizing the views while still giving guest the privacy needed. It offers all the luxuries of a modern hotel room but its the views and closeness to nature that really makes this a top pick when it comes to affordable luxury hotels.
With 30 rooms jammed into a very small space, this might not sound like your dream hotel. It is however quite a popular concept which originated in Japan. Where space is incredibly limited and very expensive the Cubicle Hotel is based on a space saving design where you get little more than a bed to lie in. It does offer some creature comforts like a small TV but that’s about it. If anything, this is a novelty hotel for most Westerners.
Spending the night in a Boeing 747 after a 20 hour flight might not sound very appealing but this plane is different. Located in the National Park this elevated hotel gives you breathtaking views over the jungle canopy. This hotel room consists of a 2 bedroom suite with a very spacious living area under the wooden roof canopy.
This hotel consists of a series of treehouses and what makes it truly special is the fact that its in the Pinchot National Forest. The treehouses are interconnected with suspended foot bridges and are all based on the design of real cabins. It looks quite strange from a distance – like little houses floating in the treetops. If you are afraid of heights it might be a problem but the views make up for it.
Located inside a disused crane, this is one hotel room you will never forget. Once you are inside the 150 ft high room you can rotate your room 360 degrees for panoramic views as far as the eye can see. The location is probably not ideal for most tourists but if you like to go off the beaten track then this one is definitely a go.
If you are looking for something different without sacrificing any decadence then the Crazy Bear hotel is for you. Located in one of Beaconsfield’s oldest buildings this truly unique and decadent hotel has been described as a mix between the Moulin Rouge, Las Vegas and the planet Mars. Here you will find some truly unique interiors with pony skin, gold leaf, mirrored rooms and painted foliage.
There’s been many attempts are re-using industrial materials for different uses and this hotel is an exception example. Made from pre-cast sewage pipes, the converted rooms offer a very comfy stay for those who don’t need too many luxuries when they travel. It has a great location and situated on the banks of the Danube river near the city of Linz.
Its no surprise that The Dog Bark In was created by artists. Based on a Beagle, the hotel consists of a singe accommodation that sleeps four. Its a true landmark building and one of the most novel hotel rooms you can stay in. They are (off course) dog friendly and if you can deal with the lack of windows its definitely for you.
This hotel consists of 9 vintage rail road caboose cars. Each car has been loving restored and each features a different theme inside. Everything from a New Orleans inspired bordello to a Casablanca themed room. Its on the shore of Clear Lake in northern California and is a truly unique experience for travelers who like to explore off the beaten track.
If you have a fear of heights then this hotel might not be for you. Suspended in mid-air over the forest floor these timber and fibreglass pods offer a stay unlike any other. While the pods do sway with the wind, they are perfectly safe and offer you an amazing view of the spectacular west coast rainforest on Vancouver Island.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing tourist attractions in the USA. With hundreds of caves and caverns to explore, this underground hotel offers you a truly unique Grand Canyon experience. While its ”only” a single room it can sleep up to 6 people but it comes at about $400 per night. Its a truly impressive space with 70 ft ceilings and a space that’s estimated to be 65 million years old it certainly is worth the spend.
One of the most unique looking hotels in the world, the ”Crazy House as its known locally is a one of a kind building. Its designed to resemble a tree and from a distance you can easily mistake it for a giant tree. On the inside the rooms all have different themes that are all based on different animals. If you are ever in Vietnam, make sure you book a night in this unique guest house.
It does not take much imagination to figure out what the inspiration was for this hotel in Belgium’s artistic city Antwerp. Its the brainchild of artist Joep Van Lieshout and started off as a giant sculpture of an intestine. If you ever wondered what a night inside an intestine would be like, this one’s for you!
Designed by world renowned architect Frank Ghery this building speaks for itself. In typical Frank Ghery style its dominated by some out of this world shapes and the folded metal roofs make this building stand out in its more traditional surroundings. Its a truly unique hotel and the building makes for some very interesting spaces with some amazing vantage points over the surrounding vineyards.
Not all of us are made for caravan holidays. Staying in a caravan in Berlin city is a different story though. This very unique hotel features a series of ”rooms” made up of old caravans inside am old warehouse building. Its a truly unique concept and allows you to stay in the city, in a caravan and still remain warm and try at all times.
This hotel was first built more than 20 years ago and has been re-built since every year. Every year in November fresh ice is cut to built the hotel after melting away during the summer months. In recent years its become much more adventurous with some truly unique room designs with some of the most beautiful ice designs you can imagine. Its a fairly cold experience but truly one-of-a-kind.
A genius idea, this hotel is a converted Jumbo Jet that was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Located near Stocholm Airport it offers the perfect location for a budget hotel. It offers both en-suite rooms and dormitory style rooms for those on a budget. The jewel of the crown is the cockpit suite which offers views out back to the oncoming aircraft at the airport.
If seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list then a night at the Kakslauttanen Hotel is for you. The hotel consists of rooms with glass roofs designed to resemble igloos and offers you the perfect vantage point to see the northern lights. The hotel is open between August and April but you will need to book well in advance.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in prison? Well, next time you are in Latvia you can experience this without being arrested. This old disused prison was converted into a hotel with all the ”original cells still in tact. While its not known for its luxuries you will get a private shower, your own ”room” and a truly authentic hotel room on a budget.
A former army fortress this hotel inside the mountain of the Gotthard Massif is more than 4000 square meters. It can be quite scary that deep under ground but its certainly not claustrophobic. Its quite stylish and finished to a high standard. It features 17 rooms, a restaurant, spa and even a working internet (it is under ground). The location surrounds is spectacular and offers a lot of activities in and around the mountain.
Located in one of the most spectacular natural reserves in the world, the Valdivian forest offers numerous natural hot springs as well as direct access to the Mocho Choshuenco volcano. You have a choice of rooms, this being the main building with a cascading waterfall from the rooftop. There are also smaller lodges in the surrounding forest. The cone shaped building is almost completely camouflaged by natural plant growth.
Photos of this hotel really does look Photoshopped but fortunately they are not. This fort was built back in 1867 to protect the city of Portsmouth against Napoleon’s advancing army. After years of disuse its been turned into a luxury hotel that has more than 22 rooms, a night club, a laser quest arena and the jewel on the crown which is the penthouse located in the old lighthouse.
Staying overnight on a train i s nothing new. What makes this hotel different is that the old Petworth Station including 2 renovated carriages makes up this hotel. The station was built in 1859 and has been closed for rail since 1966. Make sure you book a room in one of then camper coaches for a truly authentic travel experience.
If there’s ever been a hotel that looks like it comes from a science fiction movie then this is it. Its located forty feet below the water and each of the 25 suites offer wall to wall transparent walls and ceiling made from a transparent acrylic material. Even though its under water with breathtaking views, it offer many other luxuries like a gym, bar and restaurant. It can be accessed only by boat with 2 lifts that take you down to the hotel level under the water.
The brainchild of artist Lars Stroschen, this hotel started with the artist transforming two bedrooms in his house and renting it out to guests. It has since evolved into a full blown hotel with some very unusual rooms. Each room has its own unique design and style and guests can book a room according to their taste. If you are into ”goth” then the coffin room is definitely for you.
Unfortunately this hotel has been washed away but it was a great novelty. A team of 4 sculptors worked 14 hours a day for 7 days to complete it. It was only open for a short while and for about $15 a night it was a great way to spend the night under the stars. It was more of a novelty than anything else but nonetheless a great experience for a lucky few.
New Zealand’s breathtaking natural beauty got international attention thanks to The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies. Whether you are a die hard fan or just enjoy a novel hotel then you can be a hobbit for a few days in The Hobbit Motel. Based on the real Hobbit village from the movie these semi-submerged buildings are a real treat – and don’t let the word motel put you off in any way.
If the idea of underwater living appeals to you then Pemba Island is a great option. The hotel features rooms that have both above and below water quarters and is ideal for the local climate. While the roof offers a great place to sunbathe and launch yourself into the water the below water room is great for admiring the local sea life and escaping the warm sun.
The hotel is made up of six unique suspended ”pods” above the pine forest that surrounds Harads in Sweden. These ”treehouses” are all unique with this being the UFO inspired pod. There are also a birdsnest, a mirrored cube and a glass capsule. Each one offers a unique design but its the views and location that is totally mind blowing and being high up amongst the treetops is a night you will never forget.
What looks like little more than a buoy floating in the middle of nowhere, this one-of-a-kind hotel was designed by Swedish artist Mikael Genberg. What makes this single room hotel so special is that the bedroom is actually submerged with windows that offer panoramic views under the water. This give new meaning to what many travellers seek which is to ”get away from everything”.
If you love cars then you will love the V8 Hotel. The entire hotel is inspired by cars and offers numerous interesting designs and paraphernalia that will grab the attention of every car enthusiast. The rooms are all based around a specific car theme with one room dedicated to racing cars, while another to the Beetle from the move Herbie and even some vintage car rooms.
The Isle of Wight is a very popular tourist destination during the summer months in Brittan. The mild weather makes this hotel truly special. It consists of a number of vintage Airstream and British caravans that have been converted into ”hotel rooms”. The location is great with only a short 5 minute walk to the beach and you get to soak up all of the British summer in this caravan holiday with a twist.
The Whitepod Hotel describes itself as Eco-Luxury. A unique concept with a series of 15 dome-shaped rooms staggered on a mountain top overlooking a valley with some breath taking views. While it may look quite simplistic the rooms are actually quite spacious and offers quite a bit of luxury. Everything is eco-friendly and if you are a conscious traveler who prefer to leave a small footprint then this one ticks the box.
The birthplace of the Beatles, this truly psychedelic hotel will remind you of something out of an Austin Powers movie. Not only is it a great location its truly unique and wonderful. It takes a lot of its queues from Beatles songs and captures the spirit of the 60’s in a contemporary hotel experience that will rival the best. It features a lounge and 3 rooms.
One of the most unique hotels in the world, this Turkish gem dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries. With 7 cave houses and more than 40 rooms all carved into the mountain its truly spectacular. While it may look fit for a caveman, it offers a lot of luxury and each room is unique. The entire hotel complex is inspiring and is the perfect place from which to explore the Cappadocia’s elaborate underground cities.