Unique Hotels: Singular Places to Sleep Around the World
Author: Taelinn Dolivras
Many travel blogs and websites showcase articles on unique destinations or off-the-beaten-path sights to see when traveling around the world. However, many people end up choosing to stay in a standard hotel room while on holiday despite there being some very interesting hotels out there to chose from. But why stay in a regular hotel room when you can sleep in a hotel that's just as unusual and exciting as your destination? This article outlines a few atypical places to stay while on vacation.
In the City:
The Library Hotel, New York, New York
Their tagline says it all: "book lovers never go to bed alone." The Library Hotel boasts a collection of over 6000 books organized by the Dewey Decimal System, and each of the 10 floors of the hotel features one of the 10 DDC categories (Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts, and Religion). Each room contains books and art related to the category/floor it belongs to. The hotel also includes a reading room - obviously - and has a very high rating on every travel website I visited.
Huettenpalast Berlin, Berlin, Germany
If you would like to try camping in one of the most highly populated cities in the European Union, this hotel is for you. Here, you can stay in a caravan, beach hut or cabin inside the factory hall, or in a traditional hotel room if you so choose. Each of the structures in the factory hall has its own bathroom as well as lawn chairs or hammocks to allow guests to feel as though they are in the great outdoors... in the middle of one of Berlin's trendiest districts.
The Marmara Antalya, Antalya, Turkey
The world's first ever revolving hotel, The Marmara sits on a cliff next to the Mediterranean Sea. Its 2,750 ton revolving building floats in a tank of water, which makes for smoother rotation. Guests might fall asleep with a view of the hotel pool and wake up with the sea right outside their window. The hotel also features a private beach at the base of the cliffs and is close to the centre of Antalya.
In the Wild:
Free Spirit Spheres, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada
3 handcrafted spheres made from fibreglass, cedar and spruce are perched in the trees on this site on Vancouver Island. Each one contains a bed and sitting area, though the newer spheres are much bigger than the original, Eve, which can squeeze a very cozy couple onto a just wider than single bed. Though there are composting toilet outhouses at the base of each sphere, each of the three spheres also has its own private 3 piece bathroom in the site's bathhouse. And since they are tethered to the trees, the spheres sway slightly in the wind (though not to worry, they are inspected regularly!)
Magic Mountain Hotel, Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile
This hotel, situated in a 60,000 hectare natural reserve, was built to resemble a green volcano, complete with waterfall tumbling down from its summit. All rooms within the main lodge were made with raw wood and the walls tilt slightly towards its peak, making guests feel like they are truly inside a volcano. The site also contains smaller lodges, and the reserve boasts hot springs and access to the Mocho Choshuenco volcano.
Kakslauttanen Hotel, Saariselkä, Finland
For those looking to experience the beauty of the Northern Lights, this hotel can't be beat. Kaklauttanen boasts incredible glass igloos that allow guests to stargaze in privacy, as well as snow igloos for those looking for something a little 'cooler'. They have also recently built cabins that have their famous glass igloo rooms attached, allowing families and groups to enjoy the Northern Lights together. And, of course, all guests have access to a sauna. The hotel is open during northern lights season, from the end of August until the end of April.
Hang Nga Guesthouse, Da Lat, Vietnam
Known as "Crazy House" due to its very un-Vietnamian design, the Hang Nga Guesthouse is the fruit of one man's mind, an architect who formerly worked for the Vietnam government. Designed to resemble a tree and surrounded by a lush garden, the hotel is the architect's personal quest to "realize [his] dreams of independence and freedom in the art of architecture." The guesthouse, which is slowly being added onto each year features animal-themed rooms and windows on all sides to allow as much natural light as possible.
Treehotel, Harads, Sweden
Though this location features lodgings perched in the trees, just like the Free Spirit Spheres, the similarities end there. The Treehotel boasts six unique treehouses, or 'treerooms', from a silver UFO to a reflective Mirrorcube (treated with a special coating so that birds don't fly into it). With more planned in the future, the Treehotel's treerooms are sure to captivate many more guests in the years to come.
Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield, UK
Located in the oldest building in Beaconsfield, the Crazy Bear houses unique rooms inspired by the Moulin Rouge, with plush padded walls and copper bathtubs within arms reach of the bed. The hotel also features several themed private rooms for conferences and weddings, and a careful eye can spot Persian pony skins on the bar walls and a staircase decorated with 24-carat gold leaf gilded foliage. And the bathrooms are apparently deliberately unmarked... to add to the sense of mystery, perhaps.
V8 Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany
If you're a fan of cars, the V8 Hotel will satisfy your love of all things automobile. The Stuttgart region of Germany has long been a manufacturing hub, with both Mercedes-Benz and Porche having headquarters in the area, and the owners of the hotel decided to use that to their advantage in designing the hotel and its rooms. Many sport car hoods at the foot of the bed, with each room following its own car-related theme (a Car Wash room and a Route 66 room are just two examples). Even the lobby sports a racing car and a vintage scooter.
The Hobbit Motel, Woodlyn Park, Waitomo, New Zealand
Located near Waitomo Caves, a well-known tourist attraction, this site has two hobbit-style dwellings in which visitors can get a taste of life in Middle Earth. With grass roofs and round doors, travelers immediately feel as though they have stepped into Hobbiton. The site also contains a train, plane and ship that have been converted into lodgings for travelers, for those who would rather sleep in something a bit less hobbity.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I found many more interesting and unique hotels while doing my research, from a guesthouse in the shape of a dog to a portable hotel. A search for "Unusual Hotel" on Google delivers several great lists, should you be looking to find just the right "special" place to stay on your next holiday. After all, the place you sleep should be just as interesting as the places you visit!
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