25 of the World’s Strangest and Most Unique Hotels
You can stay at a safe, normal, everyday hotel on vacation. Or you could have the experience of a lifetime in one of these crazy places.
The Liberty Hotel in Boston
Formerly the Charles Street Jail, the Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, is an actual converted prison that housed a few famous inmates back in the day, like Malcolm X and one-time Boston mayor James Curley. The luxury hotel even has prison-themed names for its rooms and lounge areas. For example, The Clink is an on-site restaurant, and The Alibi is the hotel’s cocktail bar—and former jailhouse drunk tank. Amenities include air conditioning, in-room safes, minibar, complimentary overnight shoe shines, and on-site concierge. Guaranteed the prisoners never had it this good. For your next trip, plan on visiting these 14 other unusual hotels in the United States.
Hotell Hackspett in Sweden
Created by artist Mikael Genberg in Västerås, Sweden in 1998, the Hotell Hackspett—Swedish for woodpecker—is a single room that’s suspended 42 feet above the ground by cables in a 130-year-old oak tree. (Don’t worry, not a single nail was used to anchor the structure.) Guests are hauled up for their stay via a pulley-and-harness system. The room has spectacular views of the public park it’s located in and Lake Mälaren. Accommodations are rustic with a dry toilet and no electric or heating, so it’s only available during the summer season. Make sure you avoid booking a room at these hotel chains with the worst reputations on your next vacation.
Kakslauttanen Hotel in Finland
Are you after an awe-inspiring view of the Northern Lights from the comforts of a warm bed inside of a glass igloo? The Kakslauttanen Hotel in Arctic Finland features a number of glass igloos, so couples and groups of friends can huddle close together to watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the cold night sky above. The glass igloos are only available during the Northern Lights season from late August through the end of April. The Kakslauttanen Hotel also offers traditional log cabins or ice igloos for guests, so you can really know what it feels like to sleep inside of a cozy and warm sleeping bag that’s inside of a hollow ice cave. Get a spa experience via the Hotel’s steamy saunas and hot tubs throughout the property. If sleeping bags aren’t your style, you may want to look into snagging a room at these hotels with the most comfortable beds in the world.
SiloStay in New Zealand
Have you ever wanted to sleep inside of a silo? SiloStay in Christchurch, New Zealand, has you covered! The complex—which is in the middle of farmland—features eight single silos that are made for two people to stay and sleep. The upstairs of each unit houses a queen-sized bed and bathroom with showers, while you’ll find the kitchen and dining area downstairs via a spiral staircase. There are even units that are made for families. (And yes, there are windows.)
Designed by Stuart Wright-Stow and his “F3” design team, each silo is eco-friendly and innovative. A wood pellet boiler heats and powers the complex, which can be seen through a transparency in each unit. Make sure you’re not putting your family in danger with these common hotel hazards.
The Aurora Express in Alaska
Guests of the Aurora Express Bed & Breakfast stay inside converted Alaska Railroad train cars, which were converted and renovated to when the state of Alaska was first settled during the 19th century. Guests also have the option to stay in a number of different luxurious train cars, which are named Golden Nellie, National Emblem, Gold Mine, and Bordello. But no matter where you stay on the train, every guest at the Aurora Express Bed & Breakfast gets breathtaking views of greater Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley, and Alaska Mountain Range. These are a few of the many things that hotels should have, but don’t.
The Crane Hotel in The Netherlands
Located on a riverbank in Amsterdam, the Crane Hotel Faralda features three luxury two-floor suites that are built inside of a dockside construction crane. The lowest hanging suite is the “Free Spirit,” which dangles 114 feet, while the “Secret” suite hangs 131 feet from the ground. The tallest of the three suites is the “Mystique,” which hangs about 147 feet in the air.
All three five-star suites feature a living area and private bathroom on the first floor and sleeping quarters on the second, a spa pool for all guests on the top deck, bungee jumping, as well as amazing rotating waterfront views that change with the direction of the wind. It also features a Sky High Panoramic Lounge that rests about 49 feet above the ground. Here are 12 more under-the-radar hotels you’ve got to try.
No Man’s Land in Portsmouth, England
Built almost 160 years ago off the coast of Portsmouth, No Man’s Fort (Solent Fort) was an English naval hub during the Victorian Era. It was initially built to help keep the French at bay, but it was still in use during both World Wars. After being decommissioned in 1956, the fort was converted into a four-star luxury island hotel in 2009. The hotel now features 23 luxury bedroom suites, along with hot tubs, lounges, and casual and formal dining opportunities. Reachable by boat or helicopter, the structure boasts spectacular views of the English and French coastline. Use these 10 secrets to score a free hotel room upgrade.
Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
This is a different kind of hotel because it’s adults only, and the rooms are suspended wooden spheres dangling amongst the trees in a lush rain forest. Located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada, the tree house resort is open all year and boasts tranquility inside of three different size spheres that are affectionately named Eve, Eryn, and Melody. The Free Spirit Spheres offers guests bathrooms with compost toilets on ground level, complimentary snacks, fresh linens, a sauna, barbecue, and galley kitchen, while each sphere comes with built-in speakers and, most importantly, Wi-Fi. Beware of the 11 dirtiest spots in every hotel room.
Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho
If you can’t get enough of man’s best friend, then maybe staying a night in a dog’s belly will help: Located in Cottonwood, Idaho, Dog Bark Park Inn is considered the “World’s Biggest Beagle.” The bed and breakfast guesthouse building is shaped like a beagle—a gigantic beagle. A night’s stay features a continental self-serve breakfast, and guests can stay in cozy rooms that comfortably sleep four with a number of amenities, such as full baths, air conditioning, assorted books, games, and puzzles. No phone or television—but there is Wi-Fi. According to the hotel’s website, “At Dog Bark Park Inn sleeping in the doghouse is a good thing!”
Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica
Can’t sleep on a plane? This one might be different: A vintage Boeing 727 was converted and refurbished into a luxury two-bedroom suite that’s located in a tropical jungle between the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. Guest can experience everything the Hotel Costa Verde has to offer, such as cliff-side pools, sundecks, and bar area, all inside of the airplane’s fuselage. You won’t board this airplane to get to your final destination because you’re already there! These are the hotels that never fail to offer a free hot breakfast each morning.