Next time you’re thinking about where to holiday, forget the unremarkable and predictable hotel chains and opt for a one-of-a-kind place to stay. From tree-houses and survival capsules to luxury camping, make your accommodation part of the holiday fun!
We love cool hotels and these are our favourite 10 quirkiest places to stay around the world.
1. Spherical Tree House, Vancouver Island, Canada
Not quite tree houses exactly, but more like pods that are suspended from the thick forest trees on Vancouver Island. Once you break contact with the ground, energy shifts. The magical environment of the forest canopy conjures up thoughts of elves and fairies and woodland creatures.
2. Beckham Creek Cave Haven, Arkansas, US
Located in the Ozarks, you can spend the night in this is natural living cave. The pictures look spectacular, and you are surely staying in the lap of luxury here. Or at least the lap of a big dark hole.
3. Survival Capsule, Scheveningen, Netherlands
Fancy an escape from everyday life? Bob away your woes in an original survival capsule – dating back to 1972 – off the coast of Scheveningen, located just outside The Hague in the Netherlands. Despite measuring only 4.25m in diameter, the escape pod offers luxuries in the form of high quality linen, fresh fruit and a DVD-player with a small movie collection. Perhaps not for the claustrophobic, however…
4. La Balade des Gnomes, Durbuy, Belgium
We’ve all heard the story of the Trojan horse – a hollow wooden horse that the Greek army built in which to hide soldiers and thus gain entry into Troy; a tale from the Trojan War as told in Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid. Now, you can actually stay in one! Designed and built by architect cum hotelier Mr Noël, La Balade des Gnomes boasts 10 imaginative rooms and is guaranteed to capture the imagination. La Balade des Gnomes is located 15 minutes’ drive from Durbuy and about two hours from Brussels, Belgium.
5. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
If you are after a hotel room with something little different then this underwater room has to be one of the coolest in the world. If you ever wanted to sleep 20ft below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear glass then this is the place for you. This suite is located at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and it’s normally a restaurant (Ithaa Undersea Restaurant). In honour of their 50th anniversary, the Conrad is allowing the restaurant to be converted into a suite but for a price. Depending on the day, it’ll cost you between $10,000 to $15,000 per night to stay in this awesome room. Not sure you would be able to sleep though. Would also be tempting to take in a water pistol and squirt the ceiling so it dripped water on your partner in the middle of the night. That would freak them out! Anyway…here is the amazing Conrad Maldives Rangali Island suite:
Below is how the room usually looks at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island – a very cool restaurant called Ithaa Undersea Restaurant! The only all-glass undersea restaurant in the world. Set five metres below sea level and surrounded by a vibrant coral reef, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Resort and Spa Rangali Island (South Ari Atoll – Maldives) is possibly the most stunning and unusual restaurants in the world.
6. Utter Inn, Stockholm, Sweden
In English, this means Otter Inn, which is an apt description for this floating underwater hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Show up, and they’ll paddle you 1km out to the middle of a lake where a small out-house looking contraption floats on the water. Then they drop you off and you’re left to enjoy your own private island. Your living space isn’t limited to the outhouse and surrounding deck however – the bedroom is actually below, 10 feet under the water.
7. The Ark, Wiltshire, UK
The Ark is inventive woodworker James Noble’s latest incredible creation. Its curved, gothic-inspired form sits by a river under an apple tree in a quiet corner of the Wiltshire farm, with views to the neighbouring village.
The Ark is for the more intrepid glamping style holiday involving a tractor ride down to the site with all your gear and a few tricks and tips that James’ll explain. The site’s solitude has been preserved by James’ ingenious construction of a trailer mounted loo that also transports a gas fridge and the log store. The shower is a classic camping arrangement – a large Kelly kettle, in which you heat the water before hoisting it into the trees. For cooking, a double hob has been built into The Ark in, of course, a handmade unit and there is a fire pit outside for campfire meals and songs.
From The Ark’s corner of the farm at Puckshipton there are a couple of lovely walks to nearby villages and the area around is criss-crossed with hikes and cycle routes. Further afield, there is plenty to explore, including Stonehenge, Avebury and other historic sites, as well classic English market towns.
8. The Hobbit Motel, Otorohanga, New Zealand
If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you may be rushing to Otorohanga, New Zealand to stay here. The Hobbit Motel is located in Woodlyn Park, and is an exact replica of the hobbit homes you saw in the movies. The inside is considerably more contemporary (which actually detracts from the idea in of staying in hobbit accommodations in my mind), but at least it’s comfortable and you don’t have to crouch everywhere you go.
9. Molja Lighthouse, Aalesund, Norway
If you’re looking of a secluded getaway and some great views, look no further than the Molja Lighthouse, situated at the entrance to the harbour of Aalesund in Norway. This 150-year-old lighthouse is only 3m in diameter but no space is wasted.
The interior design was carried out by Snohetta – Norway’s leading architects and designers of Oslo Opera House and Ground Zero in New York and the interiors are a blend of modern amenities and rustic charm. Part of the Hotel Brosundet, whose philosophy is to treasure the past and look to the future, each room in the hotel is individually created to respect the buildings past; including the Molja Lighthouse – or ‘Room 47’ – as it is otherwise known.
10. Hotel Igloo Village, Kakslauttanen, Finland
Hotel igloo village is one of the quirkiest and coolest places we have stayed at. Imagine yourself sleeping in an Igloo made of Snow, it’s absolutely silent as lights inside ice illuminate the Igloo around you and the northern lights dance above you in the night sky. You’ll never get bored of marveling at it until you fall to sleep in your warm down sleeping bag. The Northern Lights can be seen anywhere above 60 degrees north latitude but this place is special and these pictures show…
Surrounded by Lapland’s exotic and stunning scenery, Hotel Igloo Village Kakslauttanen offers 31 first-class log cabins in Lapland. Hotel Igloo Village Kakslauttanen is located in the Saariselka fell area amidst beautiful Finnish Lapland scenery in the vicinity of Urho Kekkonen National Park along the road leading to Nordkap and the Arctic Ocean. Just look at these pictures to see how stunning this place is…