Find out more about Guest writer
9 of the world’s most unusual places to spend the night
Hotels can all look the same after a while. For a getaway with a difference, why not bed down in a boot-shaped hotel or sleep in a capsule secured to the side of a cliff?
Trust us – after reading about the following places, that luxury hotel will seem rather boring, writes Tamara Hinson.
1. Wolf enclosure, Polar Park, Norway
Price-tag: From £450 per night including breakfast
Highlights: Cosy cabin inside wolf enclosure. Visitors can experience a “wolf kiss”
Just to be clear, visitors to Polar Park’s newest attraction won’t be sleeping in a kennel or cuddling up to Norway’s fearsome canines. They can however spend the night in a luxurious cabin at the heart of the wolves’ enclosure.
The six-bedroom house can sleep 12 people and, when night falls, visitors can huddle around the fire and enjoy a talk by a local wildlife expert.
In the morning guests can opt for a “wolf kiss” which basically involves being thoroughly licked by one of the creatures. Which may or may not be your cup of tea.
2. Conestoga Wagons, Utah, USA
Price-tag: From £76 per night including breakfast
Highlights: 16 luxuriously furnished wagons which can be moved to different sites
These beautiful wagons are more luxurious versions of the ones used by gold prospectors in the 19th century. There are 16 in total, and inside the wagons guests will find luxury bed linen and huge double beds.
Larger groups can ask for the wagons to be moved to other nearby locations or placed around the campfire – the perfect opportunity for a hoedown.
There are three sizes available: couple, family and bunk, and when nature calls, guests can dash over to the nearby luxury bathhouse.
3. The Balancing Barn, Walberswick, Suffolk, UK
Price-tag: From £855 for a four-night mid-week break (self-catering)
Highlights: Created by top design firm MVRDV and kitted out with top-of-the-range appliances
Prone to vertigo? Then you might want to steer clear of this next property, which ranks as one of the most unusual houses we’ve come across.
Popular with architecture buffs, the Balancing Barn was designed by Dutch firm MVRDV and can be found in the heart of a tranquil Suffolk nature reserve.
Inside the four-bedroom property is a beautiful collection of contemporary furniture from Holland’s top designers, alongside masterpieces by local artists Constable and Gainsborough.
4. Skylodge Adventure Suites, Sacred Valley, Peru
Price-tag: From £195 per night including breakfast
Highlights: Capsules secured to the side of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Capsules contain separate bathrooms and living areas
Travellers heading to Peru’s Sacred Valley can spend the night 120 metres above the valley floor, sleeping in a capsule made from aluminium and polycarbonate.
The suites, which are attached to the mountainside with cables, are described as having a sleeping area, dining area and bathroom – although, as you’d expect, the interiors are rather compact.
We particularly love the added touch of curtains, presumably to protect guests from the gaze of passing eagles.
5. 727 Fuselage, Costa Rica
Price-tag: From £73 per night (not including breakfast)
Highlights: Restored Boeing 727 perched among the treetops in the Costa Rican jungle (self-catering)
Plane spotters have been queuing up to spend the night in this converted Boeing 727, which is perched on a 15-metre-tall pedestal – making it significantly easier for guests to spot the local sloths, toucans and monkeys.
Inside there’s a stunning spiral staircase, hand-carved teak furniture and two large bedrooms. Getting the aircraft to its current location was no mean feat – the plane, which was originally owned by Colombian Avianca Airlines, was broken apart and shipped from San Jose International Airport to Costa Rica on five trucks.
6. Human Nest, California, USA
Price-tag: From £104 per night including breakfast
Highlights: Sleep in an enormous nest created by local artist Jayson Fann and wake up to stunning views over Big Sur
Ever wanted to spend the night in a super-sized bird’s nest? We thought not – but we also suspect we might be able to change your mind.
The Human Nest is exactly what it sounds like – an enormous nest made from interwoven pieces of wood. The structure was designed by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann and it’s accessed by ladder.
Guests sleep on a mattress inside thick sleeping bags, and it’s surprisingly comfortable, although the highlight is undoubtedly the view – guests look directly out over the Big Sur coastline.
7. Karosta prison, Latvia
Price-tag: From £11 per night including breakfast
Highlights: Guests can experience life as an inmate in a former prison and rates are low
This next accommodation certainly won’t appeal to everyone, because it’s a former prison, and although the last inmates left many years ago, the newest owners are keen to provide visitors with an insight into life as a convicted criminal.
Guests pay just £11 to spend the night, although they shouldn’t plan on getting too much sleep, because they’re actually paying for an authentic “communist-era prison experience” which includes death threats, prison slop for breakfast and hard labour.
Oh and it’s apparently haunted, too.
8. The Boot, South Island, New Zealand
Price-tag: From £135 per night including breakfast
Highlights: A giant boot built by two South Island locals with a large balcony, double bedroom and living room
Despite the words of the popular nursery rhyme, it’s not just little old ladies who live in shoes. This boot – which, if real, would apparently be a size 318 – is owned by husband and wife Steve and Judy Van-Den Yssel-Richards.
Inside the boot, which was built by the couple over the course of a year, there’s a living room with an open fireplace and a double bedroom accessed via a spiral staircase.
9. La Balade des Gnomes, Durbuy, Belgium
Price-tag: From £115 per night including breakfast
Highlights: Hotel designed to resemble a Trojan Horse. Rooms are filled with stuffed animals
La Balade des Gnomes (otherwise known as the Trojan horse hotel) can be found near Durbuy in Belgium. And the name is rather apt because, amazingly, there are 10 bedrooms inside
Almost everything is made of wood – the beds have tree trunks towering above them and the interior walls are made from rows of logs bound together.
And if that sounds strange, we haven’t even got to the taxidermy part yet. That’s right – several of the rooms are filled with animals which the owner has lovingly preserved and stuffed.
Please note: All prices were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Where’s the most unusual place you have stayed? Have we missed a great place off our list? Leave a comment below to let us know.