Hotel

The World’s Most Unusual Places to Stay


Looking for a unique place to stay? Well, when you wake up at one of these unusual lodgings you may think you are still in a dream.
At Kokopelli’s Bed and Breakfast in Farmington, New Mexico your digs are a 1,600 square foot cave located 70 feet below ground. To get to the entrance you descend a sloping path, carved stone steps and a wooden ladder and enter through the cliff face. The home is furnished with plush carpeting, Southwestern style furniture, a cascading waterfall-style shower and a flagstone hot tub. Your ancestor the caveman never had it so good.

If you prefer to stay above ground – way above ground – you might like the Safariland Tree House Resort near Teppakadu, India. The six tree houses are five meters up in the trees and built of bamboo and local materials. They are located in a lush green wilderness home to elephants and tigers and face the lovely Blue Mountains of Nigris. Outfitted with electricity, plumbing, toilets and hot water, they have all the comforts of home.
The concept of home implies something stationary, but when you are staying at the Exploranter Overland Hotel based in Sao Paulo, Brazil your home will be moving. That’s because the hotel is a 25 ton Scania truck equipped with a kitchen, hot showers, 30 leather seats, 28 beds and a lounge. The hotel wanders the backroads of South America taking visitors to out of the way locales and introducing them to local cultures.

The culture of Mexico has long been flavored by the tradition of bullfighting, so one way to absorb Mexican culture is to spend an evening in a bullring, not fighting, mind you, but sleeping. The Quinta Real Zacatecas, a full service hotel with all the amenities, is built into the grandstand of the restored San Pedro bullfighting ring. The bullring itself has been paved with cobblestones and made into a beautiful colonial-style patio. It’s a charming location where today you can wear a red cape with no worries.

You will want to wear something a little warmer when you stay at the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland. Located 200km north of the Arctic Circle, the 60 room hotel is built anew each year beginning in November by a team of architects, designers and artists. It includes a bar, a restaurant and some warm buildings adjacent where you can shower and use the facilities. The beds are made of blocks of ice covered with reindeer skins. Guests report the whole experience is really cool.

Also cool, albeit in a different way, is Jule’s Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida. To get to the cottage-sized former research laboratory you must scuba dive 21 feet beneath the sea through a mangrove lagoon and enter through the bottom of the habitat. Once inside you can kick back and relax. Amenities include hot showers, a well-stocked kitchen, books, music and movies. Reclining on your bed you can watch the passing reef fish and other aquatic visitors through the portholes. It’s wet and wild.

The last thing you’ll want is wet and wild when you stay at the DasPark Hotel in Ottensheim, Austria. That’s because the lodgings there had a former life as enormous concrete drainage pipes. Today you’ll find them dry and cozy. Inside, each pipe is outfitted with a double bed, storage, light, wooly blanket and sleeping bag. Amenities such as showers and toilets are provided in the surrounding common area.

If sleeping in a drainage pipe strikes you as a little cramped, you haven’t spent the night in a Japanese capsule hotel. Sleeping quarters in these basic overnight lodgings are typically 2m x 1m x 1.25m. In other words, about the size of a good sized dog kennel. Each module resides within a honeycomb of other modules, so you’ll find yourself snoozing away with about 50 other lodgers. The restroom facilities are communal, but you do get you own TV and wireless internet connection. Now that’s luxury.

If you prefer a wider wing span, why not spend the night in a jumbo jet, one that’s anchored to the ground and won’t take off. You can do just that in Stockholm, Sweden at the Jumbo Hostel, a converted Boeing 747 with 25 rooms in dormitory style, a café and a luxurious suite with a private bathroom located on the former flight deck. Your hosts have a little fun going through the usual airline formalities as you get ready to settle in for the night. We’re going to dim the cabin lights, etc. Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

At any of these unique lodgings you are almost guaranteed to enjoy your flight – er, stay, if for no other reason than the sheer outlandish novelty of the experience. From ice rooms to underwater habitats, from tree houses to bullrings, these bizarre lodgings will not only give you a place to sleep, they’ll make you think you’re dreaming.

 

Date posted: 1st June, 2011

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