25 Most Unusual Hotels You Can Stay In
Today’s hotels strive to offer more of an experience than simply a place to rest your head. Luxurious touches and unique attributes in intriguing locations have graduated many hotels to a destination all their own. And some aren’t even situated within confined buildings at all!
This roundup of weird hotels features prisons, planes, trains, igloos, caves and more unusual experiences that today’s traveler is guaranteed to find cool.
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25. Giraffe Manor
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Best time to visit: Come during the dry season, which is from late June to October. These months are also considered the best for viewing wildlife throughout Kenya.
Stay at: Giraffe Manor
What Makes Giraffe Manor So Unusual
A resident herd of Rothschild giraffes welcomes guests morning or evening, poking their heads into the 1930s manor house in hopes of a treat.
The boutique hotel is set on 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi.
24. Amazon Jungle Palace
Location: Manaus, Brazil
Best time to visit: Come in May or June, which is midway between the rainiest months (February to April) and the hottest driest months (September to November). The Amazon River’s water level is also at its highest at this time.
Stay at: Amazon Jungle Palace
What Makes Amazon Jungle Palace So Unusual
This unique hotel is located on the waters of the Rio Negro, with the entire complex a floating structure that’s fully integrated into the Amazon rainforest.
23. Monte Rosa Hut
Location: Zermatt, Switzerland
Best time to visit: The hotel is open from mid-March to mid-May and from mid-June to mid-September.
Stay at: Monte Rosa Hut
What Makes Monte Rosa Hut So Unusual
Dating back to 1895, the Monte Rosa was once a hut consisting of just one room that could host 25 guests. Today, the hotel, which can host 120 guests, is equipped with a photovoltaic system and thermal solar collectors that allow it to produce 90 percent of its own energy.
The special shape of the building is reminiscent of a mountain crystal.
22. Levin Iglut Golden Crown
Location: Kittilä, Finland
Best time to visit: Visit during aurora borealis season, which takes place from the end of August to the beginning of April.
Stay at: Levin Iglut Golden Crown
What Makes Levin Iglut So Unusual
Have you ever wanted to gaze up at the Northern Lights from the comfort of a hotel suite? Levin Iglut offers that opportunity with its glass igloos.
The Suite Igloos, in particular, offer unobstructed views of the valley and the northern sky.
21. Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Location: Parthenon, Arkansas
Best time to visit: Explore the surrounding underground lakes and natural caverns within Buffalo River Valley between April and October for pleasant to hot temperatures.
Stay at: Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
What Makes Beckham Creek Cave Lodge So Unusual
Once used as a bomb shelter in the 1980s, this unique hotel is nestled within a natural cavern situated high within a bluff that overlooks the valley. The Urban Revival themed lodge offers an elevated experience of what it was once like to live in a cave.
The 12-person, four-bedroom home is situated on 256 private acres, making for total seclusion.
20. Skylodge Adventure Suites
Location: Cusco, Peru
Best time to visit: In order to reach the suites, guests must either take a zipline or hike up the mountain. Come during the dry season, May through September, to avoid climbing in the rain.
Stay at: Skylodge Adventure Suites
What Makes Skylodge Adventure Suites So Unusual
Vertically hanging suites offer guests the opportunity to mimic life in a condor’s nest.
Located in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, Peru, each of the suites are fully transparent, revealing impressive views of the valley.
19. Conestoga Ranch
Location: Garden City, Utah
Best time to visit: Come during summer, when you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the 20-mile Bear Lake. Called the "Caribbean of the Rockies,” expect turquoise water, ample sunshine and sandy beaches.
Stay at: Conestoga Ranch
What Makes Conestoga Ranch So Unusual
Immerse yourself in the life of America’s early pioneers on the ranch, where Conestoga wagons have been reimagined to accommodate guests. The four-person and six-person wagons each offer a king size bed and either one or two sets of bunks.
Every wagon is fully mobile, meaning they can be moved to offer a customized group experience.
18. Palacio de Sal
Location: Colchani, Bolivia
Best time to visit: The Uyuni Salt Flats have two distinct seasons: dry and rainy. Come between the end of April to the beginning of December, when there is no rainfall and the salt flat can be crossed from one end to the other.
Stay at: Palacio de Sal
What Makes Palacio de Sal So Unusual
This majestic palace consists of more than 1 million compact blocks extracted from the surface of the salt flats. A paste made from ground salt and water is used to assemble the structure.
Each year, the hotel undergoes reconstruction after the rainy season depletes 10 percent of the structure.
17. Santos Express Train Lodge
Location: Mossel Bay, South Africa
Best time to visit: Enjoy warm weather activities, including jumping out of bed and into the ocean, from late November to late March.
Stay at: Santos Express Train Lodge
What Makes Santos Express Train Lodge So Unusual
Cozy up seaside on a train! Situated next to Santos Beach, this unique lodging experience is an actual train where every room faces the water.
The lodge opened its doors in 1994, consisting of decommissioned coaches from South African Railways.
16. Conrad Maldives
Location: Rangali Island, Maldives
Best time to visit: The best weather can be experienced in the Maldives between November and April, when there’s little precipitation and warm temperatures.
Stay at: Conrad Maldives
What Makes Conrad Maldives So Unusual
Conrad Maldives is home to the world’s first subaquatic eatery. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant features panoramic coral garden views as you dine below sea level.
The hotel is also home to the Muraka, a two-story villa set more than 16 feet below the Indian Ocean.
15. Costa Verde
Location: Quepos, Costa Rica
Best time to visit: Avoid scorching-hot temperatures with a visit between December and February. January offers the longest days of the year.
Stay at: Costa Verde
What Makes Costa Verde So Unusual
The resort features a transported and refurbished 1965 vintage Boeing 727 airframe as part of its lodging opportunities.
Located on a concrete plinth jutting up 50 feet into the jungle, the two-bedroom suite features hand-carved teak furnishings and a handcrafted deck on the wing.
14. Hotel Marqués de Riscal
Location: Elciego, Spain
Best time to visit: Come in autumn, when the vineyards are alive with gold and crimson colors.
Stay at: Hotel Marqués de Riscal
What Makes Hotel Marqués de Riscal So Unusual
An otherworldly sight to behold, this avant-garde structure is a work of art created by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that doubles as an artsy winery and hotel.
All 43 rooms of the hotel are unique, featuring their own shape, design and view.
13. Hotel de Glace
Location: Valcartier, Québec
Best time to visit: There’s a small time frame — from January to March — to enjoy the magic of the only ice hotel in North America.
Stay at: Hotel de Glace
What Makes Hotel de Glace So Unusual
Made entirely of snow and ice, this enchanting ice hotel changes theme each winter.
Expect hotel rooms and suites decorated with majestic sculptures, a gorgeous Grand Hall, chapel, ice slide and bar featuring cocktails served in glasses made of ice.
12. V8 Hotel
Location: Böblingen, Germany
Best time to visit: When you’re not sleeping in a bed made from a real car, get on the road and enjoy the surrounding area from June until September. This is when you will have the best temperatures and limited rainfall.
Stay at: V8 Hotel
What Makes V8 Hotel So Unusual
Car lovers rejoice! This automotive-centric hotel features rooms designed with automotive world illustrations, photographs and original parts. Each room features its own creative car-themed concept, including an off-road room where guests will sleep among a bed frame that consists of a typical off-road Wrangler Jeep.
There’s also a mechanic-themed room where you’ll find comfort jacked up on a hydraulic ramp, between lockers, stacks of tires, a workbench, wrench and other paraphernalia.
11. Hotel Puntagrande
Location: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Best time to visit: Since adverse weather conditions are slim, feel free to visit the remote hotel any time of year!
Stay at: Hotel Puntagrande
What Makes Hotel Puntagrande So Unusual
Situated on a remote volcanic island in the Canary Islands, this adults-only hotel is one of the world’s smallest hotels. There are just five rooms, one of which is a suite.
Much of the wood used to construct the hotel has been salvaged from shipwrecks, which only adds to the remote, mysterious setting in the middle of the sea.
10. Karosta Prison
Location: Liep?ja, Latvia
Best time to visit: Overnight stays are permitted from May 1 to Nov. 30.
Stay at: Karosta Prison
What Makes Karosta Prison So Unusual
For those who simply can’t get enough of the eerie feeling that visiting an old prison stirs up, Karosta Prison allows visitors to spend the night! The unique lodging opportunity includes sleeping on a prison bunk or an iron bed and having a delicious prison meal.
Breakfast in bed served by a prison guard is available for an extra fee.
9. Madonna Inn
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
Best time to visit: Plan your trip around the inn’s many events, from circus shows to concerts and plenty of food and drink festivals.
Stay at: Madonna Inn
What Makes Madonna Inn So Unusual
The Madonna Inn is a notably eccentric hotel experience — from the Swiss-Alps exterior to the overwhelming display of pink within, from the floral carpeting to the leather chairs.
There’s a famous rock waterfall urinal, Western murals, heaping amounts of hammered copper, pink roses everywhere, and outlandish guest rooms and suites, which all have thematic names like “Caveman,” “Austrian Suite,” “Love Nest” and “Pioneer America.”
8. Turpentine Creek
Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Best time to visit: While any time of year can be fun to visit, the animals are typically the most active in the spring and fall.
Stay at: Turpentine Creek
What Makes Turpentine Creek So Unusual
A refuge for big cats, Turpentine Creek offers guests the honor of visiting rescued tigers, lions, leopards, cougars and more by day.
At night, you can stay in one of the safari-themed rooms adjacent to the refuge.
7. Dog Bark Park Inn
Location: Cottonwood, Idaho
Best time to visit: The lodging season is April through August, with a two-night minimum stay.
Stay at: Dog Bark Park Inn
What Makes Dog Bark Park Inn So Unusual
Ever wondered what it’s like to stay in the world’s largest beagle? Probably not, but this B&B provides the opportunity anyway.
The dog-shaped inn is a quirky canine attraction, featuring all things dogs, from the pillows to the bedrest to the books to the curtains to the cookies!
6. The Liberty
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Best time to visit: Come during early fall for mild weather that makes visiting the walkable city memorable.
Stay at: The Liberty
What Makes The Liberty So Unusual
Stay in a jail without feeling like it at The Liberty. Once the Charles Street Jail, the building has been transformed into a luxurious hotel.
But while a stylish restaurant and bar and upscale rooms await, former jailhouse vibes can still be felt with the preserved three-story arched windows, catwalks and vestiges of jail cells.
Location: Harads, Sweden
Best time to visit: Come from September to March to spot the northern lights on clear, dark nights.
Stay at: Treehotel
What Makes Treehotel So Unusual
Capsule-like cabins are suspended from trees within the pines around Harads. All seven “tree rooms,” offer a unique structure.
One exterior consists entirely of a gigantic bird’s nest, while another is shaped like a UFO ship.
4. Magic Mountain Hotel
Location: Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile
Best time to visit: For ideal weather conditions, visit during the pleasant summers. Winter here is notoriously cold, rainy and cloudy.
Stay at: Magic Mountain Hotel
What Makes Magic Mountain Hotel So Unusual
Known for promoting ecotourism, the Huilo Huilo Reserve is home to unique lodging opportunities, including Magic Mountain Hotel. The building looks like a volcano, and the water cascading from the roof is reminiscent of a geyser.
Plus, rustic-style rooms feature viewing opportunities of the abundant nature and wildlife.
3. Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Best time to visit: Come in late spring or early fall to avoid the crowds while enjoying the city’s favorite pastime: bike riding.
Stay at: Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn
What Makes Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn So Unusual
Nearly 70 stacked authentic Zaan houses make up the exterior of this hotel. Inside, hotel rooms feature nostalgic touches that pay homage to the workers of the past and the families who shaped the region into what it is today.
Book a stay in the Tsar Peter house, the oldest house in Zaandam. You’ll enter through a special entrance door and be mesmerized by the unique hotel suite experience that beholds.
2. Woodlyn Park
Location: Waitomo, New Zealand
Best time to visit: The motel is just two minutes from the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Visit the caves in summer, between November and April, to avoid a chilly experience.
Stay at: Woodlyn Park
What Makes Woodlyn Park So Unusual
Ten unique motel units make up Woodlyn Park, with each built in part of recycled and natural materials.
There are two under-hill cave units, a Waitanic Ship with five suites, a Bristol Freighter plane with two units and a Waitanic Express Train.
1. Free Spirit Spheres
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Best time to visit: Come between April and October, when the region sees some of the country’s mildest and driest weather.
What Makes Free Spirit Spheres So Unusual
Stay at: Free Spirit Spheres
These UFO-like works of art are situated within the forest on Vancouver Island and are made up of cedar, Sitka spruce and fiberglass. The three spheres hang from the trees by ropes.
All spheres are insulated with multiple layers of reflective bubble wrap.