While traveling is always a pleasure, you have to choose your accommodations carefully. Are you on the lookout for something more luxurious? Searching for a place that fits your budget? Or — do you want your accommodation itself to be the entire experience? If so, look no further than these utterly mind blowing destinations.
These are some of the wackiest hotels in the world, spanning the continents and sometimes even showing up in the most remote locations possible. Expected the unexpected, as from their architecture to their creature comforts, there’s truly nothing ordinary to be found in these topsy-turvy places.
1. V8 Hotel, Germany
Car shows are a whole lot of fun. Looking at all those rare and antique models can fill you with a sudden urge to sneak on inside and take them out for a spin. However, they probably haven’t inspired you to want to suddenly catch a snooze. Pull over – there’s a hotel for that.
Just outside of Stuttgart, Germany, is the boutique car extravaganza known as Motorworld, which offers more than just an opportunity to gawk at these hot rods. There are ten bedrooms in the facility that you can stay in, each designed from real car parts, representing different stages in automobile production.
2. Attrap’Rêves, France
When you were a kid, did you ever watch your pet hamster rolling around the room in their toy plastic ball and think “I want one of those”? We didn’t either, but if you find yourself in the village of Aspres-sur-Buëch in southeastern France, you might just want to try out sleeping in one.
Placed in the middle of the pastoral countryside at the Attrap’Rêves (Dream-Catcher) are a series of giant transparent bubbles, so you don’t miss a moment of the gorgeous surroundings. It’s like camping but you’re protected from the bugs. Still though, would you be comfortable with having your every action be visible?
3. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
If Sebastian the Crab didn’t convince you that it’s better down where it’s wetter, just have a gander at this underwater paradise. Built sixteen feet beneath the warm surface of the Indian Ocean in the island nation of Maldives, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has built the world’s first hotel suite that’s completely submerged.
This villa within the hotel complex is called the Muraka, which means ‘coral’ in the local tongue Dhivehi. If privacy is a concern for you, don’t worry: the dozens of species of tropical fish swimming past your window generally know how to keep a secret. Among the world’s coolest hotels, this is the only one of its kind.
4. Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
Nestled in the Huilo-Huilo Nature Reserve is a land of thick forest, frigid rivers and lakes, and active volcanoes. It is in this land before time that you can find a hotel experience that combines every fantasy film franchise you can think of – and exceeds them. It’s equal parts The Shire, Endor, and Pandora, and simultaneously none of them.
The building of the Montaña Mágica is not only unique for its outlandish appearance. It makes its mark as one of the coolest hotels around with a special feature: the building routinely erupts water! But hopefully you’re an Indiana Jones fan, as you’ll have to cross a swinging rope bridge just to get there.
5. Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia
Looking for a place where you can commune with nature and find adequate space to meditate? The temperate rainforests of British Columbia that surround the city of Vancouver are the perfect place to do that – but why enjoy your solace among the trees when you can literally sleep inside a giant nut?
Even if you come here to get away in these hanging orbs suspended in the forest, it’s not exactly the roughest set up out there. You will have electricity and even your own speaker system. Just don’t get too wild – these hanging spheres do have a tendency to swing back and forth.
6. Hằng Nga Guesthouse, Vietnam
Ever wondered what the fanciful melting buildings of Gaudí would look like transplanted out of Barcelona and dropped haphazardly in the midst of the Southeast Asian tropics? Called after the Chinese goddess of the moon, this architectural marvel in Đà Lạt, Vietnam, is nicknamed the Crazy House – and rightfully so.
Located in the cool air of the surrounding mountain plateau, each room in this wacky hotel is based on a different animal species. The architect paints fanciful paintings straight out of a cartoon, and asks locals to make these creations come to life. Nothing is linear, and nothing is symmetrical in this topsy-turvy playground.
7. Mirrorcube, Sweden
It would be cool enough that the Treehotel in the far north of Sweden is designed to remind you of what Sweden would have been like over 70 years ago. Yet one of its prime features is getting all the buzz – probably because there’s simply nothing else quite like it.
The Mirrorcube dangles in the pine trees, coated with reflective mirrors. This means that even though you can make out its form, staying in it is like blending in completely with the surrounding forest. Want something weirder? You could also get extra funky and stay in the Treehotel’s own giant UFO.
8. Madonna Inn, California
If you happen to be taking a pleasant road trip down the California coast, be sure not to miss this fantastic detour through San Luis Obispo – or you’ll squander the opportunity to experience one of the coolest hotels out there. The Madonna Inn originally owes its incredible layout to tragedy.
Following a fire that tore through the complex in 1966, the Madonna Inn was rebuilt from scratch, but with a new twist: every room has a different theme, and there’s 110 of them. It’s a celebration of everything that’s kitschy and bizarre, replete with waterfalls and stone rooms the Flintstones would feel right at home in.
9. Kumbuk River Resort, Sri Lanka
Did you watch the film Moulin Rouge and secretly wish you could have your own giant elephant to live in? Even if it’s not quite as jeweled as the one that Nicole Kidman called home, this resort in the island nation of Sri Lanka can make that wish come true.
If you come to the Kumbuk River Resort, you can rent out the entirety of its 14 acres all for yourself. Best of all, you can climb on up into the belly of this massive thatched elephant, where you’ll find your accommodations – and don’t be surprised if you spy real elephants in the distance.
10. Äscher Guesthouse, Switzerland
Beyond the cheese, chocolates, and clocks, Switzerland’s most unforgettable feature is its absolutely mind boggling scenery. Its alpine meadows, lakes, rivers, and massive peaks have made it world-famous. So it makes total sense that one of the coolest hotels you could lodge in is not only located in the mountains, but on a cliff.
Wedged right into the side of a mountain is the Äscher Cliff Guesthouse and its restaurant. While the accommodations are fairly simple, you don’t come here to luxuriate. You come for its dramatic setting and sheer drop, a view you will rarely be able to see elsewhere in your lifetime.
11. Icehotel, Sweden
When your home is in Jukkasjärvi in the extreme north of Sweden, you have to make do with the resources at hand – and of course, there’s snow and ice in abundance. Only in these extreme weather conditions could the modern marvel that is the Icehotel exist – for those who are brave enough to enter the deep chill.
Everything, from the furniture and walls, down to the glasses with which you sip your drinks, are crafted out of ice from the nearby river. Your bedroom is below freezing, but don’t worry: this unbelievable place, literally the coolest hotel around, provides you with proper equipment to handle the cold as you sleep.
12. Sala Silvermine, Sweden
Feeling tired of all that fresh air? Seeking to get away from all those troubles and worries on the Earth’s surface? Then you’ll love this wacky guesthouse, carefully carved deep underground over a period of ten years. Located in central Sweden, this former silver mine is open to the public.
To have a stay in this hotel, you’ll have to take the plunge and be comfortable with the fact that you are over 500 feet below ground. This is not only one of the coolest hotels you could find, but officially the deepest hotel suite on the planet. Thankfully, it sits in a pocket of warm air that keeps it from freezing.
13. Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica
In its past life, this classic 1965 Boeing 727 airplane served customers the world over, from South Africa to Colombia. It had been consigned to eternal rest at the airport in Costa Rica’s capital, San José, until it was reborn and given the most unusual makeover in its long life.
The interior of the plane was gutted, refurbished in sumptuous teak wood imported from Java, and turned into a two-bedroom hotel. For its new purpose, the plane now resides perched at the edge of a national park, offering guests a stunning view of both the lush tropical jungle and the ocean.
14. La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
Surely while you were made to read The Iliad in high school, you wondered for a hot moment: “What would it be like inside that Trojan horse?” This bizarre guesthouse, easily the coolest hotel in Belgium, is here to fulfill that fantasy – and so much more. Strolling around here is like stepping into a fairy tale.
The angles are intentionally off, the windows are sometimes at a slant. There’s toadstools galore, peculiar woodwork, and an abundance of surprises for any guest. Each room has its own theme, such as a magical forest, or a ceiling strewn with celestial bodies, but this Trojan horse is surely the most intriguing.
15. De Vrouwe van Stavoren, Netherlands
Taxing a lovely trip to a vineyard can be the perfect way to treat yourself and your loved ones. Of course, there are those that tend to exaggerate a bit with the free samples. And then, of course, there’s the people who are so into wine that they would want to literally be wine.
Chances are, no matter your size, there will be plenty of room for you inside one of these Dutch hotel’s rooms, made out of enormous wooden casks which can hold more than 14,000 liters of wine. At long last, you can stretch out and imagine what it feels like to be a fermenting grape.
16. Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho
There’s dog owners, dog enthusiasts – and then there’s those with an outright obsession. For these travelers, a quaint corner of Idaho can serve as a true site of pilgrimage. Behold, rising up out of the countryside is an enormous hotel, carved out of wood in the shape of a beagle.
Here, sleeping in a doghouse is not a punishment, but a way to pamper yourself. And if this coolest hotel offers up a spectacle from the outside, just wait until you climb on in. The couple that maintains the place has made carvings of no less than sixty different dog breeds.
17. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
If you find yourself in the land of the ice and snow, 150 miles above the Arctic Circle, where reindeer reign supreme, you couldn’t possibly get more groovy accommodations than the Hotel Kakslauttanen. In the harsh winter wonderland of Lapland, in the far north of Finland, this lodging offers an experience like no other.
The weather outside might be frightful, but the view is unforgettable. As the northern lights dance in brilliant shades of green above your head, you can relax inside the hotel igloos, made from thermal glass that keeps you heated. As far as experiences go, this is definitely among the coolest hotels out there.
18. Giraffe Manor, Kenya
If you’re looking for one of the coolest hotel experiences around, look no further than this awesome attraction, which offers you something you simply can’t find anywhere else. As the name implies, you’ll be sharing your time with the locals of this Nairobi suburb – an endangered herd of Rothschild’s giraffes.
There’s a reason so many of the celebrity elite keep flocking back to this incredible mansion. Not only can the giraffes be readily found chilling outside around the lodge, but they are all too happy to poke that long neck right through the window and enjoy your breakfast with you.
19. Fairy Chimney Inn, Turkey
The Cappadocia region of Turkey is famed for what is called fairy chimneys. These are thin towers of rock that jut up bizarrely out of the arid plains. For millennia, civilizations have set up shop inside these ready-made homes, including Christians secretly practicing their religion and hiding from Roman persecution.
Inside the village of Göreme, several of these ancient structures have been upgraded to accommodate modern guests. Vast history and the wonders of nature make this one of the coolest hotels you could stay in. Here, you are surrounded by ruins that you could explore for days, before steaming in a Turkish bath.
20. Big Idaho Potato Hotel, Idaho
Potatoes are such a versatile vegetable. You can boil them, fry them, mash them, bake them, curry them, and so much more. But have you ever considered that one of the coolest hotels out there offers you the opportunity to stay inside one? You’ll have to travel to that famous potato provider, the great state of Idaho.
Originally built to act as a giant centerpiece for a celebration of the Idaho Potato Commission (of course there’s such a thing!), this 28-foot long super spud was turned into its very own Airbnb. Everything inside has been painted bright and cheery white, and it even has its own wood-burning fireplace.
21. Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
There’s a decent chance that you’ve seen pictures of Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt bed on Earth, which stretches for over 4,000 square miles in the Bolivian plateau. While its vastness offers many possibilities for cool optical illusions in photos, it also has a unique attraction you can sleep in.
Possibly the coolest hotel in South America, Palacio de Sal is quite literally that: a building constructed out of local blocks of salt. In addition to the fact that we wouldn’t necessarily recommend smearing your French fries across all the furniture, there is indeed a hotel rule against licking the walls.
22. DasParkHotel, Austria
Sure, we’ve all had a less than satisfying hotel experience that’s left us leaving the place declaring it was an absolute dump. But, if you were given the chance, would you want to get some R&R inside a literal sewage pipe? That’s the question that Austria’s DasParkHotel asked, and the answer, shockingly, is an emphatic yes.
Each of these repurposed concrete sewage pipes weighs over 10 tons. They’re sparsely decorated with just a touch of varnish and wall paintings, yet their appeal alone is enough to bring in tourists by the droves. They’re so popular, in fact, that a town in neighboring Germany has opened its own version.
23. Manta Resort, Tanzania
Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania is known as fertile fishing grounds, with powdery white sand beaches lapped by the warm waves of the Indian Ocean. And as you enjoy the dazzling view in hues of deep blue, how can you resist getting better acquainted with your marine neighbors?
The Manta Resort has a unique feature, one that you will need to book for a minimum of three nights. It’s a hotel room designed as a floating platform, half above the water’s surface, and half below. You can gaze at the wonders of the tropical fish, and then go up to sunbathe.
24. Karosta Prison, Latvia
There’s nothing this eerie building is hiding from you: what you see is precisely what you get. This grim fortress in Liepāja, Latvia, served as a prison under the German occupation during World War II, and for punishment of deserting Soviet afterwards. Coming in here doesn’t mean you’re going to get pampered.
In fact, there is an actual waiver that guests need to sign before they proceed. You get to experience what it was like to be a prisoner, and as if the guards’ hostility isn’t enough, the building is reputedly haunted. Come enjoy – if you’re really into that sort of thing.
25. Taj Palace Hotel Udaipur, India
The hundreds of local princes and maharajas that were once in power across India left behind just as many royal palaces. Many of them have been converted into hotels, but few could be quite as breathtaking of a sight as the white-bleached Taj Palace Hotel in the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The Jag Niwas palace was built 270 years ago by the Mewar royal dynasty, on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. Every inch of space on the island has been covered by one of the coolest hotel experiences in India, so it looks like it rises out of the waves.
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