We all have our own unique travel style, but the same old hostels and hotel scenes can eventually get boring, even for a well-travelled woman. Changing things up once in while can’t be a bad thing, so if you’re searching for your next unusual adventure, you’ve come to the right place. From underwater hotel rooms to beds that seem to be levitating in mid-air to little hobbit motels, this list of the world’s most unique hotels will leave you wanting more than just a generic vacation spot.
1. Capsule hotels, Japan
Capsule hotels have actually been around for a while and are tiny sleeping cabins that are stacked side by side and on top of one another. Just as the name suggests, the “rooms” are actually mini capsules that are designed to maximize space and for the traveler who plans on staying only for a short time. Whether you’re staying at the famous Capsule Value Kanda in Tokyo or the Nine Hours Hotel in Kyoto, this is not a new concept for the Japanese and is a must try experience at least once in your life.
2. Burj al Arab Hotel, Dubai
The Burj forms the only seven star hotel in the world, and that alone tells you the amount of luxury you can expect to experience. Located on an artificial island in the Persian Gulf, the hotel itself has 28 floors and is styled in the shape of a billowing sail. With more that 30 different types of marble including Statuario marble that was used by Michelangelo when creating his masterpieces, as well as golden leaves in the hotel interior, you can be sure to feel luxury with every step you take. The smallest suite spans an area of 1,820 square feet.
3. The Hobbit Motel, New Zealand
If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, then this uniquely theme hobbit hotel should definitely be on your list of places to stay. Spend a night or two sleeping deep within the shire, as this is also the closest accommodation to the Waitomo Caves which are home to North Island’s bioluminescent Glow Worms. The rooms of this uniquely themed motel are so much in character that not only are they built underground but the rooms themselves also contain natural fiber curtains and timbers that impart an earthy smell creating an all-round experience.
4. The Golden Lotus, Vietnam
Rather than staying in one place, why not try sleeping on beautiful Halong Bay. Yes, that’s right! The Golden Lotus Cruise will allow you to take in the beautiful sights of the famous Halong Bay while you relax aboard a beautifully crafted traditional boat that has been built by locals.
5. Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland
If you never thought staying in a glass igloo was a possibility, think again. These beautiful igloos are not only unique in appearance, but allow you to view a sky glistening with the northern lights. The hotel is open during the season of the northern lights, which runs from the third week of August until the end of April.
6. Plastic Bubble Domes, France
The AttrapReves Hotel is actually eco-friendly plastic bubble domes that have been built using recyclable materials. If you ask me, I’d say the best time to visit is during the winter when the snow is falling… it will look as if you’re staying in a snow globe!
7. Poseido Undersea Resort, Fiji
Surrounded by a 5,000 acre lagoon and pristine waters filled with abundant sea life, the Poseidon Resort is designed to provide you will an all-round view of the ocean. Accessible via a lift that runs from above ground, each suite promises breath-taking views of nearby corals and a host of vibrant sea life.
8. The Library Hotel, N.Y.C., U.S.A.
Situated just a block from the New York Public Library, this hotel is designed to resemble a beautiful library in all its glory. The rooms are designed so that they reflect the categories of the Dewey Decimal System, with each floor representing a single themed category. In addition to beautifully theme hotel rooms, you will also find a writer’s den, reading room, and poetry garden.
9. Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Located in the Ngong Forest, the unique Giraffe Manor forms one of Nairobi’s hidden gems. Here you will find a resident Rothschild giraffe population that roams around the hotel grounds as if they own the place. Don’t be alarmed if they even start to join you for breakfast!
10. Udang House, Bali
Also known as Shrimp House, the Udang House located in Ubud, Bali offers a unique kind of stay, as it is situated above a fresh shrimp pond that was used for food production. With tempered glass floor panels all-round, you’ll have a magnificent panoramic view of the natural pond below. Situated at the source of the water fountan that fills the natural pool, the entire area is known for its originality and architectural innovation.
11. Manta Resort, Zanzibar
Located on the remote island of Pemba, just off the east coast of Africa, Manta Resort offers fabulous white beaches and crystal clear waters. The Underwater Room is one of its kind on the island and offers complete encapsulation by turquoise blue waters. The floating structure offers three main levels – the landing deck which holds the lounge and bathroom, a roof for lounging and star gazing, and an underwater bedroom.
12. Ascher Guesthouse, Switzerland
The Ascher Guesthouse is located next to the Wildkirchli caves and below the Ebenalp cliff which is the northern-most summit of the Appenzell Alps. The Guesthouse itself was carefully built into the side of the mountain sometime during the 19th century. While it isn’t luxury accommodation, the views are breathtaking and will be worth the three hour hike to reach there.
13. Fairy Chimney Inn, Turkey
The Fairy Chimney Inn located at the top of a hill in Goreme, Turkey offers cave-like rooms furnished with traditional Turkish textiles. Famous for its fairy chimney rock formations, each room is fully furnished with a Turkish bath (hamam-like) bathroom. Wander outside and you will find a terrace with beautiful views.
14. Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
Forming part of the Hilton Hotels network, the Conrad Maldives forms an idyllic resort that is actually spread over two islands connected by a bridge. With breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean from every angle, beautiful aquatic gardens, and rare undersea life, this will be one island getaway that you won’t forget.
15. Montana Magica Lodge, Chile
Set deep within the Huilo-Huilo reserve of the Patagonian rainforest, Montana Magica forms a unique volcano-shaped eco-friendly lodge. It’s almost as it you’ve stepped into a real life fairy tale! Encircling the Lodge is a private nature reserve which is home to a host of rare plants and animals, making you feel almost as if you’ve stepped into Rivendale. There are many natural waterfalls surrounding the area and together with the outdoor hot tubs and an eco-friendly nature site, you will feel like a forest fairy in no time.
16. Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
Located approximately 124 miles (200 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle, you will find the original ice hotel of Sweden. Everything in this hotel is built from ice, right down to the very bed itself! Every year, the hotel is rebuilt, which means that the architecture changes annually. Each suite is designed with a different look and while there are no heating and hotel temperatures are around 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Centigrade) , this will certainly be one experience you won’t forget.
17. Martin’s Patershof Church Hotel, Belgium
Located just a few miles from Brussels Airport, the heart of Mechelen shines through in this unique former church, which has now been converted into a hotel. The Neo-Gothic architecture of the church, together with the contemporary hotel comforts, really creates a unique experience that will leave you feel relaxed and cleansed both inside and out.
18. The Georgian House Hotel, London
If you’ve always wanted to be a wizard, then the Georgian House in London will transform you into a world filled with glorious magic. Hidden behind a bookcase door and on the lower ground floor, you will find the Enchanted Chamber and the Wizard Chamber. Fully equipped with open fireplaces, cauldrons, and velvet curtains, you’ll certainly feel as though you’re spending a night at your favorite wizarding school.
19. Kingston Tree House, Lion Sands, South Africa
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a luxury tree house, then South Africa is where you should be headed. Situated in the Lion Sands River, you can be sure to gain some spectacular sightings of surrounding wildlife. The treehouses are perfect for anyone who is looking to completely disconnect from society and technology.
20. Caravan Hotel, Huettenpalast, Berlin
Better known as the perfect urban glamping spot, the Caravan Hotel is located in the artsy neighborhood of Huettenpalast, Berlin. Here you will find a unique range of retro-styled caravans that are located within an indoor camping sight that will leave you feeling happy and kitsch. It’s a strange but fun and unique concept.