Weird and Wonderful

17 of the World’s Most Unusual Hotel Rooms From Around the World

Unless you’ve been blasting the Best Western loyalty card, you’ll notice a recent travel trend. Monochrome chain hotels are being torn down as the world seeks originality. Boutique is the buzzword. But that’s enough for Random Vacay. We want bathtubs in the shape of elephants, beds made from salt, glass igloos, and sleeping luxuriously in a Cadillac.

These 17 unusual hotel rooms feature history and stories, rooms with insane views, and lobbies from the annals of travel reveries. There’s even one where you pretend to be a hamster for the night.

ARIAU AMAZON TOWERS HOTEL – BRAZILIAN AMAZON NEAR MANUAS

If your childhood was anything close to normal, you’d know there’s only one consideration when building a treehouse: it’s only cool if it’s higher than all your friends’. Well, you can’t get much higher than the Amazon Rainforest canopy. Nestled on the Negro River, Ariau Amazon Towers is the tallest and biggest hotel complex in the whole of the Amazon. Which makes it pretty much the coolest treehouse you can find on the planet.

V8 HOTEL, STUTTGART, GERMANY

In the country where zip-off trousers were invented, functionality is king. So it’s a little surprising to arrive at the V8 Hotel and find a 70’s Cadillac drive-in cinema room, a Morris Minor garage bedroom, and a Mercedes Benz car wash. Every room is themed on classic cars, celebrating the country’s automobile heritage and enabling you to sleep in the converted chassis of a car.

SAVE THE BEACH HOTEL, VARIOUS POP-UP LOCATIONS

Built exclusively from tons of trash, this pop-up hotel has been spotted in Madrid and Rome amongst other cities. A collage of colors marks the walls; pieces of plastic, crushed cans, mannequin limbs, discarded trousers, and everything else that washes up along Europe’s coastlines. The brainchild of German artist HA Schult is an eco-art project intended to raise awareness of the threat posed by trash.

HOTEL KAKSLAUTTANEN – FINLAND

The problem with the Northern Lights is that it’s so cold in the Arctic it’s impossible to stay outside for more than five minutes. Kakslauttanen’s luxury rooms are glass igloos, ingeniously shaped to keep you toasty warm. Admiring the Northern Lights is simple. Just lie back and watch the show unfurl through the transparent walls, the boundless curve design meaning there’s not a single pillar ruining the view.

LIBERTY HOTEL – BOSTON, USA

Malcolm X and disgraced Boston mayor James Curley didn’t have to pay to stay in Liberty Hotel: this used to be Charles Street prison, and it’s been elegantly converted into a luxury hotel. 18 of the rooms feature pieces of the original jail, and you’ll be eating breakfast in the converted canteen. Spend the day taking the free kayaks onto the dock, then head to the prison’s drunk tank, now transformed into the Alibi bar.

ROIKA TENTED CAMP, TANZANIA

Tented camps are a highlight of the African safari. Essentially you get luxury canvas walls surrounded by lion roars and marauding hippos. Which is unusual enough. But at Roika Tented Camp, they add further dimensions to the animal immersion. Each bathtub has been carved in the shape of one of the continent’s wild animals. So you’re literally slipping down an elephant’s trunk as another is trumpeting a call outside.

THE MANTA RESORT – PEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA

A sheik funded aquarium hotel in an oil-rich state is one thing. The Manta Resort is the opposite. Submerged in a vibrant Indian Ocean reef, 250 meters off the coast of Pemba Island, the Manta Resort is an inverted fish tank. Rather than looking out at sharks et al, all the marine life is gazing in at the weird people that inhabit their space. Fish become the beholders of man. And you admire tropical ocean life directly from the bedroom.

PALACIO DE SAL – UYUNI, BOLIVIA

Truly organic eco-building means utilizing the most readily available local material. It took one million salt blocks to create this unusual hotel in Bolivia. Which wasn’t that challenging, seen as it’s located on the world’s largest salt flat. The white wonderland is undoubtedly impressive, gently reflecting the sun’s tones as you have to wear sunglasses indoors.

SALA SILVERMINE UNDERGROUND SUITE – VASTMANLAND, SWEDEN

This is Sculpted out of the rock. Also, it’s over 500 feet beneath the earth’s surface. There’s only one room at this abandoned silver mine. It’s small and dark, only brightened by furniture made exclusively from silver. Descend to the suite via winding galleries and vast caverns before lounging on the solid silver chairs. Clearly not for the claustrophobic, the expensive suite ensures a complete escape from the world and a place for honeymooning couples to scream to their heart’s content sexually.

BUBBLE TREE – VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN FRANCE

France is the country of love, and these bubbles have been emanating some raunchy scenes to the world. Essentially a large inflated transparent ball, these unusual hotel rooms can now be found in eight French locations, including the lavish grounds of the Château de la Forêt. They’re great for treating your partner to something unique. Not so great when a man and his dog wander past to steamed up walls.

HOTEL PARCHI DEL GARDA – LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Rather than go outside for nature, allow some Hollywood style effects to bring nature to your bedroom at Hotel Parchi del Garda. Talking parrots, trees that move, caves that speak, cows that moo in the meadow room…this unusual hotel is part of the children’s theme park and perfect for those who don’t want to get their walking boots dirty. Animation in hotel rooms. Whatever next? Sleeping in a hamster cage?

LA VILLE HAMSTER – NANTES, FRANCE

The French could be accused of taking unusual hotel rooms a little far. Check into this bizarre beauty, and you get given hamster masks to wear. It’s all about getting into the hamster mood as you sleep on a giant haystack and find a bathroom floor scattered with wood chippings. A life-size hamster wheel provides ongoing entertainment and La Ville Hamster is certainly cool until you realize you’re imitating a glorified rodent.

COSTA VERDE – QUEPOS, COSTA RICA

No, it’s not a plane crash. You’re not in the Congo. This is a vintage 60’s Boeing that’s been lovingly transformed into a two-bedroom suite hanging over a rainforest bluff. As the interiors scream of intimate wooden charm, the exterior is fresh and green. Monkeys and sloths peer in through the plane’s windows while the wing offers a place to sit and watch the jungle canopy life roll by.

SEAVENTURES RIG RESORT – MABUL, MALAYSIAN BORNEO

Oil rigs are a blot on the ocean horizon. So rather than let them rust, why not give them a paint job and stick in beds? Somewhat a cross between a garish industrial nightmare and a child’s lego experiment, the rig resort has created something remarkable out of waste. While metal clanging noises still reverberate throughout, there’s a tranquility to be found below as you descend the steps into one of the world’s finest macro diving destinations.

MUSEUM HOTEL CAPPADOCIA – TURKEY

You don’t need to do Fred Flinstone impersonations to experience sleeping in a cave. Turkey’s surreal Cappadocia region looks a bit like the moon, full of weird fairytale chimneys and caves. For thousands of years, monks used to live and preach from the caves. Now they’ve been converted into boutique hotels, the finest being the Museum Hotel. The walls, the ceiling, the floor…everything is an original cave. But the modern touches provide comfort and (un)fortunately there’s no Dino the dinosaur sleeping on the floor.

MAGIC MOUNTAIN – PANGUIPULLI, CHILE

Engulfing this cylindrical stone hotel is a constantly flowing waterfall, the water literally cascading past the windows of a hotel that wouldn’t be out of place at Hogwarts. From one angle, it looks like the sort of place where a witch will emerge and batter you with a broomstick. From another, it’s a piece of magic, accessed via a rickety wooden bridge and ideal for impressing your partner.

MIRA MIRA ACCOMMODATION – VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

Australia doesn’t have much of its own culture. It just steals it from other countries. But who cares when you check out the rooms at Mira Mira. One has been sculpted into a Japanese zen retreat, the other is a Gaudi inspired creation of tangled wood, and a third crosses surrealistic boundaries. You enter through the mouth of a giant sculpted sunshine to a four-poster bed swinging on chains. Then there’s the jungle pod…

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