Whether you choose to hit the slammer in style, or take the meaning of sleeping on a plane to an entirely new level, the world is home to some pretty eccentric, over-the-top and down right mad hotels. Fancy staying somewhere a little different? Listed below are Gallery’s top ten quirky stays.
Hotel Marques De Riscal Elciego, Spain
From The Outside: A highly sought after contemporary retreat, Hotel Marques de Riscal boasts a clever mix of design, art, wine and gastronomy. Created by Frank Gehry in 2006, this architectural masterpiece promises a memorable stay for all. The rolling hills encircling this metal-enthused sanctuary make for a treasure trove of experiences, and exploring the neighbouring City of Wine is easy, especially when you have the hotel’s complementary bicycles at hand!
From The Inside: Gehry’s unmistakable artistic edge is prominent here. Zigzag windows and tilted walls complement the cathedral-style ceilings, whilst a host of personalised details adorn each of the 43 suites.
Why Go: Aside from the epicurean indulgences and fashionably styled lounge that overlooks century-old vines, Marques de Riscal is also home to a picturesque spa – a interior mishmash of precious merbau, cedar wood, sandstone and black slate. Naturally, both wet and dry spa treatments focus on the essence of the grape.
Seaventures Dive Resort, Sipadan Island
From The Outside: Perched high upon an abandoned oil rig, this artistic monstrosity is a diving mecca in its own right. The resort’s platform boasts panoramic views from each and every angle, whilst the surrounding seascape is home to some of the world’s most exquisite marine life.
From The Inside: Seaventures plays host to 25 rooms and two suites. The main restaurant is located on the upper deck, where diners can enjoy both delicious food and astounding views at the same time. The underwater camera room is one of the hotel’s finest features and acts as a window to the native sea world, if you’re lucky, you may even spot a passing turtle.
Why Go: Sipadan Island is one of the few Malaysian destinations to offer year round diving. It’s also the world’s first scuba diving hotel!
Kokopelli’s Cave Farmington, Usa
From The Outside: Kokopeli’s wilderness cave dwelling is anything but your average retreat. A romantic stay with a twist, this particular establishment is one of the most unique hotels to date, where the balcony boasts a window to the unrivalled New Mexico sunsets.
From The Inside: Carved from a 65-million year old sandstone formation, the plush furnishings, chic décor, waterfall-style shower and flagstone hot tub come as something of a surprise.
Why Go: It may be a cave, but rustic it’s not! Surely, spending the night 70 feet below the cliff’s surface is on every traveller’s bucket list? If you’re looking to escape the woes of a hectic lifestyle, this mysterious venue is certainly worth a visit.
Jumbo Stay Stockholm, Sweden
From The Outside: To most, this decommissioned Boeing 747 looks like any other abandoned plane, it’s even adjacent to the airport. However, a closer glance will reveal the aircraft’s wing, which plays host to an outdoor lounge – something far from acceptable in the sky! That’s because this once airborne structure is now a hotel.
From The Inside: The cockpit suite is by far the best room on-board and takes the meaning of sleeping on a plane to an entirely new level. Decked out in Pam Am blue, the hotel’s interior preserves a strong sense of its former vocation.
Why Go: Aside from being one of the world’s coolest stays, spending the night aboard an abandoned jumbo jet is a guaranteed conversation starter!
Forget-Me-Not-Lodge & Aurora Express Fairbanks, Alaska
From The Outside: Set amidst the picturesque hills of Fairbanks, Alaska, this quirky stay boasts amazing views of the surrounding countryside. It’s also a far cry from your usual hotel stay.
From The Inside: Each speciality carriage is luxuriously decorated in a Gold Rush style, creating the ultimate in railroad experiences.
Why Go: Quite simply for a ride like no other.
Ecocamp patogonia torres del paine, chile
From The Outside: Immersed in an area of unique vegetation, an outstanding view of the towering granite spires is showcased by day, whilst the stars of the southern hemisphere twinkle at night.
From The Inside: An inviting retreat centred in the Patagonian wilderness, all domes have been designed to create minimal environmental impact, yet despite this, they still boast sophisticated living. The ceiling windows allow each and every guest to fall asleep to a view of the Patagonian night sky.
Why Go: The Ecocamp Patagonia is rugged luxury at its best.
Malmaison Oxford Castle
From The Outside: A converted prison – probably not your first call for luxury accommodation? Unlike an actual jail, the rooms at the Malmaison are outstanding. And when you’re ready to escape, Oxford is an idyllic place to explore.
From The Inside: No longer on the Spartan side, each of the 95 rooms at the Malmaison Oxford Castle boast moody lighting, power showers, serious wines and naughty nibbles.
Why Go: Who else can say they hit the slammer in style?
Hotel Palacio De Sal Uyuni, Bolivia
From The Outside: When all you have to work with is a Bolivian salt plain, using locally sourced materials is all the rage. However, few go as far as constructing an entire hotel out of salt alone! Hotel Palacio de Sal (The Salt Hotel) comprises of an impressive one million 35cm blocks of compressed grains.
From The Inside: This luxury establishment features all of the mod cons you’d expect from a top-notch hotel, including a steam room, whirlpool, dry sauna and of course, its very own salt baths.
Why Go: It’s the only hotel to date to be constructed from 10,000 tonnes of salt!
Icehotel Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
From The Outside: The Torne River is said to be the inspiration behind this unique establishment, and it’s not just a hotel, it’s also an on-going art project. Over four seasons, the hotel morphs into several edifices. Created using over 1,000 tons of ice and 30,000 cubic metres of ‘snice’ (a combination of ice and snow) it’s certainly an impressive sight!
From The Inside: One of the hotel’s most distinctive features – its ever-changing structure. In April this year, the Icehotel made an open call for design proposals.
Why Go: This mind-boggling establishment is constructed wholly from ice and snow.
Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule Tokyo, Japan
From The Outside: Located bang in the centre of the Kabukicho’s neon jungle, the Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule Hotel is an ideal option for budding travellers wishing to explore a vibrant cityscape.
From The Inside: Capsule compartments were originally created for executives requiring a room to solely sleep in and nothing else. This male only hotel however comprises of 630 towering sleep boxes, an open-air hot tub and an onsen hot spring bath.
Why Go: It’s the first ever ‘capsule hotel’ to be constructed in Tokyo