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The world’s most unusual hotels

 Amangiri Hotel

This is no ordinary hotel or resort, but rather an enclave of comfort and style in North America’s most dramatic desert landscape

Tree hotel, Harads, Sweden

Located in the pine forest around Harads are seven unique ‘treerooms’ (more are planned to open in the near future). Treehouses include the glass capsule-like Cabin, the lifelike Bird’s Nest, the mind-blowing reflective Mirrorcube and the UFO (pictured), which reminds guests of the final scene in E.T. There is also a Tree Sauna.

Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

Crane Hotel Faralda, Amsterdam, Netherlands

An unashamedly bonkers hotel in up-and-coming Amsterdam Noord. This three-suite property is housed in a converted crane and boasts spectacular city views. Opulent and obscure in equal measure, it’s ideal if you’re looking for something alternative, but best avoided if you suffer from vertigo.

Crane Hotel Faralda, Amsterdam

Crane Hotel Faralda is housed in a converted crane and boasts spectacular city views

No Man’s Fort, Solent, Portsmouth

No Man’s Fort – a Victorian-era fort which was originally built between 1867 and 1880 to protect Portsmouth from an attack from Napoleon III – has been turned into a luxury hotel, with 22 bedrooms, a lighthouse penthouse suite, nightclub, hot tub and laser quest arena.

No Man's Fort, Portsmouth

No Man’s Fort was originally built to protect Portsmouth from an attack from Napoleon III

SiloStay, Little River, New Zealand

Situated in Little River, just 350 yards from the Christchurch-Little River Rail Trail, SiloStay offers innovative eco-friendly accommodation on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula. Despite the surrounding area offering no immediate attractions, the owners of SiloStay hope that the physically round silo and peaceful surroundings will give guests the opportunity to seek personal introspection. The silos are designed across two floors and are fully-equipped with kitchen facilities, balconies and televisions. Gourmet microwave meals or takeaways can be provided on request.

SiloStay

SiloStay offers inovative eco-friendly accommodation on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula.

Palacio de Sal, Uyuni, Bolivia

The Palacio de Sal – ‘Salt Palace’ – on the salt flats of Uyuni, is completely constructed from salt, including most of the furniture. There’s an impressive lobby, bar and 16 rooms with private bathrooms, central heating and electricity. The restaurant’s speciality? Salt chicken, naturally.

Palacio de Sal, Bolivia

The Palacio de Sal – ‘Salt Palace’ – on the salt flats of Uyuni, is completely constructed from salt

The Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, USA

The Dog Bark Park Inn takes the term ‘dog lover’ to a whole new level. Owned by chainsaw artists, the b&b is located inside a 12-foot beagle. Guests (it sleeps four) enter the beagle’s body through the second-storey deck. It is, of course, pet-friendly.

The Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, USA

Magic Mountain Hotel, Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile

The Magic Mountain Hotel is in the Huilo Huilo reserve, which covers 60,000 hectares of Valdivian forest, and has natural hot springs, unexplored lakes and direct access to the Mocho Choshuenco volcano. Accommodation ranges from rooms in the main lodge, which has a waterfall cascading from the pinnacle of the roof, to secluded forest lodges.

Magic Mountain Hotel, Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile

The Magic Mountain Hotel is in the Huilo Huilo reserve, which covers 60,000 hectares of Valdivian forest CREDIT: CRISTABELL PALMA

Ice hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Twenty years ago the world’s first Icehotel opened in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Every November, ice from the frozen Torne river is fused with snow (‘snice’) to remake the hotel – new themed suites are designed every year. The team behind the hotel has, as of 2017, opened its first permanent hotel, ICEHOTEL 365, just opposite.

Icehotel Sweden

Every November, ice from the frozen Torne river is used to build the Icehotel CREDIT: @ASAF KLIGER/ASAF KLIGER

V8 Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany

Car fanatics will love the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart. All rooms are themed around the automobile, with features such as vintage cars, racing paraphernalia and drive-through cinemas.

V8 Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany
Car fanatics will love the V8 Hotel

Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria

Who would have thought concrete could be comfy? These renovated sewage pipes are, thankfully, clean and functional and sit on the banks of the Danube, making them a perfect post-industrial bolt hole.

Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria

Das Park Hotel is the perfect post-industrial bolthole

Hotel Marqués De Riscal, La Rioja, Spain

The Marqués de Riscal is architect Frank Gehry’s first and only hotel project, located in Elciego, in the heart of Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region. Similarly to his other projects, such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, the structure is avant-garde in its approach, using huge titanium ribbons which stand out from the surrounding vineyard. The restaurant and bar are first-class, and there’s also a separate spa wing.

Hotel Marqués De Riscal, La Rioja, Spain

The Marqués de Riscal is architect Frank Gehry’s first and only hotel project

El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas, USA

El Cosmico, in Marfa Texas, describes itself as a ‘nomadic hotel’. Types of ‘shelter’ include vintage trailers, safari tents, Sioux-style teepees, yurts and tent campsites. Though this isn’t as slapstick as it sounds: design is at the forefront of El Cosmico. Liz Lambert, the owner, also owns two boutique hotels in Austin and one in San Antonio.

El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas

Types of ‘shelter’ at El Cosmico include vintage trailers, safari tents, Sioux-style teepees, yurts and tent campsites

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, Huzhou, China

Nicknamed the ‘doughnut hotel’, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is on the Taihu Lake inbetween Nanjing and Shanghai. The magnet-shaped hotel was conceived by architect Ma Tansong, who has worked with Zaha Hadid in London and is responsible for the rippling Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The 27 floors above water, and two below (to create a complete oval) feature luxury trimmings, including a lobby paved with White Jade from Afghanistan and Tiger’s Eye Stone from Brazil.

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, Huzhou, China

The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is nicknamed the ‘doughnut hotel

Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The façade of this hotel is made up of nearly 70 stacked houses – from labourers’ cottages to town houses – which are typical of Amsterdam. Rooms are inspired by local history and there’s also a spa with a pool, Turkish steam bath and Finnish sauna.

Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn, Amsterdam
The façade of Inntel Amsterdam Zaandamn is made up of nearly 70 stacked houses

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

Built on a hillside on the Arctic Circle, the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, a resort of cubic chalets with wide north-facing windows, is an ingenious solution to combining snug comfort with Northern Lights viewing, as well as being a great base for other Arctic pursuits.

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, a resort of cubic chalets with wide north-facing windows, is an ingenious solution to combining snug comfort with Northern Lights viewing CREDIT: ANTTI KUROLA/ANTTI KUROLA

Ariau Amazon Towers, Manaus, Brazil

Guests awake to the screeching of primates and dazzling birds of paradise at this eco-friendly retreat, set high among the Amazon tree tops. Rooms include private balconies from which to marvel at the world’s largest tropical forest. Other facilities include treetop swimming pools, restaurants, bars and five miles of canopy-skimming walkways.

Ariau Amazon Towers, Manaus, Brazil

Guests awake to the screeching of primates and dazzling birds of paradise at this eco-friendly retreat, set high among the Amazon tree tops

Good Hotel London, England

An erstwhile Dutch detention centre has docked in London. Inside it’s a study in counterculture-chic: think a concrete palace of up-cycled furnishings, where guests in oversized headphones play with complimentary iPads and fork at plates of okra and chips. Expect a sun-snaring rooftop bar and stupendous Thames views.

The Good Hotel, London
An erstwhile Dutch detention centre – now trendy hotel – has docked in London

The Caves, Negril, Jamaica

The Caves enjoys a stunning cliffside location in Negril. Accommodation is comprised of just 12 variously configured, secluded cabins set in jungle-like gardens at the top of the cliffs. The caves themselves are used for private cande-lit dining — a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Caves, Negril, Jamaica
The Caves enjoys a stunning cliffside location in Negril CREDIT: (C) ISLANDOUTPOST/ISLAND OUTPOST IMAGES

Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield, UK

The Crazy Bear’s unique rooms take inspiration from the Moulin Rouge, Las Vegas and planet Mars, and are stuffed into the oldest and most historic building in Beaconsfield. Other bizarre features include a staircase decorated with foliage painted in 24-carat gold leaf, Persian pony skin on the walls of the bar, dripping chandeliers, a creepy mirrored chill-out room and loos that are deliberately unmarked.

Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield, UK

The Crazy Bear’s unique rooms take inspiration from the Moulin Rouge, Las Vegas and planet Mars

Dream Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

Just one of a number of cave hotels in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, the Dream Cave features rooms built inside the famous ‘fairy chimneys’ (rock formations).

Dream Cave, Cappadocia
Dream Cave features rooms built inside the famous ‘fairy chimneys’

Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada

Set among the trees of the west-coast rainforest on Vancouver Island are handcrafted, UFO-like spheres made from cedar, Sitka Spruce and fibreglass. The three globes are tethered to the trees with ropes, and sway gently in the breeze.

Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada

Set among the trees of the west-coast rainforest on Vancouver Island are handcrafted, UFO-like spheres made from cedar, Sitka Spruce and fibreglass

Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

The Costa Verde team have transported and refurbished a 1965 vintage Boeing 727 airframe to create a fantastic, two-bedroom suite. The structure is set out on a concrete plinth that juts 50 feet into the jungle canopy and furnishings are hand-carved teak. The rear bedroom also has a handcrafted deck atop the wing.

Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

The Costa Verde is set out on a concrete plinth that juts 50 feet into the jungle

The Boot Bed’n’Breakfast, Tasman, New Zealand

The giant boot guesthouse, created by Steve and his partner Judy in 2001, is wonderfully eccentric. The curved walls and ceilings means everything has been custom made. There was an old lady, who lived in a shoe…

The Boot Bed’n’Breakfast, Tasman, New Zealand
This giant boot guesthouse is wonderfully eccentric CREDIT: CHOCOLATE DOG PHOTOGRAPHY/NEIL SMITH

Winvian, Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, USA

This beautiful, 113-acre boutique resort in Connecticut is made up of 18 individually designed cottages. They range from the whimsical helicopter cottage, based on a Coast Guard chopper, to the neoclassical ‘Secret Society’, a high temple to romance. Other cottages include the more classic Library, Woodlands and Beaver Lodge.

Winvian, Connecticut
This beautiful, 113-acre boutique resort in Connecticut is made up of 18 individually designed cottages CREDIT: ©KINDRA CLINEFF/KINDRA CLINEFF

Hippo Point, Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Hippo Point is an exclusive wildlife estate sitting on an isthmus between Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloidean. Due to its perfect microclimate, more than 350 species of bird and 1,200 resident animals roam the grounds, including buffalo, giraffe, zebra, gazelle and, of course, hippo. The magical main house, which was build in 1932, is classically British, but the Dodo’s Folly really stands out: its eight-storey views are incredible.

Hippo Point, Lake Naivasha, Kenya

The Dodo’s Folly at Hippo Point really stands out: its eight-storey views are incredible

Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah, USA

Perhaps one of the most luxurious on our list, but also one of the most strikingly unusual is the Amangiri resort in Utah. Set deep within Canyon Point, close to the border with Arizona, the hotel blends into its dramatic surroundings. The spa is a cut above.

Amangiri, Utah
Utah’s Amangiri blends into its dramatic surroundings

Kakslauttanen Hotel, Saariselkä, Finland

Hotel Kaklauttanen is home to incredible glass igloos, from which you can admire the northen lights and starry sky. The hotel is open during northern lights season, from the third week of August until the end of April.

Kakslauttanen Hotel, Saariselkä, Finland

Hotel Kaklauttanen is home to incredible glass igloos

Hotel CasAnus, Antwerp, Belgium

One of the most unusual places to sleep on our list, art sculpture CasAnus has been designed to resemble a giant intestine. Created by Joep Van Lieshout, inside is a double bed, an electric heater, as well as a shower with hot water.

Hotel CasAnus, Antwerp, Belgium

CasAnus has been designed to resemble a giant intestine CREDIT: FOTOGRAFIEANDAVANRIET/ANDA VAN RIET

ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, Iceland

Close to Thingvellir National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, ION Luxury Adventure Hotel sits amid a landscape of mountains and lava fields. The hotel juts out from the base of a long-dormant volcano.

ION Hotel Iceland
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel sits amid a landscape of mountains and lava fields

The Woodpecker Hotel, Västerås, Sweden

Reached via sturdy but wobbly rope ladder, The Woodpecker Hotel (known locally as Hotell Hackspett) is located 13 metres up a 130-year-old tree. Dreamed up by artist Mikael Genberg (the same man behind the Utter Inn), the hotel is suspended from wires and has beautiful views across the park. It is open from April to October.

The Woodpecker Hotel, Västerås, Sweden

The Woodpecker Hotel (known locally as Hotell Hackspett) is located 13 metres up a 130-year-old tree

Hang Nga Guesthouse, Da Lat, Vietnam

Popularly known as ‘Crazy House’, this fairytale-like building is Gaudi-esque in its form. The building’s overall design is meant to resemble a tree and each room is animal themed.

Hang Nga Guesthouse, Da Lat, Vietnam
Popularly known as ‘Crazy House’, this fairytale-like building is Gaudi-esque in its form

Skylodge Adventure Suites, Sacred Valley, Peru

These aluminium and polycarbonate pods that cling to a granite slope above the Urubamba Valley are totally unique. With the night sky twinkling overhead as you sleep, you feel more like you’re staying in a spaceship than a hotel.

Skylodge Adventure Suites, Sacred Valley, Peru

You feel more like you’re staying in a spaceship than a hotel at Skylodge Adventure Suites

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