From an accommodation made entirely of salt to a former prison building turned luxury abode, these incredibly quirky hotels are sure to tickle your fancy and trigger the travel bug in you. Enjoy a quest to the wackiest holiday havens with this list of the most unique hotels around the world, according to TripAdvisor editors.
Seaventures Dive Resort – Off Mabul Island, Malaysia
Situated about 0.7 kilometres from Mabul Island in Sabah, Seaventures is not your typical dive resort. This former exploration jack-up rig has been refashioned into a PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Resort but still maintains the charm of a working rig. Experience the resort’s famed elevator that lowers divers directly into the stunning ocean teeming with exotic marine life right below the rig.
A TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Could not be more pleased with the magic of the experience. Located majestically like a small village above the sea…”
EcoCamp Patagonia – Torres del Paine, Chile
Built in 1999, EcoCamp’s unique hotel rooms are Geodesic domes patterned after the ancient Kaweskar tribe’s huts in Patagonia. Surrounded by lush flora and striking granite peaks, EcoCamp offers guests a breath-taking view of the Torres del Paine at sunrise and sunset.
“Rugged luxury like you couldn’t imagine… The domes were cozy and perfect in size. I loved listening to the rain…,” enthused a TripAdvisor traveller.
Hotel Marques de Riscal – Elciego, Spain
Created by award-winning architect Frank Gehry in 2006, Hotel Marques de Riscal is a work of art with its inclined walls, zigzag windows, and cathedral-height ceilings. This luxurious property is a must-visit for art-lovers seeking for a contemporary retreat where design, art, gastronomy, wine, and gorgeous greenery blend seamlessly to leave a lasting impression.
According to one TripAdvisor traveller, “This hotel is not to be missed! A Frank Gehry design hotel in the magical La Rioja wine region… The experience was beyond perfect.”
Kokopelli Cave Bed and Breakfast – Farmington, New Mexico, United States
Ever wondered how our pre-historic ancestors felt dwelling in majestic rugged caves? If your answer is yes, then Kokopelli Cave Bed and Breakfast, a 1,650 square foot, one-bedroom cave home carved from a 65-million year old sandstone formation, is the place for you. This rustic abode was blasted out of a rock face and is fully furnished with plush fixtures including a flagstone hot tub for guests to soak in the dewy mountain air.
“This place was so beautiful inside… you would not believe it was a cave except for the walls – which made it so cool,” said one TripAdvisor traveller.
Malmaison Oxford Castle – Oxford, England
Located at the heart of Oxford, Malmaison Oxford Castle once housed inmates serving out sentences for crimes they committed in the 18th century after the Civil War. At present, the penitentiary cells stand converted as palatial guest rooms fit for a king. With lavish decor, grandiose interior and gastronomic offerings, this former prison turned ritzy hotel promises a one-of-a-kind experience for curious travellers.
“The gallery stairwells are still kept as a prison and the rooms you stay in are the old cells… If only the walls could talk!” exclaimed a TripAdvisor traveller.
Icehotel – Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
A spectacular art masterpiece overlooking the river Torne, Icehotel is the first and largest hotel built of ice and snow. Every winter, this evanescent hotel is intricately crafted out of ice to reflect the multi-faceted seasons in the Swedish Lapland. Embrace the cold artic climate, explore the high mountains, and marvel at The Northern Lights in this magnificent ice accommodation.
A TripAdvisor traveller described of the experience at Icehotel, “Thrill and excitement… ice sculptures, watching the amazing Northern Lights or getting involved with husky sledding or the other activities that are on offer…”
Brussels Welcome Hotel – Brussels, Belgium
Take an exciting round-the-world journey in Brussels Welcome Hotel. Every room in this unique hotel offers a different world travel experience with extraordinary and quirky ornaments to emulate each country’s individual personality. Journey to Tahiti with wild bamboo and tropical birds, explore Kenya with tribal masks and aged maps on the walls, and sojourn to India, where statues of Ganesha and Shiva perch nobly in the rooms.
According to a TripAdvisor traveller, “What a nice change from a standard sterile hotel room. The owner has travelled around the world, and each room is beautifully decorated to portray a different city or region of the world.”
Jumbo Stay – Stockholm, Sweden
On a disused runway at Stockholm airport lies one of the world’s most unusual hotels – the Jumbo Stay, a former 747 jet which serviced Pan Am, Singapore Airlines and many others before being transformed into a fun budget hostel. With quirky reminders of the aircraft’s history such as the pilot’s controls and emergency exit signage lining the walls, guests can enjoy a first-class air travel experience at a fraction of the cost.
“The cockpit suite is not just a bedroom in a cockpit but the whole upper-deck… also had access to a private terrace,” commented a TripAdvisor traveller.
Hotel Palacio de Sal – Uyuni, Bolivia
You’re in for a salty treat with the Hotel Palacio de Sal. From the walls, floors, ceiling, to most of the furniture – such as the chairs, tables and beds – this delectable hotel is constructed entirely in salt. This remarkable structure houses awe-inspiring salt sculptures and a 9-hole salt golf course designed by golf designer Christian Pensu.
A TripAdvisor traveller cheekily remarked, “Of course to prove that everything was made of salt we, like probably hundreds of others, had to lick a few objects.”
Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule Hotel- Tokyo, Japan
Bucking the trend of spacious luxury hotel suites, Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule Hotel is an unconventional tube hotel that provides visitors a restful night’s stay in a capsule equipped with comfortable amenities. The ‘Capsule hotel’ is a Japan favourite, popular among business men and tourists for its cost performance and quirkiness.
“A very odd but enjoyable experience… The bathing area is excellent, it has a large shared bath, plunge pool, sauna…,” described a TripAdvisor traveller.
For more information on these unique hotels, visit http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg.