Features

Introducing The World’s Most Unusual Hotels!

2 February 2023

Don’t get us wrong, large hotel chains have their place.

There can be something irresistibly safe and reassuring about a uniform holiday experience that never changes, no matter where in the world you’re travelling to.

But if you’re the type of person who travels to learn, discover, and be captivated by the new, then wouldn’t it be wonderful to stay in a hotel that’s a true one-of-a-kind?

The type of hotel that, no matter how unique and beautiful its surroundings, is a fresh and enchanting experience all of its own?

Somewhere like… say, a thermal glass igloo in glistening, snow-capped Finnish Lapland, where you can relax in the world’s largest smoke sauna.

Or perhaps an ancient Greek tower, mesmerisingly transformed into an elaborate hotel with elegant suites and unrivalled Mediterranean Sea views.

How about a trip Down Under… literally, with the world’s only underground four-star hotel? Complete with a swimming pool, shops, and a fine-dining restaurant, here you can also explore the intriguing Australian outback at your leisure!

In celebration of all things new and exciting, we’ve pulled together some more of the world’s most unusual hotels, just for you.

Prepare to be inspired!

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: V8 Hotel | Stuttgart, Germany

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Saariselka, Lapland, Finland
Gleaming glass igloos and traditional wooden chalets (plus the world's largest smoke sauna!) nestle amongst unspoilt nature in magical Finnish Lapland.
Bedrooms: 263 chalets & igloos
Sleeps: 2-12
From
£400 / night

Desert Cave Hotel

Coober Pedy, South Australia
Experience the South Australian outback at its authentic best, with dug-out style luxury living and an underground bed!
Bedrooms: 50 rooms
Sleeps: 2-4 per room
From
£77 / night

Arctic Lighthouse Hotel

Hailuoto, Northern Ostrobothnia
A captivating, story-rich retreat, peacefully nestled at the foot of a former lighthouse on Finland's largest sea island, for expansive views across the Gulf of Bothnia.
Bedrooms: Varies per room
Sleeps: Varies per room
From
£85 / night (2 guests)

Langholmen

Stockholm, Sweden
Stay in blissful captivity, in a former prison set within the heart of scenic Stockholm. Don't worry, you'll be given a key to your cell!
Bedrooms: varies
Sleeps: up to 4
From
£92 / night

Marqués de Riscal

Elciego, Basque Country, Spain
Experience a sensational, master architect-designed hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant, set in the picturesque foothills of Spanish wine country.
Bedrooms: 43 rooms & suites
Sleeps: 2/3 per room
From
£427 / night

Grand Daddy Airstream Trailer Park

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Seven gleaming, individually-styled airstreams secluded at the top of Cape Town's iconic city centre hotel.
Bedrooms: 1 per airstream
Sleeps: 2 per airstream
From
£132 / night (2 guests B&B)

Inntel Zaandam

Amsterdam, Netherlands
A jaw-dropping fusion of Zaan-style cottages, in the form of a unique Amsterdam hotel with a home-from-home feel, just a short train ride from the bustling city centre.
Bedrooms: 160 rooms
Sleeps: Varies
From
£87 / night

Book and Bed Tokyo

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
A self-proclaimed ‘accommodation bookshop' with over 1,700 books to browse through, and simple ‘secret' rooms hidden behind the bookshelves.
Bedrooms: 55 beds
Sleeps: 1-4
From
£34 / night

Hotel Charles Lindbergh

Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Live your childhood dreams of flying and sleep in an aeronaut's cabin, in a unique, immersive fantasy world of historic aviation and adventure, set within one of Europe's best-loved theme parks.
Bedrooms: 1 or 2 per cabin
Sleeps: 2 or 4 per cabin
From
£335 / night (*inc extras)

Hocus Pocus Tiny Hotel

York, Yorkshire, England
Escape into an immersive world of wonder, in the form of a boutique hotel with authentic magic-themed rooms, deliciously secluded in the heart of York.
Bedrooms: 5 Rooms
Sleeps: 2-5
From
£139 / night

SWEETS hotel

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Take your pick from one of the unique bridge house suites, beautifully scattered along the canals of Amsterdam.
Bedrooms: 1 per house
Sleeps: 2 per house
From
£117 / night

LoftCube

Graz, Styria, Austria
Stay inside a sci-fi-style designer glass cube with luxury interiors and panoramic views of Graz, from the top of a quirky hotel that's close to the city centre.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£221 / night

Chena Huts

Yala, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Experience an authentic sense of the exotic, surrounded by outstanding tropical luxury (and flamingos!) in the Sri Lankan jungle.
Bedrooms: 1 per cabin
Sleeps: Up to 3 per cabin
From
£810 / night

VIVOOD Landscape Hotel

Benimantell, Alicante, Spain
A sumptuous selection of adults-only cabins, with a window-walled spa and two shimmering infinity pools, beautifully secluded in Spain's pure, rugged Guadalest Valley.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£149 / night

Vintage Hotel Brussels

Brussels, Belgium
A seriously stylish hotel with retro décor and a boutique wine bar, perfectly located mere steps away from the chic, prestigious Avenue Louise.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2-6
From
£71 / night

Boat Hotel de Barge

Brugge, West Flanders
Fine dining and charming cabins, all aboard a unique floating barge-hotel on the picturesque Bruges-Ghent canal, just 20 minutes' walk from the Market Square.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 1-2
From
£95 / night

Cartoon Network Hotel

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
A lively, animation-themed retreat that's full of family fun, with an on-site restaurant and a heated indoor pool, conveniently located in Pennsylvania's ‘Red Rose City'.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2-4
From
£122 / night

Hotel Palafitte

Lake Neuchatel, Neuchatel
Unique and luxurious Swiss pavilions, nestled on the shore or directly on the shimmering Lake Neuchâtel itself, for magnificent views of the surrounding Alps.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: Up to 3
From
£275 / night

The Bodmin Jail Hotel

Bodmin, Cornwall, England
Lock yourself up in a characterful Cornish landmark that's steeped in history and creative imagination, with elegant design features, dog-friendly rooms, and a gourmet restaurant in the gothic chapel!
Bedrooms: 70 rooms
Sleeps: Varies
From
£197 / night

ZERO Box Lodge

Porto, North Portugal, Porto/North Portugal
Experience Porto from a unique, groundbreaking concept and design-led lodge that thinks outside the box...while you sleep cosily inside it!
Bedrooms: 1 bed per box
Sleeps: 2 per box
From
£70 / night

Tainaron Blue

Mani, Peloponnese, Greece
Experience elaborate architectural design in a piece of history at Tainaron blue - a fabulous hotel in a converted Tower of Mani set by azure shores on the southernmost tip of mainland Greece.
Bedrooms: 4
Sleeps:
From
£200 / night

The Turbine

Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa
A fascinating boutique hotel and spa, converted from a former power station and beautifully located in the heart of South Africa's iconic Garden Route.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£168 / night

Tubotel

Pantai Cenang, Kedah, Malaysia
Experience Malaysia in quirky tubular technicolour, with a unique Langkawi hotel overlooking the ocean on a paradise island.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£19 / night

Arctic Bath

Harads, Norrbotten, Norrboten, Sweden
This breathtaking, eco-friendly oasis of nature floats serenely under the midnight sun and the Northern Lights in the heart of Swedish Lapland.
Bedrooms: 12 cabins
Sleeps: 2-5
From
£549 / night

Red Caboose

Ronks, Pennsylvania, USA
All aboard for a unique stay in the USA, with an authentic caboose car collection fresh from the Pennsylvania Railroad!
Bedrooms: 19
Sleeps: 2-6
From
£91 / night

Sacromonte Landscape Hotel

Sacromonte, Maldonado, Uruguay
An architect-designed hotel and winery sustainably blended within a vast stretch of valley grassland in Uruguay.
Bedrooms: 1 per cabin
Sleeps:
From
£395/ night

V8 Hotel

Stuttgart, Germany
Welcome to V8 Hotel -  a vibrant and luxurious motor-themed retreat with a unique selection of rooms and suites, perfectly positioned in one of Germany's top car-loving locations.
Bedrooms: 26 Themed
Sleeps: Varies
From
£112 / night

ICEHOTEL

Jukkasjärvi, Norrbotten, Norrbotten County, Sweden
Indulge your senses at ICEHOTEL, the world's first and most exclusive hotel to be constructed from glistening ice and snow.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£140/night warm room, £215/night cold room

Koza Cave Hotel

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Set inside a historic cave house among the magical ‘fairy chimneys' of Cappadocia, Koza Cave Hotel offers a wonderfully indulgent, eco-inspired hideaway - a true Turkish delight!
Bedrooms: 10
Sleeps: 2 per room
From
£323 /night

Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel

Kirkcolm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel - illuminate your holiday with a stay in a beautifully unique Scottish coastal hotel that doubles up as a charming working lighthouse.
Bedrooms: 11
Sleeps: 2-6 per room
From
£160 / double room

Crane Hotel Faralda

Amsterdam, Netherlands
View the beauty of Amsterdam from a unique position - a stylish and award-winning hotel at the top of a former crane!
Bedrooms: 1 per suite
Sleeps: 2 per suite
From
£934 / night

The Clockwork Hotel

Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, England
An enchanting group experience that combines puzzle-solving adventure with an exclusive boutique hotel stay in Essex.
Bedrooms: 11
Sleeps: Up to 22
From
£180pp /night

Burgh Island Hotel

Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon, England
An iconic South Devon Art Deco retreat, imbued with glamour and boating a distinguished roll-call of celebrity guests.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£325 / night

Madonna Inn

San Luis Obispo, California, USA
A vividly kitsch, grandly one-of-a-kind resort just off US Route 101, where the good times roll and no two rooms are the same.
Bedrooms: 110 rooms/suites
Sleeps: Varies
From
£143 / night

Fun Hotel Paris

Montmartre, Paris, France
Two gloriously quirky, spacious, and fully soundproofed large family suites with kiddie treats galore, at Fun Hotel in Paris Montmartre.
Bedrooms: 2 suites
Sleeps:
From
£125 / night

La Esperanza

Granada, Andalucia, Spain
A grand, authentic hacienda with luxury suites, a swimming pool, and a designer courtyard inspired by the Alhambra, nestled amongst private flower gardens just 35 minutes from Granada.
Bedrooms: 6
Sleeps: Up to 14
From
£394 / night

Hapuku Lodge

Kaikoura, Canterbury, New Zealand
Dreamlike comfort and outstanding views await you in this eco-friendly Kiwi paradise, featuring a lodge and treehouses set on the dramatic coastline of Kaikoura.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£450 / night

Chateau Rhianfa

Menai Bridge, Anglesey, Wales
Star in your very own fairytale, with a stay in an opulent French-styled setting that overlooks the magical beauty of Snowdonia.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£144 / night

Brooks Rooftop Rockets

Bristol, England
Hit the heights of groovy urban glamping in a Brooks Rooftop Rocket - a supercool selection of Airstream-style caravans on the rooftop of a boutique hotel, in the heart of Bristol's old town!
Bedrooms: 1 per unit
Sleeps: 2 per unit
From
£109 /night

Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita

Matera, Basilicata, Italy
An atmospheric cave hotel, beautifully restored and mesmerisingly situated in the heart of a historic village and UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Italy.
Bedrooms: 18 (6 suites)
Sleeps: 2-4
From
£157 / night

BaseCamp Bonn

Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
When it comes to BaseCamp Bonn, dispel any preconceptions about traditional campsites - this indoor campground offers some of the coolest, most creative and most extraordinary camping in the world!  
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£65 / night

Hotel Not Hotel

Amsterdam, Netherlands
A vibrant social hub in which every room is a unique piece of art (including ‘secret' bookcases and restored tram cars!) conveniently set in the buzzing heart of Amsterdam.
Bedrooms: 19 Units
Sleeps: 2-7
From
£40 / night

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