Travel the World
10 Quirky Hotels from Around the World
Depending on the type of traveler you are, sometimes a hotel is just a place to rest after a long day of exploring the surroundings of your destination. For others, the right hotel is part of what makes the travel experience an interesting one. Here are 10 hotels from around the world that certainly know how to give their guests a memorable, albeit unusual, stay.
DasParkHotel – Bottrop, Germany
Now here’s an interesting concept – take five large concrete drainage pipes and convert them into individual hotel suites. Located in Bernepark, which was once the site of an old purification plant, the exterior of the “suites” are nothing to look at (they truly do just look like sewage pipes), but step inside one of them to find an unexpectedly comfortable interior that’s outfitted with a bed, lighting, and other furniture. The hotel operates on a “pay what you can”, which likely attracts more visitors since an expensive rate is not required to give the experience a try.
La Balade des Gnômes – Durbuy, Belgium
If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, a stay at this Belgium hotel is for you. The Trojan Horse room is a full-scale replica of the huge wooden horse built by the Greeks during the Trojan War to foil their enemies with a surprise attack. Built using wooden construction and wheels, the room only accommodates two guests at a time though, which we imagine is a vastly smaller army size than the Greeks had hidden in their mythological horse.
Photo credit: Dietmar Tollerian / DasParkHotel
Free Spirit Spheres – Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Located on private land near Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island are three spherical tree houses, collectively known as Free Spirit Spheres. Set among soaring trees, it’s a chance for adults (guests must be 16 years or older) to experience a tree house, albeit a finer quality one than any they would have played in as a child. Each of the three handcrafted spheres – named Eve, Eryn and Melody – is suspended from the trees, is wired for power, and has built-in speakers for hooking up music and video devices. Talk about glamping!
Marmara Antalya – Antalya, Turkey
This unique-looking property overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, the Taurus Mountains, and the city of Antalya. Keep your eye out the window and you’ll have a chance to see it all without even turning your head as the Marmara Antalya is the world’s first revolving hotel. Built to float in a pool of 478 tonnes of water, there are six electric motors that help to turn the hotel a full 360 degrees on its foundation several times a day.
Värdshuset IKEA Hotel & Restaurant – Älmhult, Sweden
With a population of approximately 9,000 people, the small town of Älmhult has a big reputation – this is where the self-assembly furniture giant opened its first store and continues today to have a large corporate presence. For true IKEA fans, book a stay at Värdshuset, IKEA’s 151-room hotel that’s located across the parking lot of the very first IKEA store. The hotel is, of course, kitted out from top to bottom in all things IKEA making a stay there feel as if you’re living right in the pages of their famous annual catalogues. The hotel restaurant serves meatballs, salmon, and other familiar specialties that IKEA’s in-store restaurants throughout the world are known for. Other hotel amenities include a bar, conference centre, and an IKEA Museum.
Treehotel – Harads, Sweden
Located in a tiny 600-person Swedish village, the Treehotel is currently made up five uniquely designed treerooms, each one located four to six metres above ground. One treeroom is built to resemble a bird’s nest, another like a cube with mirrored walls, and yet another – perhaps the most interesting one – is shaped like an UFO. For a stay that’s out of this world, opt for this spaceship-style treeroom with an exterior cast in durable composite material and an interior that has a modern and comfortable look to it.
Alcatraz Hotel – Kaiserslautern, Germany
In southwest Germany, behind a hundred-year-old sandstone wall, lies this out-of-the-ordinary hotel that was once a prison. Today, it consists of rooms, suites and a conference centre where guests can choose to stay in the original prison cells, each of which has been decorated only with basic essentials such as a chair, desk, and bed. Bars on the windows, a spy hole in the door where your meals are served, as well as black-and-white striped bath towels help augment the feel of a an authentic jailbird stay.
Fantasyland Hotel – Edmonton, Alberta
Located right inside the popular West Edmonton Mall, Fantasyland is a hotel that distinguishes itself with eccentric themes such as Canadian Railroad, Polynesian, Igloo, and more. Booking a theme room at this hotel means you’ll have your pick of sleeping in such oddities as a catamaran boat, a giant Roman-style round bed, a Wild West wagon, or the back seat of a truck. But don’t let the kitschiness fool you-the luxury hotel offers theme room rates starting at $428 per night.
Winvian – Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
In the rural town of Litchfield Hills, the Winvian is a hotel property made up of 18 guest cottages, designed by 15 different architects. Though the majority of cottages have been designed with a traditional New England feel to them, one architect decided to add an unusual touch to one cottage – by sticking a former Coast Guard helicopter inside a barn and converting it into a fully functioning accommodation space complete with seating area, television, stainless steel bar and even a restored cockpit.
Tianzi Hotel – Hebei Province, China
Constructed in 2010, this 10-storey building holds a Guinness World Record as the largest “image building” in the world. The hotel was built to represent three Chinese deities-Fu, Lu and Shou-who respectively symbolize good fortune, prosperity and longevity. Enter the hotel through Shou’s right foot-he’s the one with the white beard. Hoping for a long life? Request to stay in the peach you see Shou holding, which is actually a fully functioning suite.