Rural retreat, urban escape or beach break – what’s your 2018 holiday dream?
Holiday time is incredibly precious for most of us, and with more choice on offer than ever before, it can be hard to resist increasing pressure to get the destination just right, Goldilocks-style.
As ever, we're on hand to help at Host Unusual, with our hand-picked selection of quirky categories that showcase the very best in rural, city and beachside breaks. Even better: with us, you can forget pesky tent pitching, soulless hotel rooms and sandy sandwiches - because our unusual escapes are guaranteed to start conversations for all the right reasons!
Still finding it hard to decide on the perfect 2018 holiday? Read on for the lowdown on all that's uniquely wonderful about rural, city and beach escapes, along with a few of our favourite and most unique places for you to browse around.
You can't say we don't spoil you!
For many people, a rural escape conjures up an immediate image of "roughing it" in the Great Outdoors, facing the worst of whatever the weather decides to throw at them. They picture wrestling with tent poles in the pouring rain, then trudging half a freezing mile to the nearest toilet block - not exactly a heavenly holiday!
If this is how you picture a rural retreat, then trust us, you're missing out. Not only is a countryside-set escape one of the very best ways to get back to nature, but you can experience all that lush scenery and fresh air without missing out on a shred of hotel-style luxury...even if you do decide to cosy up under canvas!
A few of our favourite rural retreats
A majestically authentic 16th century Gaelic castle, The Black Castle allows you to travel refreshingly back in time on a regally-inspired ‘overknighter' in the Great Hall, surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of North Tipperary.
Reconnect with nature in eco-friendly luxury at Wye Glamping, with a choice of pre-erected bell tents and a cosy yurt, all boasting snug furnishings and private facilities, friendly local wildlife and stunning views of the Brecon Beacons.
For larger groups, a celestial congregation at St Curig's Church is perfect for combining ancient tradition with creative imagination, in a 19th century church complete with bubbling hot tub, sociable village life, and a captivating backdrop that takes in the Snowdonia mountains.
Buzzy, chic and exciting, urban escapes are perfect for those who need a little more stimulation and variety from their holiday surroundings.
That's not to say that city-based breaks can't be relaxing too! In amongst all that sightseeing and urban adventure, you can often indulge in the cutting-edge innovation, luxury fixtures and convenience promised by contemporary urban living - along with plenty of opportunity to socialise in style with all those friends you haven't met yet.
A few of our favourite urban escapes
Complete with majestic views of Tower Bridge, The Harpy Houseboat is London's oldest houseboat, built in 1904 and once visited by King George V. Now a self-contained floating home with oak furniture, Egyptian linen and fibre-optic WiFi, you can enjoy soothing riverside tranquility and close proximity to the bustling heart of London alike.
Just six minutes from the centre of the former West German capital, BaseCamp Bonn is an innovative indoor campground, featuring colourful individually themed retro caravans, sleeper trains and airstreams, each one complete with its very own ‘front lawn'!
Standing 17 metres above the pier in the Dutch city of Harlingen, Harbour Crane Experience is a unique opportunity to stay in a futuristically-styled shipyard crane, vibrantly furnished with Charles Eames chairs and packed with mind-blowing interactive elements.
The mainstay of many a traditional childhood family holiday, seaside breaks have come a very long way from ‘Kiss Me Quick' hats, gritty sandwiches and stripy sticks of rock!
Can you imagine any sound more soothing than the tide slowly lapping into the shore, complete with seagulls cawing overhead as the sun rises every morning? Not to mention those Instagram-worthy coastal scenes, pictured from stylish beachfront properties that are a far cry from the trusty wooden beach hut.
A few of our favourite beach breaks
Enjoy superlative views of a secluded Cornish beach, all from the comfort of Barford Beach House, a larch-clad home-from-home that sleeps up to sixteen people. Expect plenty of warmth and character, alongside floor-to-ceiling windows, a bespoke copper kitchen, a sauna and cinema, and even a secret underground party cavern!
Set on the pristine white sands of Indonesia's Gili Meno island, Karma Reef is a coastal resort found on a secret beach, just steps away from the glistening Bali Sea. Choose your luxury accommodation from a five-star safari tent or a seriously lavish Lumbung.
With direct access to Cornwall's famed Gwithian Beach and equipped with contemporary creature comforts, nautically-styled Lighthouse View Beach Chalet is a chic, dog-friendly chalet that looks romantically out to the iconic Godrevy Lighthouse.
Whatever your preference, we hope we've whetted your appetite for this year's holiday adventure!
Don't forget, there are plenty more unique experiences - and categories - to choose from on our website, so why not take a short trip over there now and bookmark a few more favourites?