These Quirky Hotels are the Destinations of the Moment

Trista - March 14, 2022
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When you plan a fun vacation, do you consider the attractions within the town and leave the hotel reservations for last? After all, you’re not going to be spending much time there. Nevertheless, these amazing hotels offer distinctive features that you may not want to leave the room! Besides, unique hotels will really make your trip stand out from the rest, especially in your Instagram photos. Hopefully, you can experience everything that these quirky hotels have to offer. From one-of-a-kind locations with breathtaking sights to rare architecture, strange amenities, and out-of-this-world service, check out cool hotels around the world. 

20. Dolmen Shelter, UK: the Mini-Hotel Concept That Took the Internet by Storm

When siblings Davit and Mary Jilavyan were stuck inside during the pandemic, their minds wandered to the strangest of places when they walked into the courtyard of their apartment complex. They’d glanced at a trio of rocks that they’d walked past repeatedly. However, this time, it inspired them to do something exciting. They took the visuals of the simple stones and turned them into a series of conceptual hotels that people could stay in. It’s easy to admit that the natural shape is more appealing to the eye than the blocky apartment buildings.

Although there’s no way to book these rooms, you more than likely wish you could! The natural structure of the rock-shaped dwellings makes them blend perfectly into the surrounding outdoor area. Each has a very naturally-designed interior that appears as if the whole thing was stone. There aren’t very many windows, providing a very cozy atmosphere, especially with the small heated furnace. It’s a shame that this remains only a concept because it’s very likely that these mini abodes would have a reservation list a mile long.

19. Book And Bed Hotel, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

The Book And Bed in Tokyo is what you would call a “capsule hotel.” You’ve probably also heard the term “pod hotels,” which is the same thing. These are unique hotels with smaller, bed-sized rooms called capsules. This makes them pretty affordable to stay in, especially for short, overnight stays. However, what sets the Book And Bed apart from the rest is a combination hostel-library. Check out any books you want, and you can take them to your capsule to read before bed. It’s a great way to relax, and because the hostel is on the 8th floor, you’ll have a fantastic view of the city as well while you read.

Peruse through rows and shelves of books to find exactly what you’re looking for. You don’t have to go far either to get back to your pod in the Book and Bed; they’re hidden amongst the bookshelves, so you can pop right back into bed and get your reading on. You can find everything from travel guides to manga to the “Essays of Idleness” written by a 14th Century Buddhist monk. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a book that won’t tickle your fancy.

18. Nine Hours Capsule Hotel, Osaka, Japan

Many capsule hotels are for convenience only. That means not much work is put into the quality of experience for those who choose to stay there. However, Naruse Inokuma Architects decided to change everything by creating a capsule hotel with a thoughtful design. The entire hotel divides into the reception area, the “prologue corridor,” the sanitary lounge, and the sleeping pod spaces. They put time and effort into creating an experience for those who want peace of mind and feel cared about.

These Japanese architects carefully selected the materials and lighting used in their capsule hotel. Much thought was put into the sanitary lounge area especially, allowing for a seamless transition between the lockers, washing area, toilet space, and shower so that you could get in and out without a lot of fuss, whether you were heading out into the city or heading right to bed. Each pod has a number so that you know exactly which one is yours; no more mistakes crawling into someone else’s sleeping space!

17. Buubble Hotel, Golden Circle, Iceland

Everyone enjoys spending a night out under the stars, but did you know you could do so from the comfort of your hotel room? Consider the Buubble Hotel located in Iceland, where there’s no light pollution around to obscure your view. Pure nature surrounds you but without any horrible elements that could dampen your experience. Each bubble dome is perfectly insulated to provide you with the right amount of comfort, no matter the season of the year.

If you’re lucky enough to book a room during the winter, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. However, you don’t have to feel like you’ve missed out if you can’t: there are plenty of other visuals to catch a glimpse of, especially for those nature lovers at heart. Wake up to the flitting of beautiful butterflies in the morning or witness one of the woodland animals taking a stroll in the hot early afternoon. Moreover, to truly disconnect you from the outside world, a majority of the bubble cabins do not have Wi-Fi in them, so it would be best to leave your laptop at home.

16. Montaña Mágica Lodge, Los Ríos, Chile

Traveling to a natural reservation can be rewarding, but there’s always the long trek back to your hotel. Well, look no further; the Montaña Mágica Lodge is built right onto a natural reservation spanning 600 square kilometers. Don’t expect a huge, gaudy building, however; it’s made from wood and stone. The shape construction allows it to blend into the natural surroundings of the reservation. The hotel’s exterior is covered in lush vegetation too and has waterfalls that “erupt” from the top of this “volcano,” treating you to a sight that you likely never expected.

Suppose you don’t want to explore from your hotel. In that case, the hotel has everything you need, like a miniature golf course, sauna, conference room, spa, bar, and restaurant, so all of your relaxation and catering needs are taken care of. Try some authentic Chilean cuisines to experience flavors you’ve never encountered before. You’ll probably end up taking more pictures of the hotel itself than the surrounding nature of the reserve.

15. Hôtel de Glace, Quebec City, Canada

The Hôtel de Glace is the only hotel in North America and Canada made entirely out of snow and ice. You’d think that would make for a chilly experience, but it’s actually not as cold as you think. Carved out of 40,000 tons of snow, it’s like you are in a real-life scene from the Frozen movie. Absolutely everything is from ice and snow, and there are ice carvings almost everywhere you look. You’ll be amazed at just how talented these snow carvers are when you head up to your room.

Moreover, if you really need to chase away the cold, each room is equipped with a fireplace that you can huddle closer to warm yourself up. Want a reason to book a night more than once? The hotel was carved from scratch every single year, with about 30 workers and 15 sculptors putting it all together over six weeks. Also, the unique hotel never looks the same way twice, which means your experience will be unique every single time. Keep reading for unique hotels with one-of-a-kind features.

14. Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren, Stavoren, Netherlands

Once wine casks are no longer in use, it’s typical for people to chop them up and use them as firewood. Nevertheless, instead of throwing away what could be considered garbage, The Netherlands decided to take a piece of their history and keep it around so that the rest of the world could enjoy it by creating the Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren. They took those large wine casks and physically turned them into hotel rooms that people could stay in. Don’t worry; the intoxicating fumes of wine are no longer around, so you don’t have to worry about a hangover the next day.

You can see just how much space is inside one of these casks, showing how vital winemaking was for The Netherlands. They’re snug enough to fit two twin-sized beds and still have a little room for your furniture and other furnishings to keep the space light and bright. This is a prime example of upscaling one’s garbage to serve a better purpose that everyone else can appreciate. For such a luxury, the prices are pretty reasonable, with stays ranging from $50 to $150 per night—the perfect price for those traveling on a budget.

13. Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, Cerniers, Switzerland

As mentioned before, capsule or pod hotels feature small living spaces that are affordable for single-night stays. However, the people in Switzerland have taken pod hotels to an entirely different level. At the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, these pods are actually high-tech tents that are each sitting on their own wooden platforms to provide some space between the snowy ground and the pods’ floors to maximize heat. Other than that, they’re completely surrounded by nature, allowing you to take in all the views at the 1,400-meter elevation.

How did this get on the top quirky hotels list? It has its own pellet oven that you can use to keep warm, as well as furnishings to keep you comfortable during your stay. There are plenty of trails you can hike through, as well as a restaurant and Finnish sauna at the resort you can use so that you don’t feel too separated from society. It’s a perfect place to vacation in the summer as well, with the usual snowy mountains covered in fields of green, meadowy grass instead. Here’s the chance to go camping without having to rough it too much.

12. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

Do you want the friendliest neighbors while you’re on vacation in quirky hotels? Why not consider staying at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya? Yes, you read that right. The hotel is located right next to the Giraffe Center, allowing the wildlife to stick their heads right in and inspect what you’re doing. It can be a bit alarming at first, having a giraffe poking its head in through a window while you’re having your breakfast, but you’ll soon get used to their presence and maybe even welcome it!

The interior of the hotel resembles the feel of being on a safari, with lush wooden interiors and mesh canopies over your bed. The unique hotel was once a home, and the 1930s aesthetic is throughout the years. It’s also located near the elephant orphanage, the Nairobi National Park, and the Karen Blixen Museum if you want other sights to peruse. You can dine on meals at this quirky hotel, but you’re also free to venture out to the nearby city to try any of the local cuisine spots on your own.

11. Boeing 727 Hotel Suite, Hotel Costa Verde, Quepos, Costa Rica

When you first come across this site, you might mistake it for a plane about to crash into the jungle. Nevertheless, it’s actually a hotel suite that you can stay in. The aircraft frame is hollowed out and perches above the trees for a fantastic view you won’t find anywhere else. The Hotel Costa Verde is situated within the Manuel Antonio National Park and features another hollowed-out plane and a railroad car used as restaurant sites.

You can walk right into your new suite through the actual boarding door, though there is a built-in wooden deck for you to use instead of those harrowing boarding stairs. The deck provides you with another beautiful view of the surrounding jungle as well as the sight of the Pacific Ocean. The plane’s interior is well-constructed from locally-sourced teak wood, making this stay even more environmentally friendly. Instead of this plane turning into scrap metal, it’s has a new purpose in providing shelter and comfort to vacationers.

10. V8 Hotel Motorworld Region Stuttgart, Böblingen, Germany

If you’re a big fan of cars new and old, then the V8 Hotel might be precisely what you’re looking for. Everything related to automotive history covers every single room in this unique hotel. There are old car models in the lobby and the restaurant. However, the best parts of this unique hotel are the luxury car beds that you can sleep in at night. Each wall has painted murals and logos of the car. Models range from Jaguar to BMW. They even use real vehicle parts to decorate the rest of the room to maintain the overall motor theme.

When you pull up to the front door of the V8 Hotel, you might mistake it for a car dealership, and that’s exactly what the designers were going for. Though you may not walk out with a new car and a set of keys in your hand, you’ll revel in the experience of being surrounded by so many luxury cars that you’ll be satisfied not leaving with a new one. Keep reading for amazing hotels with rare rooms.

9. Balancing Barn, Thorington, Suffolk, England

Take the charming British countryside and add the modern taste and flair of the Balancing Barn. It’s not something you would expect to find in the middle of nowhere, but it is definitely set apart from its surrounding nature. Perched on a hill, most of the building cantilevers are over the lowered ground, making it appear an optical illusion. Moreover, if you thought that was strange, there’s even a window in the room’s floor at the end of the building so you can see just how up you are.

The designers of the Balancing Barn intended to create a piece of modern architecture in the middle of the countryside to express how accessible such aesthetics can be. Updated with modern reflective siding, the Balancing Barn is set apart from the rest of the other buildings in the area so that you feel like you’re genuinely in the middle of nowhere. Enjoy the surrounding rolling hills of green grass and revel in all the peace and quiet during your vacation. You definitely won’t find another location like this at any other worldwide hotels.

8. The Henn na Hotel, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan

What makes The Henn na Hotel stick out from the rest? It’s one of the first hotel chains to be entirely staffed with robots. In fact, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for such a feat. There are robots at the front desk to help check you into your room. Theyu will issue you your receipt and room keys. There are robot fish in the aquariums for you to watch when you need some time away from your busy vacation plans, and even robots in your hotel room to change the temperature of the air conditioner and turn the lights off.

Not only does this cut down on labor costs, but it also adds a unique flair for those who don’t want to deal with impersonal hotel staff that doesn’t care about your needs. The Henn na Hotel has been expanding on its chain for a few years, even adding robot dinosaurs as check-in staff to one of their hotels. You can also rest easy knowing that there are still human staff on standby if any problems arise so that you’re not left entirely empty-handed to deal with a non-functioning robot.

7. The Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ontario, Canada

Usually, when people hear that they’re going to jail, their hearts drop into their stomach. However, the Ottawa Jail Hostel can bring a new appreciation to being in jail. It was previously home to death-row inmates, and then they converted and reopened it in 1972 to serve as a hostel for travelers who needed a temporary place. The hostel offers drinking tours and other areas of attraction that will keep you busy. Nevertheless, then, at the end of the day, it’s back to jail for you!

For those who are thrill-seekers, there have been some rumors of ghosts and spooky happenings that have taken place in the hostel, but nothing shocking enough that should warrant you changing your reservation. The Ottawa Jail Hostel preserves the history of the area and shares that history with tourists and vacationers who want a different way to spend their vacation time. They maintained the original structure so that nothing had really changed space-wise when used as a jail, so you could get a real taste for just how small the living spaces were.

6. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort East Village, Finland

Many people wonder what it must be like to stay in an igloo — how comfortable it must really be. Well, you can get your chance to try it out at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort East Village. Although these igloos have glass instead of ice blocks, the overall shape is similar. It is one of the most well-known and popular destinations for those visiting Finland for the first time.

Thankfully, the resort is open year-round, but it is most popular during the winter, the best time to see the Northern Lights. You have your choice of getting to the resort by car, plane, or public transportation, in case you’re looking to save a few bucks on your travel costs. The igloos are laid out in rows and are equipped with several accommodations to meet your needs. If you’re only staying for a night or two, then the glass igloos are the best option; that is, you don’t mind sharing showers. Suppose you’re planning a more extended stay. In that case, the kelo glass igloo is a better choice since the lodging comes with its own shower.

5. The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania

For sea lovers, the Manta Resort in Tanzania will bring out your inner mermaid. The resort has a single underwater sea room that floats just above a living coral reef where you can see all that the ocean has to offer. You can marvel at the fish swimming around the deepest part of your hotel room during the day or night. The structure has lights around the viewing windows so that you can even watch the fish swimming around at night. With such a view at your fingertips, you may never want to leave.

Keep in mind that this is one of the most popular rooms to stay in at the resort, so you might have to book your stay well in advance of when you plan on traveling. The room has three levels to it. The first is the landing deck where the boat drops you off, which also features a lounge and bathroom; the top floor has daybeds and a skylight so that you can watch the stars; the submariner room is likely where you’ll spend most of your time, watching the fish and other sea creatures swim past.

4. Bertram’s Hotel, Hartland, England

Those double-decker buses are the pride of England. They provide public transportation to thousands if not millions of people every year, especially during the tourist season in the summer. However, instead of just traveling on one, you can actually spend a few new nights in one. Bertram’s Hotel has been stripped of the bus seating and modified to have a cozy kitchen, comfortable couches, and an upstairs deck consisting of your sleeping area and lounge. What more could you ask for?

The double-decker bus is parked next to a lovely field and trees so that you can enjoy some privacy, and there’s even a small, gated fence around the area so that you can feel like you’re walking onto your own private lot. The quaint decorations provide the bus with a very romantic, cheery feel. It will give you that peace of mind you’re looking for. Don’t think that there aren’t other amenities; a shower is tastefully built into the bus so that you have the privacy you need while you’re cleaning up.

3. The Lighthouse, Tranoy, Norway

There’s something romantic about the atmosphere of a lighthouse. Maybe it is the safety the lighthouse provides to passing ships. Or the idea that someone has to remain in the lighthouse for long periods to ensure that the lamp remains lit. With modern technology, most of that romanticism is gone, but you can still experience what it was like by staying at the Tranoy Lighthouse located in Norway. It was first lit in 1864 and has remained in working condition. The last resident lighthouse keeper was in 1994, leaving it up for grabs for tourists who want to stay a few nights there.

Settled on the cliffs and surrounded by rich nature, you’ll enjoy the beautiful views of the sunset against the ocean’s horizon. You’ll get to experience just how cramped the space was throughout history. However, with the crashing of the waves against the shores below, you won’t have any problems falling asleep. You’ll also learn the rich history of a lighthouse keeper’s life and how they passed the time as well as kept themselves fed, living out here in the middle of almost nowhere. Remember that the accommodations are only open during the summer, as there is not enough heat and water during winter.

2. SiloStay, Little River, New Zealand

If you’re looking to make your vacation stay sustainable, then look no further than SiloStay! They converted and repurposed retired silos to serve as “pod” hotels. These cool hotels are perfect for those who want to get away from the world but still want it near enough to their fingertips. That way, visitors don’t feel like they’re out in the boonies. You’ve probably taken for granted the vast size of giant silos. Why? Because each of them has a queen-sized bed, a kitchen, bathroom, and a living room. There’s a boiler system to keep you warm on those chilly nights and a wastewater system installed to minimize the impact on the environment.

Just how sustainable? Every time you flush the toilet at these eco-friendly hotels, your waste becomes food for the Tiger worms that reside in the nearby worm farm. You don’t have to worry about any of it leeching into the groundwater supply. Furthermore, if you don’t feel like cooking for yourself, there are plenty of dining options a few minutes away by car. The hotel may not be the most artistically pleasing on the outside, but you would never guess that there are actually comfortable dwellings within each metal cylinder.

1. Sala Silver Mine Hotel Suite, Sala, Sweden

Here is one of the best quirky hotels in the world! Considered to be one of the world’s deepest hotel suites, the Sala Silver Mine is only a little more than 500 feet of space, but it took miners ten years to carve out using a method called fire-setting. They initially created the mine to dig for silver, but by the 20th Century, all of the silver was gone. So what was to happen to all of these empty tunnels, shafts, and chambers they’d created? Well, why not turn one of the deepest ones into a hotel suite? Because it’s underground, the temperature is consistent throughout the year.

The suite features a double bed and furnishing made from, you guessed it, silver. Booking these accommodations comes with some champagne, but don’t expect to make any phone calls from this location. Being underground doesn’t afford the best cellphone signals. That means if you need some assistance, you have to use the intercom to contact any staff for help. Don’t expect any spectacular views from this suite either; you’ll have nothing but carved rock walls and artificial lighting to help you get around and enjoy your stay.

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