Next time you’re searching for a spot to rest your weary head, try one of these fascinating hotels that offer a unique — and sometimes bizarre — getaway. We’ve gathered a group of compelling accommodations for your perusal. They range from exotic locales where beds are nestled inside caves or mines, to contemporary spaces that boast conceptual designs more akin to an art installation than a Holiday Inn. Head past the break to check in to twelve strange hotels around the world.
Architecture meets fashion in The Exchange where students at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute have designed the 61 rooms in diverse and imaginative ways. Each space in the hotel has essentially been outfitted like a tailor’s dummy or runway model, dressed to suit a variety of styles. The hotel is part of an urban-renewal project, allowing the upcoming fashionistas a place to hone their skills.
Located on a private island in Fiji, the Poseidon Resort offers guests a chance to spend the night 40 feet underwater. The gorgeous luxury accommodations are reachable by an elevator, which sounds a tad terrifying and like some kind of magic trick. Rest assured: it’s impossible to see into the glass-encased rooms during the daytime, but there’s also a privacy screen available. The whole setup sounds a little Lovecraftian, so if you hear your fellow guests chanting, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!” try to make a run for it, or just pledge allegiance to the Old Ones while you still can.
Welcome to the Dog Bark Park Inn, where you can rest your head next to a 12-foot beagle statue named Toby carved by artists and owners Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin. Sweet Willy is the little (but still big) guy you see pictured above. He houses a cozy bed and breakfast suite. The Idaho accommodations are a throwback to roadside Americana blended with the owners’ folk art sensibility.
Located inside an old mine in Sweden approximately 500 feet below the ground, the Sala Silvermine is an underground getaway with a historical slant. Your stay includes a guided tour of the caves, and an intercom radio to communicate with staff above ground who are available throughout the night. The mine is chilly — usually around 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit — but the experience is certainly one to remember.
Only 8 feet wide, the world’s smallest five-star hotel — Eh Häusel (Wedding House) in Amberg, Germany — is a narrow space tucked between two larger buildings that can only accommodate one couple at a time. In other words, New Yorkers and other big city dwellers will feel right at home. Built in 1728, the luxury hotel was originally used as a place of temporary residence for lovebirds that wanted to marry. The law required all married couples to own a home, so after several weeks of newlywed bliss the property would be sold to a new duo who occupied it until their vows became official. [Image credit: Rode/Sommer]
For the geologically inclined, the Yunak Evleri is an exotic hotel located in the ancient village of Urgup in Turkey. There, visitors can stay in one of several caves dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. The entire building has been carved into a mountain cliff, providing an easy way for guests to explore the historical region of Cappadocia — the location of several underground cities.
The Tianjin Aircraft Carrier Hotel
China’s Tianjin Aircraft Carrier Hotel is a former Soviet military aircraft carrier — known as the Kiev, built in 1970 — located at Bagua beach. Retired from a military theme park in its later years, the multimillion-dollar redesign’s retro, swank interior could easily make you forget that you’re sleeping inside a decommissioned steel monstrosity. [Image credit: REUTERS / Jason Lee]
Billed as a “temporary, comfortable, uncomplicated home,” the Dasparkhotel is built inside a giant repurposed drainpipe. The concrete sleeping quarters operate on a “pay as you wish” system that is open to the public. Showers, food, and other amenities are available nearby, which is part of what makes a stay at the Dasparkhotel akin to living inside an art installation for the night.
The Asakusa Capsule Hotel
Capsule hotels are a familiar accommodation in places like Japan. This particular compact space belongs to the Asakusa Capsule Hotel in Tokyo. Costing around $30 per night, the capsule includes a control panel that operates an alarm clock, TV/radio speaker, light, and a panic button — in case you start to have an anxiety attack about sleeping in what probably feels like a coffin. [Image credit: yesicanusechopsticks]
Innovative, cool design is a priority at nhow Berlin, where musicians and other creatives gather. The Pop Art-inspired hotel’s exhibition space, rotating DJs, panoramic views, venue for live concerts, and other artist-friendly modifications are state-of-the-art. nhow prides itself on being a hip urban mecca that offers a truly unique hotel experience.
Incorporating a room within a room concept, Germany’s Hüttenpalast Hotel hosts guests inside a small-size sleeper caravan that allows people to set up camp indoors instead of roughing it on the outside. The campers are modestly, but elegantly designed, and completely retro-inspired.
Converted from a German prison, the Alcatraz Hotel allows its guests to stay inside the compound’s original prison cells that have been minimally decorated with the basic essentials. A nearby Japanese garden offers a reprieve from the bars on the windows and spy hole in the door where your meals are served — hopefully not your last.