What’s most exciting part of your trip? Well, of course, some of you may say it’s the entire trip itself or maybe for some the destination where you are supposed to holiday is more exciting than anything else. But there’s something, the thought of which tickles our excitement the most. It’s our accommodation on our trip, isn’t it? Our hotel on our holiday elevates us in many ways. First of all, even though for a few days or even hours, it’s supposed to be our home away from home. Moreover, isn’t the thought of everything being so spick-and-span, and where everything is just an intercom call away so relieving?! A stay at any hotel is a luxury in itself.
Have you ever travelled somewhere just for staying at a particular hotel? Well, it seldom happens that our hotel turns into our destination. However, once you have read this blog, it may happen quite frequently! Wondering how? What if we tell you, that on your next trip, you are to stay under water or sleep under the stars or stay in a cruise ship, that’s not in the seas or even stay at a desert palace constructed of salt or even check-in at an upcycled Boeing 727!!! Well, we aren’t joking at all! If you are one of those adventurous travellers, who wants to break free from mundane life, it’s time you looked beyond a standard luxury hotel. If you are looking forward to adding a truly ‘out of this world element’ to your next international tour package, we bring to you some real eye-popping, weirdest and unique hotels around the world, that will redefine ‘stay’ for you. So, here’s a list of 10 offbeat hotels around the world, that will leave you awestruck and pack excitement and whimsy into your holiday. We are sure, once you check out the list of these usual hotels of the world, you just can’t wait to check-in!
1. The Muraka at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort
We all were simply amazed after seeing where ‘Shakaal’ in the movie ‘Shaan’ was residing, weren’t we? Since then, staying deep under water has been quite intriguing for all of us. There’s a place in the world, where we can in fact put a full stop to all our curiosities by actually getting to fulfil our lifelong dream of sleeping on the ocean floor! That’s as true as it can be! Head to The Muraka at Conrad Rangali Island Resort in the Maldives to know how.
The Muraka, is a first-of-its-kind, luxury two-level residence with a master bedroom submerged over 16 feet below sea level in the Indian Ocean. The full, glassy immersion in the Maldives’ mesmerizing ocean life is The Muraka’s most impressive feature. It’s indeed an extraordinary place to stay, which truly delivers a unique and out-of-this-world experience. Over here, you can either enjoy a private seaplane arrival or can even travel from the main resort by a private speedboat. Further, get escorted along The Muraka jetty by your personal island host. While above water, you enjoy, private 24-hour butler and private chef service, on-call fitness trainer, spa treatments and private jet skis, beneath the ocean you enjoy your private aquarium and architectural masterpiece that includes a master bedroom with a 180-degree curved acrylic dome, floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and walk-in closet and a dedicated tunnel viewing theatre.
Are you just thinking, indulging in the last word in luxury like this one would cost a bomb? Well, you couldn’t be more correct. However, that shouldn’t put you off at all. If not staying, there are also options of having just a meal at Conrad’s undersea restaurant, named ‘Ithaa’. If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives sometime soon, let diving into this underwater fantasy be on your bucket list!
2. Giraffe Manor, Kenya
How about having some long-necked friends poking their necks into the windows of your hotel room?! Well, we aren’t referring to your human friends, we are talking about Giraffes and that too for real! The very exotic Giraffe Manor in Kenya is the place where you can have the privilege of not just welcoming these very special guests but also ‘extending’ your hospitality by feeding them. This exclusive 12-room boutique hotel, is one of the most unique hotels in the world. With its elegant interiors, beautiful garden, delightful courtyards, and all in all an eternal elegance, Giraffe Manor transports you to the past, in the times when European visitors first flocked East Africa to enjoy safaris. And rightly so, since this elegant heritage property, located at an elevation of almost 6,000 feet was built back in 1932.
Giraffe Manor is home to a herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes who are fond of stretching their long necks in to the hotel’s large windows for a snack. And worry not! Every guest room is stocked with giraffe food and the employees at the hotel teach each guest how to feed giraffes, so that you are well trained in the art before you actually go on to nourishing the giraffes appropriately. The resident giraffes visit every morning and evening, in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.
3. Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica
Costa Rica in Central America is one of the nature’s havens and a treasure trove of rich flora and fauna. Renowned around the world for being an ec-tourism destination, there’s a hotel in the country that houses a very usual accommodation facility that’ll tickle your urge for some wackiness and satiate your need to experience something out of the box. Well, while we may not be as fortunate as Sir Richard Branson when it comes to owning a fleet of airplanes for ourselves, but there’s one hotel in Costa Rica where you can definitely have an entire airplane for yourself and stay in it for as many days and nights you wish to.
Hotel Costa Verde, which is located amidst rainforests nestled between a national park and the stunningly blue Pacific Ocean, houses one of the world’s most unusual hotel suites. It’s a refurbished and upcycled Boeing 727 airframe (built in 1965), which once belonged to Avianca Airlines of Colombia, and now has been turned into a two-bedroom meticulously detailed luxury suite. The suite rests on 50-foot-tall supports and its windows offer jungle and ocean views throughout the plane that indeed make us feel like we’re flying. Hotel Costa Verde surprises you yet again at El Avion, the hotel’s restaurant and pub, which is housed in a C-123 Fairchild cargo plane that played a part in the Iran-Contra Affair of the 1980s. Anyone staying at this completely unique getaway is sure to fly high!
4. Book and Bed Tokyo, Japan
Are you a book lover up to that extent that you eat, drink, and sleep only books?! Book and Bed Tokyo in Japan is then made just for you! More hostel than hotel, Book and Bed Tokyo has been designed and is a haven for bibliophiles. Visit here and you would easily mistake it for a bookstore. Mind you, though it is one, it doesn’t stop there. It has something more which you only realise when you slide open a bookshelf and reveal a cozy nook with a simple bed, reading light, and electrical outlet.
Unabashedly bare-bones, 30 stacked cubbies, each big enough for one person, are available behind the shelves filled with 3,000 titles in Japanese and English. Books even hang from the ceiling and visitors are welcome to read whatever they would like, whenever they would like. The couches in the area outside of the bookshelves provide a communal reading and gathering area. Book and Bed Tokyo is truly an ‘accommodation bookshop’ and essentially a library that guests can read in until the words blur into dreams.
5. Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
As school kids, we all were taken to salt pans for showing from where exactly the salt in our food comes from. However, have you ever imagined staying in a house completely made up of salt?! Sounds straight out of fiction, doesn’t it? But only until you visit Hotel Palacio de Sal in Bolivia! This 48,500-square-foot luxury hotel in the middle of the Bolivian desert where walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, sculptures … just everything is made entirely of salt from the famous Salar de Uyuni – the planet’s largest salt flat and an outwardly white-desert destination. This sodium-themed property sits at an elevation of 12,000 feet, and apart from the wackiness of the hotel, yet another biggest draw for travellers is the Zen-like expanse of the largest salt flat in the world and its star-filled sky at night.
With its truly out-of-the-world concept and unique architecture, the hotel provides its visitors a place to strike a perfect balance between nature and pleasures of an unusual yet comfortable hotel stay. One can certainly rest assured of some real ‘sweet’ dreams in this hotel that’s made of ‘salt’!
6. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Back in our school days, weren’t we absolutely amazed to learn about the Eskimos and their Igloos in our Geography class?! The very thought of how do they crawl into their houses which is made up completely of ice was oh-so-interesting, wasn’t it? The world has evolved over the years since our childhood and now we are living in the times when we can actually spend a night in a real-life Igloo, yes, even if we aren’t Eskimos!
Head to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland, which is 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle for this experience of a lifetime. This world-renowned Arctic Resort is best identified with its rows of glass-domed ‘Igloos’, which make for a perfect place to take in the unobstructed enchanting beauty of the Northern Lights and the Lappish wilderness from the comfort of your own private hideaway. Moreover, if you are looking for an authentic igloo experience, opt for one of the resort’s actual snow Igloos. Truly, one of the coolest hotels around the world, quite literally, isn’t it?
7. Ottoman Cave Suites, Turkey
We all have seen the iconic image that is always associated when it comes to tourism in Turkey - A sky full of hot air balloons with a backdrop of huge rocks with crater-like formations on them, resembling moon land. The iconic picture is of magical Cappadocia in Turkey, which houses the very unique and special Cave Hotels.
Of the many unusual hotels carved right into Cappadocia’s ancient stone, the one which really stands out is Ottoman Cave Suites. Located in a town called Goreme, Ottoman Cave Suites is dramatic. As clearly evident, the name of the hotel derives from the ancient Ottoman Empire in Turkey and therefore, the hotel houses Ottoman-themed rooms that feature velour furnishings and Turkish art. The distinguishing feature of the rooms is the scalloped stone walls and ceilings of cool, hollowed-out volcanic stone. So, if you have held that Flintstones fantasy very close to your heart since you were a kid, it’s time you caved into the temptation at one of these very different hotels in the world - Ottoman Cave Suites in Turkey.
8. Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho
Are you a die hard Dog fan? There’s an accommodation facility in Idaho in the USA for you to celebrate your love for dogs. Dog Bark Park Inn is a quirky and whimsical two-bedroom bed and breakfast accommodation that is shaped like a beagle and is in fact the World’s Biggest Beagle, lovingly known as ‘Sweet Willy’ by local residents. Over here, everything inside is over-the-top dog-themed, including the pillows, the bedrest, the books, the cookies, the board games and puzzles, the curtains, and the canine chainsaw art, handmade by the property’s welcoming owners.
Dog Bark Park Inn is certainly among the topmost fun and exciting places to stay and one of the most interesting hotels in the world. The entire set up is so exciting that it readily tickles the child within us. Guests enter the body of the beagle from and private 2nd storey deck. Inside and up there’s another level to the head of the loft room with additional sleeping space and a cosy alcove in the muzzle of the big beagle. What’s more, you can also get your own doggy along with you on your stay at this doghouse. Already imagining, what a surprise will it be for your pooch?!
9. Santos Express, South Africa
Are you one of those train buffs, a railway enthusiast who has travelled the length and breadth of the country on rails and is deeply in love with the engines and tracks?! Head to one of the most unique hotels around the world - The Santos Express in South Africa (a 1920s passenger train), that lets to stay on board, with all comforts and amenities, while the train stands permanently parked next to Santos Beach, Mossel Bay on the world-famous Garden Route. The cherry on the cake is Santos Beach itself, which is one of South Africa’s premiere Blur Flag beaches, known for its swimming, whale-watching, boardwalk shopping, and activities such as scuba diving and surfing.
A popular landmark of Mossel Bay since 1994, The Santos Express offers a variety of accommodation options with some spectacular sea and mountain views. While there are passenger cars with double views, there’s also a car with bunk beds for large groups and budget travellers. Honeymooners can opt for the special Honeymoon Caboose that has a private porch facing the ocean, whereas families and couples wanting to have a whole car to themselves can go for Royal Suite cars, which are just perfect for them.
10. Sun Cruise Resort, South Korea
Cruises sail in the seas and oceans. But have you ever seen a cruise ship on the land… Leave alone the land, on a cliff?! Sounds quite wacky, isn’t it! Sun Cruise Resort located on a coastal cliff in Jeongdongjin South Korea turns this real quirky fantasy into reality. Known for having the best view of the sunrise in the country, the resort is one of South Korea’s biggest tourist destinations.
Sun Cruise Resort 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 resort features 211 rooms, both condominium and hotel style, a Western and a Korean restaurant, a revolving sky lounge, a night club, a karaoke, and a seawater pool. All in all, a perfect place for your weird and wacky hotel dreams to set sail!
So, these were top 10 unusual hotels around the world, which, needless to say, have left you awestruck, haven’t they? Having said this, mind you, this isn’t an exhaustive list of offbeat and unique hotels of the world…. There a many more, with each one taking you by surprise more than others. Someone has rightly said, ‘Weird is a side-effect of awesome’. Veena World Customized Holidays can recommend and book for you some of the weirdest and wackiest hotel properties around the world. And it’s in such places that you realise, ‘Reality is indeed stranger than fiction’. After all, weird and wacky is always different and beautiful, isn’t it?
Celebrate Wackiness! Celebrate Life!