I have always dreaded the phrase "I only go there to sleep"...OMG please know that this is no longer the case for many. Personally I find there is nothing worst then traveling to a beautiful historic city filled with charming architecture and then arriving in a hotel that looks like any drab clone which could be anywhere in the world, not reflecting where you are. Arriving in a room which reflects your city is so satisfying as it continues your experience.
Having said that, the following are extreme examples in unusual hotel rooms, not for everyone but I thought it would be fun to take a look at them. Sorry for the long post but I think you will enjoy it.
THE MURAKA- MALDIVES, RANGALI ISLAND
Discover THE MURAKA, a first-of-its-kind, luxury two-level residence with a master bedroom submerged over 16 feet below sea level in the Indian Ocean, as part of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort.
Above water, enjoy living and dining areas fitting of one of the world’s most exclusive residences.
* Outdoor deck with infinity pool
* Private 24-hour butler and private chef
* On-call fitness trainer and spa treatments
* Private jet skis
Make your way down the spiral staircase or elevator to your private underwater aquarium and architectural masterpiece.
* Floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and walk-in closet
* Dedicated tunnel viewing theater
Surrounded by nature, this unique property is located in the Saariselkä Fell region of Finnish Lapland. The property offers glass igloos and traditional wood chalets and has the world’s largest smoke sauna. Free WiFi and free parking are available.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers 2 à la carte restaurants, which serve Laplandic specialities such as reindeer and char-grilled salmon. The hotel’s smoke sauna even has its own restaurant, Savusauna.
Six saunas are available, each has a relaxation room with an open fireplace. A nearby ice hole is ideal for cooling off.
Husky and reindeer safaris can be arranged, and snowmobiling is also possible. Guests can also rent cross-country skis, Nordic walking sticks and snow shoes. Urho Kekkonen National Park is 5 km away.
THE YAYS CRANE APARTMENT - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
GIRAFFE MANOR - NAIROBI, KENYA
One of the most fascinating things about Giraffe Manor is its resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes who may visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary. Giraffe Manor can be booked for the night or as part of a complete tailor-made safari with The Safari Collection.
FANTASYLAND HOTEL - EDMONTON, CANADA
Dog Bark Park Inn is a bed & breakfast guesthouse inside the World's Biggest Beagle. Guests enter the body of the beagle from a private 2nd story deck. Some of the dog's decorative furnishings are carvings by Dog Bark Park chainsaw artists Dennis & Frances. Inside and up another level to the head of the dog is a loft room with additional sleeping space plus a cozy alcove in the muzzle.
You can choose their magnificent double suites or their chic, rock-carved rooms with enormous bathrooms. It has elegant double king size beds and is the perfect option to crown your honeymoon, romantic weekend getaway or any special day within some hammam services. The luxury rock carved suites specially designed with romance inspirations are their most popular and preferred rooms. All rooms are equipped with a thin screen TV, LAN connection and telephone.
Prepare yourself for a busy sightseeing trip in Cappadocia and enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast! The open buffet breakfast is served in their restaurant from 7.30 to 10. For breakfast, different types of local bread, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives, different types of cheese, eggs (boiled, in oil or omelet style), yogurt, fruit juice, milk, cereal, honey, homemade jams, & dried fruit with fresh tea and coffee.
Freeman, always well-travelled and very intelligent, loved the adventurous spirit of Christopher Columbus and on one of his many trips around the world, went to visit the Alcazar De Colon in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) which was built by Diego Columbus (Christopher Columbus’s Son) and is known for being the oldest residence in the western hemisphere. Alden was so inspired by the house that he decided to build his own home in Miami Beach as homage to the Alcazar De Colon and bought back 2 bricks from the house. One sits to the right hand side of the main entrance.
The property had a total of 24 apartments. Freeman lived in the top-floor-front apartment on the southeast corner. The remaining 23 apartments in the building were available for rent and to house many of Freeman’s friends that visited Miami Beach.
In 1992, while on vacation with his family in Miami Beach, Versace took a walk down Ocean Drive and was immediately attracted to the house by the “Kneeling Aphrodite” statue and fell in love with the unique Spanish architecture of the property. Obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, Versace purchased the original house built by Freeman for $2.95 million and the lot next door, an old art deco hotel called the Hotel Revere. Although this neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and despite strong opposition from the Miami Design Preservation League, Versace bought the Revere Hotel next door for $3.7 million in order to demolish it and put in the Garden, Swimming pool and South Wing.
Versace invested an additional $32 million in renovations in which he added the south wing, the pool and garden and turned the 24 apartments into 10 large suites in the original house and an additional 2 new suites in the south wing.
What still remains here from the Versace era are the richly decorated walls, floors, ceilings, and windows, as well as the pool, garden, and the entire south wing.
Living up among the tall trees in the pine forest of Northern Sweden has never been so easy. Gaze out at Sweden’s spectacular nature from up in the Mirrorcube or the UFO. From September to March you have the chance to watch the Northern Lights illuminate the sky above you, or take a family fishing trip and learn all about the berries you pick up along the way. One thing’s for sure at the Treehotel, you’ll be inspired by your surroundings and experiences.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure, a relaxing break or simply to wind down in nature, Treehotel invites you to experience nature, their restaurant and surroundings, in the most unique and memorable way you can imagine.
Located on a coastal cliff in Jeongdongjin, a tourist destination known for having the best view of the sunrise in South Korea, Sun Cruise Resort is one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations. The hotel is a specially designed cruise ship on land. It is constructed high on the edge of a mountain, so that a stroll on the sun deck allows its guests to feel they are out at sea without suffering from motion sickness. Sun Cruise Resort features 211 rooms, both condominium and hotel style, a Western and a Korean restaurant, revolving sky lounge, a night club, a karaoke, and sea water pool.
HOTEL COSTA VERDE - COSTA RICA
Just three hundred yards from the beach overlooking the world famous Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Verde features 3 cliff-side pools with sundecks and spacious rooms, studios and bungalows. All rooms offer balconies with a bird’s-eye view of the Park’s majestic coastline or rainforest canopy vistas dotted with toucans, sloths, coatis and monkeys.
The resort is home to one of the world’s most unusual hotel suites, a refurbished Boeing 727 airframe (built in 1965), which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia). This fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage suite jets out from the jungle canopy, affording you views that will make you feel like you’re flying.
Furnishings are hand-carved, teak furniture from Java, Indonesia. This 727 home features two air conditioned bedrooms–one with two queen sized beds and the other with one queen sized bed, each with its own private bath, a flat screen TV, a kitchenette with microwave, dining area foyer, an ocean view terrace, a private entrance up a river rock, spiral staircase, and 360 degrees of surrounding gardens.
Their story begins with the crazy initiative of a great visionary, a nobleman, Don Juan Quesada Valda, a pioneer in organized tourism in the south of the country, who in 1998 decided to create a salt hotel. And precisely, this innovative and creative idea of building a 100% salt hotel, that is, walls, ceilings, tables, chairs and other implements, was materialized in what he called “Palacio de Sal”, a suigeneris hotel, of unique and special architecture, whose objective was to provide visitors who came to the salt flat, a magical place where they can find balance with nature and enjoy a pleasant and unforgettable rest that will last in their memories.
In 2004 the hotel was moved to the shores of the salt flat, this with the intention of offering tourists the comfort and convenience they need. Since then, the exotic, the modern and the indigenous have been harmoniously combined to create, on more than 4,500 square meters, the first salt hotel in the world, an unusual and incomparable space that falls in love with everyone who visits it and that, with everyone the services that modern hotels demand, is capable of turning your visit into a magical experience.
What makes this hotel unique in it's class is for being entirely built with salt: walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, sculptures … everything is salt!
With the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world, there needs to be a place where adults can get away and let their “Inner Child” emerge. No worries, no hassles, no cell phone and no children. Our resort was built with this idea in mind using only the finest in quality and craftsmanship that makes up the Shire of Montana.
Looking to spend a night or two in a space-age capsule that appears to be teetering off the edge of a cliff? Set 9,300 feet above sea level on the Frebouze Glacier in the Mont Blanc massif in Italy, Bivacco Gervasutti, named after the Turin-born Alpine climber Giusto Gervasutti, replaces a modest wooden shelter built in his memory in 1948. Mont Blanc, literally meaning “White Mountain,” has the highest peak in Europe and lies in a range that spans Italy and France. A popular spot for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding, Mont Blanc is now home to this capsule hotel.
This incredible-looking hotel is twelve stories high and looks as if a giant has taken a number of the green-painted cottages typical of the Zaan region and mashed them together. One blue house stands out in the mix – it is a reference to Monet’s painting “The Blue House” completed in Zaandam in 1871. The inspiration behind the project was the concept that the hotel is your temporary home. Located in the newly-revamped Zaandam district in Amsterdam, when you stay here you will be only a short train ride from Amsterdam’s city center. The area is a well-known day trip for tourists and is famous for its windmills and quiet streets. The historic streets and waterways are being restored to bring back some of the old style living and the Inntel Hotel fits right into this plan. Your room is decorated in a modern way but with traditional accents and vintage photographs. Some have a rain shower and whirlpool tub, all have wifi.
There is a Trojan horse (which isn’t technically a fairy tale, but we wont quibble semantics) where you can stay in, well, a giant wooden horse. Other rooms include the Macquarie Island room where your bed is a boat which appears to float on real water and there is a real beach with real sand in your room. The suites are filled with wooden toadstools, starry skies (glowing on your ceiling) and crooked windows.
If the splendor of Titanic captivated your imagination, then the Queen Mary Hotel is probably right up your alley. Once a luxury liner for the rich and famous, Queen Mary now serves as an indulgent hotel with art deco suites.
All the pomp and grandeur of the Titanic without any of that silliness with icebergs; the Queen Mary has had a long and prosperous career with no bad renditions of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ yet.
Unusually for a decommissioned lifeboat hotel (wow, I’ve talked about so many unique hotels that this phrase doesn’t even seem strange) this one is still functioning. You can hire a captain to take you, your partner and your whole hotel out into the open sea. Now that sounds fun!
This lifeboat saw active service for over 30 years as part of England’s royal coastguard. It performed 105 rescue operations and saved 45 people from drowning. It was saved itself from the scrap yard by a Dutch lifeboat enthusiast who restored it and moored it in Harlingen Harbor. Now it will rescue you from mundane hotels. You will find two cabins below deck which are divided into a sitting room and bedroom. You can fix yourself breakfast using catering facilities located in the cockpit. There are plenty of local restaurants and sauna for you to visit and the Hannema museum to explore. Wonderful.
This historical building is an example of metabolism a movement in Japanese architecture that drew inspiration from how living organisms arrange themselves. Metabolists viewed society as an organism and the Nakagin Tower is one of the few remaining examples of their work.
Recently there has been discussion of demolishing the tower but Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for The New York Times, spoke out against the idea, “like all great buildings, it is the crystallization of a far-reaching cultural ideal. Its existence also stands as a powerful reminder of paths not taken, of the possibility of worlds shaped by different sets of values." Today, it remains standing.
Nakagin Capsule Tower was recognized as a unique building by Hollywood too. It was featured in the 2013 superhero film The Wolverine as a love hotel in Hiroshima Prefecture.
The Shell House is comprised of two living areas. There is the main holiday home with a living area and kitchenette on the ground floor and master bedroom on the second. Next door is the second room which has a kingsize bed and bathroom. There is a courtyard with a swimming pool too.
The Shell House was built from concrete and found materials by the artist-owner and his wife. They live nearby and are on-hand to make sure you have a fantastic trip. The interior living area has no corners, it is completely round. The shell-themed bathrooms are a real trip; the sink is made of conch shells, the taps are made of coral, and the towel racks from other seashells found along the beach.
Below sea level is the submariner room, a bedroom bubble where fish glide past your window. There are even fish that have made their homes around the structure; out here you won't be visited by other guests but by three bat fish and a trumpet fish called Nick (although I heard Nick the trumpetfish is an alcoholic, but he's fine if you catch him before 4 pm). The room is located in a “blue hole” in the middle of a living coral reef so it is the perfect place for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts and also people who just really like The Little Mermaid.
MONTANA MAGICA LODGE - NELTUME, CHILE
There’s only one place to be in Europe if you want cutting edge art - Berlin. Artists from all over the world come here to open galleries, boutiques or, in the case of Art Luise, a hotel. The hotel is located in a beautiful neoclassical building built in 1829. It is located close to the Reichstag and other essential sights.
Previously home to the rambunctious Mowe Art Club it has taken current owners over 20 years to turn it into its current incarnation. The painstaking detail is clear. Billed as an ‘art gallery in which you spend the night’ the hotel has a number of rooms each decorated by a different artist. Even the staircases are curated by a philosophy professor. He designed them to induce a state of contemplation while on your way to get a sandwich. Nice. Your room is totally unique, just check out these photos, which one would you choose? The restaurant pays homage to the building’s long history and is maintained in the traditional German way while serving a contemporary menu.
Today it has been named the ‘number one quirkiest hotel in the US’. So prepare to stay in a room where you can write your to-do list on a real-life chalkboard. They have their own brewery and the bar is located in the old detention rooms, who says the Americans are without a sense of irony? The school canteen is now a courtyard restaurant and there is more dining to be had in the old boiler room of the school. There is a beautiful soaking pool that is energy efficient as part of the hotel’s ‘green policy’ which is good to know.
The Mustang Monument Eco Resort, just south of Wells, Nevada, offers a unique safari and adventure experience for all its patrons. Mustang Monument covers about 2350 square kilometers and prides itself on being eco-friendly and sustainable.
This luxurious western-style ranch offers guests several unique safari experiences that allow you to reconnect with the majestic outdoors and the world of wild horses. During your stay at Mustang Monument, you also indulge yourself with the adventure of a lifetime by taking outdoor equestrian excursions, hikes, and much more. You can enter the habitat of 650 wild mustangs that have been rescued from the wild and roam the 900-acre spread. If you want more physical activity, sign up for archery, rappelling, rock climbing, off-road Tom-Car adventures, and paintball matches.
Lounge on your luxury leather chair underneath a delicate chandelier that hangs from the roof of a room which has been tunneled out of a pure rock, 155 meters below the surface. As if you were Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Except for massively rich and less ring-obsessed. So yes, the hotel is in a converted silver mine.
The hotel also conserves the mine’s unique history and historical tours are available too. It is also the site of some of the finest cave-diving in the world. Down here, under the water, there is no current and the environment has been untouched by oxygen and light so you enter and brave and mysterious world of labyrinthine tunnels and plunge-pools.
Accessible only by climbing, hiking, or zip-lining, each transparent capsule suite vertically hangs at the top of a 1200 ft mountain (!!!) and offers a 300-degree view of the stunning Sacred Valley landscape.
The carefully designed world of Gotham features a large Batman bed, a mini Batman mobile that seems to function as a sofa, Batman posters and logos all over and a TV to watch your favorite Batman movie, or something else. Did I mention that the minimum stay is 3 hours? Not days, hours. Which begs the question, is it the perfect playground for your kids to enjoy the mystical world of Batman, or something else?
THE BOOT - TASMAN, NEW ZEALAND
YELLOW SUB - LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM