Sometimes a hotel is so quirky and unique that you travel FOR it – that is why we are sharing these 6 unusual places to stay in the world.
Not all hotel accommodations are created equal, and we’re not referring to luxury, comfort, or price. Some are just more interesting than others – pleasantly whimsical, even. Take, for instance, a snow igloo through which you can see the Aurora Borealis or a rain forest treehouse on a solitary tropical island. This list of extraordinary places is sure to make you rethink the meaning of unusual.
Stay in a Glass Igloo in Finland
Are you looking for a dreamy yet unique place to spend time with your partner? Nothing is more romantic than cuddling under the stars or watching the magnificent northern lights through a glass igloo. Finland is home to some of the most famous igloo retreats, one of which is the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Here, you will find the renowned Igloo Village amidst a spectacular Lapland landscape, featuring lodgings that provide the perfect views to witness the dancing lights. Not only is this a unique experience but an incredibly romantic hotel too.
What’s more, the igloos are equipped with a kitchenette, a double bed, a full bath, and insulated windows to keep snow from frosting. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, brave the biting cold and head to the outdoor hot bath to soak in warmth while admiring the starlit skies. Craving for some local fare? Discover a diverse menu of international cuisine and traditional Lappish dishes at the impressive restaurants of the resort.
Stay in a Castle in Scotland
At first glance, nothing seems unusual about staying in a castle. But once you learn the backstory of the place, you will understand why castles, especially those in historically rich Scotland, stand out from typical hotel accommodation. If the story of the castle doesn’t interest you, the stunning view and incredible architecture should. Imagine tall turrets, deep dark moats, long walking footbridges, and acres of manicured gardens and woodlands.
Adventurous types who lean towards the unknown would find the mysterious legends surrounding the castles intriguing. Imagine dismal dungeons, secret tunnels, and random ghostly apparitions. Here, you can either live your favourite fairytale fantasy while wallowing in a majestic ambience or haunt for spirits in abandoned corridors (…or maybe not) while learning about the frightening events that happened in the past.
For a feel of history, stay in Borthwick Castle, which served as the refuge of the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots, or lodge at the 500-year-old Kilmartin Castle recently restored after 200 years of abandonment. Avid sightseers can check out the cliff-top Culzean Castle, which provides a view of the Island of Arran or Inverlochy Castle, which stands at the foothills of Ben Navis.
Stay in a Treehouse in Bali
You probably conjure images of white beaches and blue waters, vast rice fields, and golden temples when you think of Bali. But deep into this tropical island is a lush rain forest hosting some of the most extraordinary accommodations that would put even the most experienced travellers in awe. These treehouses provide you with opportunities to commune with nature and perceive the world from above.
One of the most famous treehouses on the island is the Magical Treehouse, so-called not only because of its stunning scenery but also because of the tree growing inside the house. The upper portion of the treehouse affords you with an incredible view of the jungle while downstairs you will find a private pool accessible through a waterfall curtain.
If you want to explore traditional Balinese architecture, check out the Sunrise House, a luxurious masterpiece made of bamboo. Keep in mind that this bamboo house is not for the faint of heart as it rises four levels above ground, accessible through a steep swirling staircase. Fancy the comforts of a villa while still craving for adventure? You can stay at Villa Pererepan. This fabulous lodging includes a ‘treetop’ swimming pool and a balcony from where you can see the Petanu River flow through the jungle valley, and a group of monkeys swing from tree to tree.
Stay on a Boat in the Amazon Rainforest
Wake up to the chirping of wild birds, the touch of crisp jungle breeze, the smell of the river, and the sight of immense emerald green forest. You are on a boat cruising the Amazon River, the wild rainforest thick and luxuriant around you.
What’s unique about staying on a boat is that it takes you on a trip to discover less-frequented tributaries and fascinating parts of the forest. You can look for exotic birds, try piranha fishing, spot the ferocious black caiman, meet rare pink dolphins, and visit hidden villages.
You can pick from a wide range of boat accommodations.
Choose a beautifully crafted motor yacht for intimate and private rainforest cruises, get aboard a four-deck clipper that comes with an outdoor space for unobstructed sightseeing, or try an eco-friendly vessel that operates solely on solar power to support the environment.
Stay in a Jumbo Jet in Sweden
Sleeping on an aeroplane, neither sounds appealing nor romantic. But a quick look into Jumbo Stay Hotel can redefine your idea of spending the night on a plane. This unique hostel is a former Pan-Am aircraft, a retired Boeing 457, beautifully transformed into a 33-room luxurious and one-of-a-kind accommodation.
Ever fancy slumbering in the cockpit? You can book the refurbished cockpit suite and spend a peaceful night in a cosy and comfortable space among levers, dials, and control wheels. Ideal for couples, the room provides privacy, as well as a breathtaking panorama of the runway. You can also socialize with other guests in the homey lounge or sip wine in the elegantly re-modelled bar.
Stay in a Hanging Pod in Laos
Laos’ mountainous jungles of Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park is home to some endangered species, such as gibbons, leopards, black bear, tigers, and elephants. But it is the fascinating lodgings that render the place different from other wildlife reservations. Here, you will find spherical eco-pods suspended from ancient trees.
These unique pods can easily top the list of unusual and unique hotels around the world, if not for their beauty, then for their sheer ingenuity. A waterproof fabric mounted on a bamboo frame that rests on a basket-woven base makes up the exterior of pods, while a fine netting lines the interior to keep mosquitos and other insects away.
The sleeping pods are surprisingly spacious, fitting two single beds or one large double bed, making them perfect for relaxation after a long day of trekking the wilderness. In the evening, you can open the retractable roof for an enthralling nocturnal animal watching. The nature park also features an observation tower where guests can witness exotic birds.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.