10 of the Best Bizarre Hotels in the World
Read our guide on some of the best quirky places to stay around the globe and get your passport (and your snowshoes) ready.
Ever slept in a mirrored cube suspended in a forest? How about under the Pacific in a luxury Fijian resort, or a room decked-out like a prison cell? No? Well, you're clearly missing out on quality weird hotel experiences, so read our guide on some of the best quirky places to stay around the globe and get your passport (and your snowshoes) ready.
1. ICEHOTEL, Sweden
Want to stop your hotel vibe getting stale? Why not build it anew each year, out of ice? This is what happens in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden – north of the Arctic Circle — when a team of artists create a new version of ICEHOTEL each winter, before it shifts into a free-flowing river in summer. There are some beautiful guest rooms and beds made entirely of ice (don’t worry, sleeping bags and gloves are provided) and warmer chalet accommodation. There’s even an ice church to get married in.
Image by Lief Milling. Artists: R. Harding, P. Aquilar, L. Milling
2. Crazy House (Hằng Nga guesthouse), Vietnam
This mad little gem of a guesthouse is tucked away in a remote South Vietnamese town, and looks like it’s been designed by Dali and Gaudi while binging on Alice in Wonderland. The Crazy House’s architect, Dang Viet Nga, built ten themed rooms, each based around a specific animal – tiger, kangaroo, ant, etc. – with bizarre animal models in each. To add to the whole oddball gothic fairytale, the whole place is a labyrinth of winding, tree-like staircases and engulfing mazey tunnels.
Image by Sareta Puri
3. Vliegtuigsuite Aircraft Hotel, Netherlands
Ever fancied being a pilot, but without all the troublesome flying and with some added five-star comfort? Step into the Vliegtuigsuite Hotel, at Teuge Airport, Netherlands, a 40-meter-long former active East Germany government airplane, converted into a luxury suite for two people, with Jacuzzi, infrared sauna and three flatscreen TVs. The interior is a sleek, contemporary affair, instantly appealing and with great use of the existing angles and curves of the aircraft. You can even sit in the cockpit and live out those childhood dreams.
4. Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico
Built into the grandstand of a bullfighting ring in Mexico’s San Pedro, Quinta Real Zacatecas transforms grounds formerly used for a barbaric practice into a calming and beautiful space. The hotel’s 49 suites are decorated in a tasteful, colonial style, but if you want to properly drink in the splendour of the location, opt for the Presidential suite, which features two levels and a private terrace overlooking the bullfighting ring, El Ruedo – now a restored, attractive patio area.
Image by nmarritz
5. Mirrorcube at Tree Hotel, Sweden
A hugely innovative concept based around "sustainable luxury," which sees a giant mirrored cube suspended in the trees of a remote Swedish forest. Built by top Swedish architects, the glass on the exterior of the cube blends into its surroundings by reflecting them, and allows guests to experience nature in uniquely stylish modern design. The inside is decorated with a warm, wooden touch to give a Scandinavian feel, and features a living tree in the centre. Very sci-fi in appearance, but also eco-friendly.
Image by Peter Lundstrom, WDO – www.treehotel.se
6. Hotel Pelirocco, United Kingdom
Claiming to be "England’s most rock ‘n’ roll hotel," Pelirocco is inspired by pop subculture icons, with lashings of colour, kitsch, sexy charm and bold fun. Its 19 rooms include an artful "knitted room" (with knitted breakfast and seagulls), dedications to Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dolly Parton, hip record label Rough Trade, Betty Page (honoured with a leopord print boudoir), and a saucy homage to "the dirty weekend," complete with an 8-foot circular bed, mirrored ceiling, and pole-dancing area. Go wild, that’s what it’s there for…
7. Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji
Staying on dry land? Boring. Head underwater to "the world’s first luxury sea floor eco-resort," at a private Fijian island and drink in some seven-star luxury. Still being built, Poseidon (pictured below and at top of page) will feature 25 undersea suites with huge underwater viewing walls (perfect for watching the incredible marine life of the Pacific), a bar/lounge, library, theatre and spa – all located 13 metres underwater, accessed by elevator. There’s also an equally plush on-island complex, but really, it’s all about sleeping with the fishes at this amazing resort.
Image below: Poseidon Undersea Resorts (FIJI), LLC
Image at top of page: Poseidon Undersea Resorts (FIJI), LLC
8. Propeller Island City Lodge, Germany
Created by German artist Lars Stroschen, Propeller Island is, it’s fair to say, insane, but in the best possible way. It’s essentially a huge work of uber-eccentric art, with each of the thirty rooms taking its concept to new levels of extreme: from sinister themes like the crime scene room, coffin room, jail cell room and padded green cell, to perception-melting ideas like the mirror room or a slanted room with floating bed, everything here is designed with wonder and experimentation in mind, resulting in a truly visionary hotel.
Image by nushh
9. Molja Lighthouse, Norway
Ever wondered how lighthouse keepers stay sane? Here’s your chance to find out, by sleeping in a 150-year-old, still-active lighthouse. Granted, you’re actually staying in "room 47" of Hotel Brosundet (located 400m away), and on the edge of the pretty Norwegian town of Aalesund, but it’s still quite an experience. The rooms – a bedroom upstairs, a bathroom downstairs – measure a cozy three metres across but are modern and comfortable, and you can have a gourmet breakfast brought across to you from the hotel.
Image by kjelloran
10. Whitepod, Switzerland
The brains behind Whitepod have given the igloo a contemporary and luxurious update, offering visitors the chance to stay deep within the Swiss Alps in a fantastic "geodesic structure," or "pod" to the rest of us. Each cozy and individually decorated pod (a dome-shaped tent) is equipped with a wood-burning stove to warm things up, attached bathroom and private deck to enjoy panoramic views of the Alps and Lake Geneva. And your eco-conscience can be eased, thanks to the owners’ focus on sustainable tourism.