LONDON, UK, 21 August, 2018 – When planning a trip, the hotel part can often be overlooked as just a place to get your head down, but what about making the hotel part of the adventure? For those travellers who want to look beyond the conventional square hotel room, TripAdvisor has revealed 10 of the best-rated weird and wonderful hotels around the world for a truly once in a lifetime stay*.
“Some of these extraordinary hotels are almost too wacky to believe, from a historic sea-fort, to a giant beagle; these offbeat properties get high traveller ratings on TripAdvisor and are ideal for travellers looking to book a stay somewhere beyond the average,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Hayley Coleman.
10 of the quirkiest hotels around the world
- Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth, United Kingdom – room rate from £499 per night
The words ‘getting away from it all’ have never been more appropriate when it comes to a stay at Spitbank Fort.This historic sea-fort-turned hotel is located in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and England, and boasts 8 luxury suites, a bar, hot pool, sauna and of course, amazing views. And the best part is you’re essentially on an island so you can party up a storm here with no fear of waking up the neighbours – what goes on at Spitbank Fort stays at Spitbank Fort!
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Was a surprise weekend break, what a great treat to such an interesting place. Picturesque sunset and sunrise if you are lucky with the weather. Perfect for those who love the coast, sea and all things nautical.”
- Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, United States – room rate 103 per night
We’ve all been in the doghouse before but probably not literally – unless you’ve stayed at the Dog Bark Park Inn that is. Affectionately known as ‘Sweet Willy’ by locals, Dog Bark Park Inn is a giant beagle shaped hotel located in Idaho and at nine metres high, the hotel is something of a landmark. Guests enter via a second story deck and will find a loft room in the head of the dog plus a cosy alcove in its muzzle.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Frances and Dennis are artists, dog lovers, and hosts extraordinaire. Out in the middle of Idaho, they have created an oasis. Everything was delightful, including the B&B and the woodcarvings. And of course, their dog, Sprocket. It was especially fun to bring my beagle to the Beagle Inn.
- Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada – room rate from £137 per night
This treehouse hotel in a rain forest on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island is all kinds of magical. Consisting of three large wooden globes suspended above the rainforest floor, the Free Spirit Spheres are accessed via a driveway that runs through the incredible trees that surround them. Once inside the spheres you quite literally feel as though you are among the branches, which you can see out of their large circular windows.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “My wife and I stayed in Eryn and LOVED it. From the moment we arrived, we were unable to wipe the grins off our faces. Staying in a sphere hanging from a tree is magical.”
- Skylodge Adventure Suites, Urubamba, Peru – room rate from £315 per night
Not one for the faint-hearted, Skylodge Adventure Suites is a transparent pod which hangs from the top of a mountain, offering the most incredible views of the Urumbamba Valley below. Not just adventure by name, it’s an adventure in itself to reach the Skylodge, as guests must scale the 400 metres up Via Ferrata or hike a trail to get there. Each suite includes four beds, a dining area and a private bathroom.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “I just descended from the Skylodge Adventure Suites this morning via zip line after an overnight stay in one of the capsules. This by far is one of the most memorable things I have ever done, and I have traveled the world quite extensively.”
- La Villa Cheminee de Tatzu Nishi, Nantes, France – room rate from £89 per night
A creation by the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, La Villa Cheminee is a nod to the nearby chimneys of the Cordemais power station, with a classic French gite sitting on top of a 15 metre high tower. Sleeping two, with a kitchen and wood-fired heater, the villa also has a garden outside with impressive views over the Loire.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “I had been waiting for our stay for a long time and it was well worth the wait. This small house perched on top of a tower has absolutely breath-taking views of the Loire and an amazing feeling of calm. We loved it, not a bad thing to say about it. The perfect cosy nest to spend a night or two in love.”
- The Aurora Express, Alaska, United States – average rate on TripAdvisor: £138
Made out of renovated Alaska railroad carriages, The Aurora Express is a bed and breakfast which sits on a hill overlooking Fairbanks, Alaska. Each carriage has been made into an individual suite with each decorated to fit a different era in the Alaskan railroad’s history.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “It is so cool to sleep in a railroad car, and besides the "wow!" impression we got from the decor, we found the details remarkable. The bed was divine--the best sleep we had out of five places we stayed on our trip. What luxurious purple sheets!”
- Silo Stay, Little River, New Zealand – average rate on TripAdvisor: £124
A hotel complex like no other, situated in Little River, a quaint New Zealand town not far from the city of Christchurch, SiloStay offers guests the opportunity to stay inside converted grain silos. Usually a grain silo would be found on a farm, filled with animal feed but here, they’re a place to get your head down for the night. The creator of SiloStay had the environment at heart when building them with sheep’s wool use for insulation, eco-boilers and showers heated with a pellet burner to name just a few of their eco-friendly features.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “This was such a fun and funky experience. Every aspect of SiloStay is about environmental respect without any level of preaching. There are just so many lovely touches.”
- Kumbuk River Eco-Extraordinaire, Buttala, Sri Lanka – average rate on TripAdvisor: £145
Set deep in the Sri Lankan jungle, Kumbuk River Eco-Extraordinaire boasts five unique eco lodges like nothing you’ve ever seen before – the main attraction being a 40-foot elephant you can sleep inside. The Elephant Villa offers two huge bedrooms and an open plan lounge on its upper deck, while the bathroom is situated on the ground floor with a tree through the middle. One for nature lovers, this hotel is on the edge of the Yala National Park, where real elephants and other wild animals can be seen.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Stayed in the Elephant and what a magical experience it was! The villa is huge, enough to sleep 8 people but it you are staying just as a couple as we were the place is exclusively yours. I loved Kumbuk River, it was very beautiful and quiet, no TV's or internet – just a place to unwind and relax and make the most of the stunning surroundings and river.”
- Treehouse Lodge, Paraiso, Peru – average rate on TripAdvisor: £479
You can’t get much more at one with nature than a stay in a treehouse built 67 feet up in the Amazon, with all manner of exotic wildlife hanging around outside. That’s exactly what you get at the Treehouse Lodge in Paraiso, Peru. There are ten luxury treehouses to stay in, all designed differently depending on the structure of the tree they sit in. Reached by a network of wooden walkways, steps and bridges guests get a true experience of life high above the jungle floor.
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “This place is amazing. Nestled in the heart of the Amazon, it’s a small piece of paradise in the jungle. As you can imagine the rooms in the treehouse are like no other hotel room we have stayed in. Comfortable, beautifully finished, mosquito nets both inside and out. The jungle is right on your door step! The showers might be cold, but they are definitely refreshing on a hot, muggy day!”
- La Balade des Gnomes, Durbuy, Belgium – room rate from £112 per night
Located in Durbuy, a 17th century town in Belgium, La Balade des Gnomes consists of 10 completely unique rooms, all inspired by fairytales and legends. Rooms include a giant Trojan horse you can actually stay in and the Macquarie Island room which has a boat for a bed which appears to float on actual water!
This TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Most unusual hotel I've ever stopped at. So much detail and design. Has to be seen to be believed as no photos do it justice. Fantastic design and construction architect must be pure genius. Each room very individual, spoilt for choice as to which is my favourite as they each have so many features.”