We’ve seen some unusual places to stay in our time, but when it comes to truly out-of-this-world architecture, this list tops the lot! Featuring animals, vegetables, footwear and even body parts, a stay in one of these off-the-wall hideaways is bound to be one you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Rabbit House, the Chicken House, the Snail House and the Mushroom Houses at DéfiPlanet (Dienné, Poiteau-Charentes)
This truly fantastical French holiday park, just outside the university town of Poitiers, greets you not only with real-life animals – but oversized animal houses you can stay in!
Snuggle up in the giant Rabbit House, bring your whole flock to the Chicken House, or take shelter in the Snail House – each one a fabulous and undeniably unique self-contained hideaway. There’s also a collection of fairy-tale Mushroom Houses to call home! Whichever you decide upon, one thing’s for sure – kids and grown-ups will adore this magical place, which blends nature and adventure with oodles of onsite activities.
The Beehive at North Hill Farm (Chorleywood, Hertfordshire)
If you’ve been a busy bee recently and are in serious need of a holiday, where better to revive than at The Beehive? An adult-sized wooden beehive on the outside, a romantic home for two on the inside, this fabulous bee-inspired bolthole has everything you need to relax and unwind – including a luxurious hut tub. It really is the bee’s knees…
The Boot (Tasman, Nelson)
Every shoe addict’s dream, this giant boot on New Zealand’s South Island offers the chance to live in fabulous footwear, just moments from the breath-taking Tasman coast. With a gorgeous private courtyard and outdoor fireplace, breakfast delivered each morning, and cosy interiors to boot (*groan*), you’ll be hot-footing it Down Under in no time.
Owl’s Lookout at North Hill Farm (Chorleywood, Hertfordshire)
Life’s a hoot at Owl’s Lookout – an inspired treehouse family hideaway! Ingeniously built to resemble an owl in flight, you’ll discover beautiful circular rooms inside, every luxury you could need (including a sauna), a BBQ, a fire pit, and glorious woodland views. The Harry Potter Studios are just 12 minutes away too, so you can really ‘go owl-out’ here!
Dog Bark Park Inn (Cottonwood, Idaho)
People might think you’re barking mad when you tell them you’ve stayed in the world’s largest beagle, but it’s certainly an accolade Dog Bark Park Inn’s guests can claim! Standing 9 metres tall, this giant pooch offers an imaginative doggy-themed holiday home for four. The Times even named it one of ‘The World’s Top 20 most Fun and Exciting Places to Stay’!
CasAnus at Verbeke Foundation (Stekene, Antwerp)
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you discover there’s a Belgian holiday home modelled on the human digestive system…! CasAnus, designed by Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout, may look like a giant intestine on the outside, but inside, it boasts a pristine white hideaway for two. Your stay also includes breakfast and entry to the Foundation’s art museum!
The Mushroom Houses (Chalrevoix, Michigan)
Designed by the famous Earl Young, the Mushroom Houses appear as if straight from a story book. Charming, rustic and topped with thatch, you’re treated to exquisite design both inside and out. With one- to six-bedroom homes on offer – from the historic Thatch House to the cosy Chalet (Young’s old carriage house) – there’s a Mushroom House for everyone.
The UFO at Controversy Farm (Hoogwoud, North Holland)
Do you want to believe…? You will at Controversy Farm, where The UFO is just one of the fabulously quirky holiday homes on this unforgettable Dutch farm. A silver saucer on stilts, you can embrace extra-terrestrial life in this fun and futuristic home-from-home – with planes, trains and a wigwam to call your neighbours! Beam me up, Scotty!
The Trojan Horse at La Balade des Gnomes (Luxembourg)
This unsuspecting Belgian farmhouse in the 17th century town of Dubuy holds a surprise – a real-life Trojan Horse! Set on wheels, just like the one from the famous Greek myth, this equine marvel doesn’t hide soldiers inside, but a spectacular holiday home with handcrafted wood interiors. It even has a private drawbridge for access! Now that really is legendary.
Prairie Chicken House (Norman, Oklahoma)
Have you ever seen a prairie chicken? If not, the Prairie Chicken House will give you some idea of one – as well as an unbelievably unique holiday experience! Designed in 1961 by the famed Herb Greene, this two-bedroom structure in America’s Midwest is a true example of organic architecture, entirely built from natural materials. And it’s stunning!