Host Unusual is an eclectic accommodation showcase, creatively bringing under one roof the most extraordinary places to stay in the UK and around the world. The concept was born of a mix of frustration and enthusiasm; we wanted to prescribe a much needed antidote to the ordinary in a world flooded with formulaic hotels and holiday lets.
Dedicated to scouring the globe, we love nothing more than unearthing and cherry-picking the most exciting holiday properties on the map. Whether this be a fairytale treehouse deep within the forest, a time-warp vintage pad, a floating home on a lazy river or an eco-retreat far from the city lights, we’ve made it our mission to discover it.
Headquartered in the pretty Essex fishing village of Leigh-on-Sea, we are a small friendly independent team with a passion for travel and a penchant for the unconventional. Since our launch in 2016, we have been delighted by the positive attention and feedback Host Unusual has received, from the public to press, and amongst travel professionals. With every day seemingly bringing new and diverse hidden gems, our unrelenting search continues…
Meet the Team
It’s safe to say the travel bug bit Alex pretty hard. What started with a spark of fascination and spinning a plastic globe as a boy evolved into a determination to see as much of the world as possible (80 countries and counting – many still to go!) and an eventual career path.
Working in a variety of travel organisations in senrior product management and marketing roles for just shy of 20 years, being in close and regular contact with property owners has always been at the heart of what Alex does… and remains so to this day.
A keen artist and hiker, if he’s not scribbling away outside the office, he’s half way up a hill clocking up steps. The magnetic pull of the coast has always been strong, and life by the seaside is something that is very close to his heart!
His most unusual stay to date? It’s a close call between a rooftop airstream and an architectural stilted pod.
Originally from a publishing background, Dawn had always wanted to be her own boss, and left her job in London in 2002 in order to start up one of the very first online vintage boutiques in the UK (which is still running to this day).
A dedicated devotee to all things unique, unusual and out of the ordinary, the move into extraordinary holiday accommodation seemed a natural progression; as a child, Dawn loved the whole process of choosing and booking a family holiday, studying the finer details of each option with her nan, Stella (who also used to let Dawn choose her holiday wardrobe, encouraging her passion for vintage fashion!).
She loves to be by the sea, whether a secret Cornish cove, traditional seaside town, or the white sands of her favourite beach so far, Iluka Bay, Australia.
Dawn’s most unusual stay to date was in an original 1960s UFO style Futuro House – a bucket list item ticked!
A freelance writer by original trade, Nina’s been writing for Host Unusual since the early days (she’s written over a million words for the website, and counting!)
Nina hugely enjoys learning about each new property, finding irresistible ways to write about them for listings and blog updates. She’s visited more than a few of her favourites, and her upcoming hen trip and honeymoon will be hosted by Host Unusual properties – now that’s dedication!
Having fallen in love with the warmth and ethos at Host Unusual – not to mention their amazing properties – when Dawn and Alex decided to expand their team Nina was a natural choice. Responsible for content and partnerships, she’s the first point of contact for enquiries, as well as writing listings that reflect the uniqueness of each individual property.
Nina’s most unusual stay to date was in a rural Lincolnshire cabin nestled in a graveyard for mannequins, with plenty of cats to cuddle (seriously… and yes, that one came courtesy of Host Unusual!)
Charities & Social Enterprises We Support
Family Holiday Charity
Host Unusual are delighted to support the Family Holiday Charity who help families get time away together, often for the first time ever. They’re there for families’ children who have never seen the sea, for teenagers who can’t remember when they last saw their mum smile. For parents having to choose between a day out and a new pair of school shoes. For young carers, kinship carers, families facing illness, isolation, or bereavement. With every listing on Host Unusual, a donation goes directly towards giving families time to reconnect, to try new things, and to make happy memories together. You can read some of the family stories here.
We are also delighted to have confirmed our partnership with Ecologi, who plant trees each month on our behalf and invest our monthly subscription fee into projects that remove more greenhouse gasses than our own carbon footprint puts in, as a business. We felt very strongly about this as many of our partners have their own sustainable practices and we feel that we too should be playing our part. You can view our Ecologi page here.
Awards & Nominations
We’re delighted to have received some excellent accolades from organisations who recognise and share our passion for showcasing such unique places to stay. Here you can find our latest achievements: