The Great Escape: Step Inside the world’s strangest hotels

Latest News / Travel / February 20, 2013

Want a vacation that will have all your friend’s talking about it on social media? Bored of the standard plush hotels? Well, these odd locations could be just what the adventurer in you is looking for.

From the Desert Cave Hotel in Australia and the Magic Mountain  in Chile to the Tree House Hotel in Sweden and the Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho, there is something in this list below, to tickle everyone’s strangest fancy.

Hotel Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica


This hotel is perfect for those who just love airplanes so much, they never want to get off one. The hotel on the west coast of Costa Rica features a Boeing 727 “fuselage home”. The pimp pad has an ocean view terrace, a private entrance up a river rock, spiral staircase, and a 360-degree view of the surrounding gardens. 

Dog Bark Park Inn


This hotel has gone to the dogs — literally!
Located in Cottonwood, Idaho, this dogs-allowed beagle B&B is perfect for the pooch obsessed guest.

Because, you know, sleeping in the doghouse is a good thing!

The Mine Suite


For £380 a night, you too can sleep 509ft underground!  The Sala Silvermine Hotel, in Vdstmanland County, Sweden, has created a room so far beneath the earth’s surface that it can only be accessed through a mine lift shaft. The bizarre bedroom comes complete with a luxurious double bed, silver furnishings and champagne platter…. but worth a side note, cell phones don’t really work down there.

 Tree House Lodge, Punta Uva, Costa Rica


There is no doubt the location is ideal: The complex is located on a 10 acre ocean front property in the famous Punta Uva beach, just south of Puerto Viejo in the province of Limon. Sure, you have total privacy and a natural tranquil atmosphere, but the bathroom at the Beach Suite is designed to feel like an alien craft on the inside.

Hotel de Glace, Quebec City, Canada


If you are a fan of winter, you will love this hotel. The authentic Hôtel de Glace in America, has seduced over half a million people around the world since its opening in 2001. With its huge snow vaults and its crystalline ice sculptures, the Hôtel de Glace impresses by its dazzling decor.  Your night at the hotel comes complete with a Nordic sleeping bag!

Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest and is only 20 kilometres from Nairobi city centre. Built in the 1930s, this luxury boutique hotel has maintained all the charm of the era and is now famous for its resident herd of Rothschild Giraffe. Giraffe Manor offers you an unparalleled experience of the giraffes, with them vying for your attention at the breakfast table, the front door and even your bedroom window.

Giraffe Manor is also home to many characters including warthogs, bushbuck, dik dik and more than 180 species of birds and has a striking view of the Ngong hills.

La Balade des Gnomes, Durbuy, Belgium


Located in the centre of Durbuy.

The smallest city in the world contains this dream house, set amid lush greenery, far from the madding crowd. Behind the garden gate is a Provençal-style chalet, which is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the quiet. Each of the 10 rooms at this converted farmhouse serves as a classic tale. 

Located in the port of Colchani, on the eastern shore of the Great Salar de Uyuni and just 25 kms from the city of Uyuni, the Hotel Palacio de Sal Hotel & Spa, recently remodeled, is built entirely of salt: Walls, floors, ceilings, and much of its implementation and decoration. That is why it is considered so unique.

Tianzi Hotel,  Hebei Province, China



Built in 2000, this 10-story building depicts Fu, Lu and Shou—Chinese gods symbolizing good fortune, prosperity and longevity. Shou, on the left, is holding a peach that contains a suite. Enter the hotel through his right foot.

The hotel holds the Guinness World Record for the “biggest image building” in the world.

 Treehotel, Boden, Sweden


You have two options here: The Mirrorcube, which offers an extraordinary opportunity
to experience nature on nature’s terms, without compromising on design or comfort, or the UFO Room, which is suspended in trees and looks as if it’s about to land.

Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy. South Australia


The Desert Cave Hotel allows you to experience dug-out style living, underground shops, bar and opal display areas – all within sandstone surrounds in the heart of Coober Pedy.

Visitors can stay underground, or if they prefer, above ground rooms are also available. Sleeping underground is a unique experience. Quiet, cool, dark and airy – the rooms are spacious with high ceilings. Most visitors say that sleeping underground gives them the best night’s sleep they have ever had!

The Magic Mountain Hotel in the Huilo Huilo Reserve

In Southern Chile there is not that many true four star hotels. The Magic Mountain Hotel and Hotel Baobab are in the heart of the Huilo Huilo nature reserve. The architecture, combined with the forest setting, makes this truly a magical mountain and forest.  The rooms are built into an artificial mountain, topped off by a waterfall that blows like a volcano. You will have to cross a monkey bridge, first, to get there.

Propeller Island Hotel, Berlin, Germany


A room with a slanted floor which makes grandma’s bed seem to fly. The wardrobe comes out of the wall. In the rustic bathroom of natural stone you will find eggplant-coloured slate. Hey, and what about the room with two coffins? In this hotel, each room is crazier than the next.


Hang Nga Guesthouse, Dalat, Vietnam


Dubbed “The Crazy House” during its construction, this bizarre guesthouse is the creation of Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga. The most common description is “Gaudi meets Disneyland,” with more than a little of Dali thrown in. The Bear Room has only a slight lead over the Kangaroo Room for weirdness. 

 Sandcastle Hotel, Dorset, UK


The Sandcastle Hotel was built on Weymouth beach, Dorset, Britain, 23 July 2008. The idea was owned by LateRooms. The main architect-sculptor of the project Mark Anderson headed a team of 4 sand-sculptors and built the world’s first sand castle, working 14 hours a day for seven days. The 50 square meters fantastic hotel was built from 1000 tons of sand and offered a twin and double bedroom with minimal amenities, but the problem of the toilet facilities remained unsolved. To spend a night in this hotel one needed to pay $21.

Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast, New Mexico


Welcome to cave living! This one-bedroom cave home was blasted out of a cliffside in 1980, with three holes drilled for ventilation and electricity. There is a short ladder at the bottom of the path with three wooden steps that land you on the flagstone porch and the front entrance to Kokopelli’s “digs.”

Guests must sign a liability waiver in order to stay.

Godiva Chocolate Suite, New York

Bryant Park Godiva Chocolate Suite

Godiva designed this suite entirely from chocolate—including the armchairs, the bed, the artwork, the lamps and the walls. The chocolate room was moved to the Bryant Park Hotel for Valentine’s Day in 2008. But unfortunately, as sweet as this suite sounds, the room is for eating, not sleeping! 


Capsule Hotel


Feel like a shipwreck survivor with this pod, quipped with a chemical toilet, mini-library, and DVD player. 

Das ParkhotelEssen, Germany

Finally, you can pay money to sleep in a park! Das Parkhotel in Essen, Germany offers rooms in the form of barrels, each one housing a double-wide Eurofoam mattress. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much leftover space for a TV, but watching feral squirrels through a skylight beats anything Chuck Lorre has to offer anyway.

And if you really want a vacation you won’t forget, then this one is just for you;

Karostas Cietums Hotel, Latvia


Why not spend the night in prison, but pay for the experience? The Karostas Cietums started as a Russian prison and remains much the same now as it was then. Your stay includes being handcuffed and led to your jail cell, stripped of your belongings, fed bread and water and allotted a bed of wood or iron mattresses. The hotel is only open from May 1 to October 1 each year. It is also said to be haunted. Double bonus, right?

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Melissa Myers
Melissa Myers has worked as an entertainment journalist for ten years, both in London and New York. She now focuses much of her time helping bring inspiring stories to light and, additionally, her project "Makeover with Meaning," which seeks to add a sprinkle of happiness into the lives of those who need it most.

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1 Comment'
on October 3, 2014

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next
post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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