Top 10: quirkiest and most unusual hotels in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (June 6, 2016): Top 10 most unusual hotels in the world.

For the adventurous and wacky traveler who wants to break free from daily life’s routine, a standard luxury hotel is just plain boring. If you’re one of them, or you just want something different on your next trip, then you should consider a thrilling, memorable stay in one of the following 10 one-of-kind, eye-popping hotels.

Do you agree or did you ever you stay at a weird hotel that didn’t make my list? Leave it in the comments or take my poll below.

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10. JUMBO STAY, ARLANDA, SWEDEN

Ever wanted to spend the night in the cockpit of a real, converted jumbo jet – on the ground? Here’s your chance. The plane is a used out jumbo jet model 747-212B from 1976, which was originally built for Singapore Airlines and later served with legendary Pan Am. It has been awarded a brand new, modern interior decoration, offering night guests an experience apart. It’s an exciting budget hotel for aviation enthusiasts and families with children but also caters to business people since it’s located at the entrance to Arlanda airport.

JUMBO STAY, ARMANDA, SWEDEN
JUMBO STAY, ARMANDA, SWEDEN

9. GIRAFFE MANOR, NAIROBI, KENIA

The exclusive boutique hotel Giraffe Manor is located in one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, and its timeless elegance recalls the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa. However, the most fascinating thing about the hotel is its herd of resident Rothschild giraffe who visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary. 

GIRAFFE MANOR, NAIROBI, KENIA
GIRAFFE MANOR, NAIROBI, KENIA

8. TREEHOTEL, HARADS, SWEDEN

Why not create a hotel that gives people a chance to experience nature amongst the tree-tops, while also providing a uniquely designed housing experience? These questions led Scandinavia’s leading architects to create Treehotel in Harads, where rooms are suspended 4-6 meters (13-20 ft) above ground with spectacular views of the  Lule River valley, miles of forest and a powerful river. The Mirrorcube is the hotel’s most exciting accommodation, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings. Treehotel was inspired by the film ”The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsen.

TREEHOTEL, HARADS, SWEDEN
TREEHOTEL, HARADS, SWEDEN

7. SUN CRUISE RESORT, JEONGDONGJIN, SOUTH KOREA

Located on a coastal cliff in Jeongdongjin, a tourist destination known for having the best view of the sunrise in South Korea, Sun Cruise Resort is one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations. The hotel really is a specially designed cruise ship on land. It is constructed high on the edge of a mountain, so that a stroll on the sun deck allows its guests to feel they are out at sea without suffering from motion sickness. The Sun Cruise has 211 rooms, both condominium and hotel style, a Western and a Korean restaurant, revolving sky lounge, a night club, a karaoke, and sea water pool.

SUN CRUISE RESORT, JEONGDONGJIN, SOUTH KOREA
SUN CRUISE RESORT, JEONGDONGJIN, SOUTH KOREA

6. CONRAD RANGALI ISLAND, MALDIVES

Rated ‘the most beautiful restaurant in the world’ by the New York Daily News in 2014, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s Ithaa restaurant sits 5 meters (16 ft) below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dihevi) restaurant typically seats 12, but for $11,710 a night it can be made into a spectacular suite for two. With the restaurant serving indulgences such as caviar in a six-course set dinner menu, you can expect top-notch accommodations for your one-of-a-kind overnight stay.

CONRAD RANGALI ISLAND, MALDIVES
CONRAD RANGALI ISLAND, MALDIVES


5. COSTA VERDE, MANUEL ANTONIO NP, COSTA RICA

Costa Verda is located on a coastal rainforest bluff nestled between Manuel Antonio National Park and incredible Pacific Ocean vistas that will take your breath away. The resort is home to one of the world’s most unusual suites, a refurbished Boeing 727 airframe (built in 1965), which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia). This fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage suite jets out from the jungle canopy, affording you views that will make you feel like you’re flying.

COSTA VERDE, MANUEL ANTONIO NP, COSTA RICA
COSTA VERDE, MANUEL ANTONIO NP, COSTA RICA

4. PALACIO DE SAL, SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA

Located on the banks of the majestic Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, just 25 km (15 mi) from the city of the same name, you will find the Palacio de Sal hotel, unique in its class for being entirely built with salt: walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, sculptures … everything! The hotel was created in 1998 by the wild initiative of an hidalgo man, Juan Quesada Valda, pioneer in the salt hotels worldwide. With a unique and sui generis architecture, the hotel provides its visitors a place to find a balance with nature and enjoy a pleasant and unforgettable rest.

PALACIO DE SAL, SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA
PALACIO DE SAL, SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA

3. ICEHOTEL, JUKKASJARVI, SWEDEN

Icehotel is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. Founded in 1989, it is reborn in a new guise every winter, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, 200 km (125 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. The hotel has around 150 warm and cold rooms respectively. The latter are have an ice décor and a bed made of ice which is covered with reindeer hides (you sleep in a thermal sleeping bag). The hotel also includes an ice church, ice bar, ice sculpting studio and pillar hall, in addition to two heated restaurants, lounge, four meeting rooms and two wilderness camps.

ICEHOTEL, JUKKASJARVI, SWEDEN
ICEHOTEL, JUKKASJARVI, SWEDEN

2. NO MAN’S FORT, PORTSMOUTH, UK

Built as a line of defence against enemy attacks on the Solent and Portsmouth, No Man’s Fort is the largest of three spectacular man-made forts that form the collective, Solent Forts. From the moment you catch a glimpse of the impressive No Man’s Fort on the horizon, as your private boat makes its approach, it’s impossible to feel anything short of excited. Boasting 22 luxurious rooms and suites, the real draw of this outstanding venue is the vast and varied nature of the facilities and activities on offer.

NO MAN'S FORT, PORTSMOUTH, UK
NO MAN’S FORT, PORTSMOUTH, UK

1. HOTEL MARQUES DE RISCAL, ELCIEGO, SPAIN

Since its unveiling in 2006 this masterpiece hotel created by Frank Gehry has become a highly sought after contemporary, luxury retreat. Design, art, gastronomy, wine and the lush landscape all combine to create a memorable sojourn among medieval towns in Elciego. The hotel’s luxurious interior bears the unmistakable stamp of Gehry’s design. Tilted walls, zigzag windows, cathedral-height ceilings and a host of bespoke details create the impression of accommodation as a work of art in its 43 rooms & suites.

  • Hotel website: Hotel Marqués de Riscal
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in, and late check-out).
HOTEL MARQUES DE RISCAL, ELCIEGO, SPAIN
HOTEL MARQUES DE RISCAL, ELCIEGO, SPAIN

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