13 Out-of-the-Ordinary Hotels You Need to See to Believe
Looking for a Unique Stay?
Everyone loves a clean, spacious hotel room with a great view. But sometimes it just feels like something is missing.
Maybe it’s because there is no glass ceiling that give you a direct view of the Northern Lights, nor an elevator that drops straight into the sea. Without an underwater room that brings you face to face with fish, your stay might just be a little underwhelming.
Luckily, there is a whole different breed of hotels that aim to win over guests with their novelty and uniqueness. Often these hotels offer more memorable experiences than the destinations where they are found.
Thanks to some truly creative minds, you can sleep in a former prison, in a tiny pod high above the ground or in former sewage pipes in complete luxury. Whatever your tastes, these cool hotels are sure to intrigue and delight you.
While you might not have to book as far in advance as you do for these difficult travel reservations, these unique hotels are growing more popular by the day so it never hurts to think ahead! If you ever visit one, it’s a guarantee you’ll come back with some great stories.
Ice Hotel, Sweden
A seasonal oddity, the ice hotel grows out of snow and ice each year, with a little help from human hands, of course. Everything, down to the beds and decorations, is completely unique (being reconstructed each year) and made entirely from ice blocks taken from a nearby river.
The entire construction has to remain at a cool 23 degrees Fahrenheit to stay upright, so guests are provided with polar-tested sleeping bags, and naturally a few reindeer furs, too.
Photo Credit: Jumbo Stay
Jumbo Stay, Sweden
If you have never had a comfortable sleep on board an aircraft, yet still have a hankering for the novelty of spending the night on a jumbo jet, this unusual hotel might be the solution for you. The fully converted former jet includes dorm rooms, standard rooms and suites, to cater for a range of budgets.
The double bed, en-suite room in the cockpit is naturally the most lavish.
Photo Credit: Bubble Tree
Bubble Tree, France
Truly resembling giant bubbles that have alighted on the ground, the Bubble Tree hotel is not recommended for anyone who values their privacy. The surreal spheres can be found just a few miles out of Marseille, in the woodlands in the south of France.
A glamorous alternative to camping, from within the transparent domes, guests can savor the natural beauty of their surrounds, and the wonder of a sky full of stars at night. Perhaps not the best spot for a couple looking for a romantic getaway.
Photo Credit: Huilo-Huilo
Montaña Magica Lodge, Chile
A volcano shaped building spewing water out of its top, the Montaña Magica Lodge is something that has to be seen to be believed. And then has to be slept inside of to be properly experienced.
A rickety wooden drawbridge is the only way to access the rooms. From within any of the nine rooms, guests can look out the windows, past the cascading water, to the lush forest and wildlife that surrounds the hotel.
The odd toucan flitting past makes staying there truly special.
Photo Credit: Seadventures Dive
Seadventures Rig Resort, Malaysia
It may not be the most visually appealing hotel in the world, but this repurposed oil rig is by far one of the most original. A novel alternative to a dive resort, the premise of Seadventures is simple: connect divers to the ocean as easily and conveniently as possible.
An elevator transports guests directly from the rig down to the reef underneath, which just so happens to be part of the superb Coral Triangle, a marine wonderland teeming with all sorts of sea life.
Photo Credit: Treehotel
Swedes seem to have a propensity for the bizarre. Suspended in a pine forest somewhere in Sweden is a UFO, a Mirrorcube, a surprisingly lifelike Bird’s Nest, and a Tree Sauna.
These aren’t peculiar art installations however; they are all unique “treerooms,” housing guests who appreciate a mixture of natural and contemporary (but still slightly crazy) design.
Photo Credit: Natura Vive
Natura Vive Skylodge, Peru
The aptly named Skylodge is composed of three capsule suites, clinging to the cliffs of the Sacred Valley of Cuzco. Accessible only by a strenuous hike, or via an adrenaline-pumping zip-line route, the Skylodge was designed with adventure in mind.
While its location high on a 1,200-foot mountain does offer spectacular views, it might not be the best place to go for a good night’s sleep if you have even so much as a mild fear of heights.
Photo Credit: The Manta Resort
The Manta Resort, Tanzania
The Manta Resort offers the distinct specialty of a private island where guests sleep beneath the waves. The Underwater Room is a three-floor suite floating next to a coral reef.
The master bedroom is fully submerged, with windows looking out at the reef and all of the life thriving in it. If you want to catch a glimpse of underwater worlds without getting wet, this is one of the best underwater hotels to do it at.
Photo Credit: The Liberty Hotel
Liberty Hotel, USA
Lavishly beautiful, it is hard to imagine that this Boston masterpiece was once a prison. Formerly the Charles Street Jail, the building is famous for having incarcerated names such as James Michael Curley and Malcolm X.
Reborn as a 300-room luxury hotel, your stay there will almost certainly be more comfortable then theirs was, even if you sleep in the very same space they occupied.
Photo Credit: Kakslauttanen
Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland
Ingenious glass igloos pop their domed heads up from the snow in this arctic resort in Lapland. Built to capture the magic of the Northern Lights, these igloos make the perfect accommodation for dreamers, nature lovers and honeymooners.
Perfectly sized for two, gazing at the Aurora Borealis from the warmth and comfort of these little glass huts is perhaps the most romantic way possible to spend freezing Arctic nights.
Photo Credit: Cappadocia Cave Suites
Cappadocia Cave Hotel, Turkey
Continuing a very old tradition of burrowing sleeping places into rocks, the Cappadocia Cave Hotel is one of many in Goreme to set up its rooms within the so-called fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. The castle-like hotel meshes ancient cave dwellings with modern comforts, giving medieval rooms a luxurious makeover.
Photo Credit: Palacio de Sal
Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
This Salt Palace is literally the salt of the earth, making it one of the coolest hotels in the world. Constructed entirely from blocks of salt, the hotel overlooks the incredible natural wonder that is the Uyuni salt flats.
Of course, having a hotel where everything from ceiling to floor is made from salt does present a few problems. This hotel probably has the most unusual house rule in the world: guests are strictly prohibited from licking the walls, to prevent their degradation.
Photo Credit: Das Park Hotel
Das Park Hotel, Austria
If sleeping in a sewer pipe sounds unappealing to you, you’ve clearly never heard of this weird hotel. In the Das Park Hotel, gigantic concrete pipes that once funneled away things it’s best not to think about now serve as creative hotel rooms.
Simple, sturdy and comfortable, the cylindrical chambers are cozy and practical, while making excellent use of materials no longer needed for their original purpose.