When it comes to sleeping around the world, we have no reservations. Fancy resorts? Cheap hostels? Quirky hotels? Been there, done that. From planes and trains to a decommissioned oil rig to ice hotels and igloos, we get around, booking unique hotels that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and surroundings.
We’ve traveled to the ends of the Earth—literally—to find crazy places to sleep that are beyond your wildest dreams. Whether you’re facing a fear of heights cozying up in a crane overlooking Copenhagen, savoring a slumber at a seasonal ice hotel, or sleeping at a hotel made entirely of salt, these unique hotels are sure to leave you talking about last night.
Parked in the waterfront neighborhood of Nordhavn, TheKrane is a unique hotel and spa located in a former industrial coal crane. The bedroom is in the old engineer room at the top of the crane, affording stunning panoramic views of Copenhagen’s harbor. The one-room hotel’s amenities include a lounge in the crane operator compartment and two adjacent terraces for catching the sunrise and sunset.
Guests can lodge overnight in a giant wine barrel directly facing the vines in the famed vineyards of Domaine de Montcy in the Loire Valley.
Since 2001, Hôtel de Glace has opened seasonally as soon as subzero temps blanket the area. It takes six weeks to transform 40,000 tons of snow into the fanciful 21-room ice hotel, the only hotel in North America made entirely of snow and ice. Amenities include hot tubs, sauna, ice chapel, an ice slide, and Ice Bar.
Seaventures is a dive resort housed on a decommissioned oil rig just off Mabul. What were once sleeping quarters for oil rig personnel are now 30 unique hotel rooms with en suite bathrooms and the helipad is now a sundeck with lounge chairs, the perfect place to watch the famous Sabah sunset and enjoy a barbecue dinner after a day of diving.
Live out childhood dreams in a rustic retreat in the foothills of Puerto Rico’s El Yunque rainforest. The four-room Yuquiyú Treehouse offers “glamping” in its treehouses that each boast a balcony, designer furnishings, a granite kitchenette, and a slate bath. The hotel chef prepares daily meals made with ingredients from the property’s garden.
Not only is staying on a private island cool, but napping in a lighthouse is even more epic. Erected in 1888, Île aux Perroquets is powered by a solar and propane generator. Overnight visitors bunk in one of seven bedrooms and have exclusive access to the lighthouse, the chicken house (main lounge area), exhibits in the foghorn building, and a stocked wine cellar.
Whether you’re chasing the Northern Lights or the midnight sun, you’ll have the best view from the comfort of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort’s two- and four-person glass igloos. Classic glass igloos offer cozy comfort while the newer Kelo-glass igloos are a combination of glass igloo and log chalet made with Lapland Kelo pinewood and equipped with a private sauna and fireplace.
Sleeping in these transparent 24-foot by 8-foot capsules suspended on the side of a 1,200-foot mountain 1,312 feet above the Sacred Valley is not for the faint of heart. Guests wishing to stay in one of Skylodge’s three suites must travel by zipline or climb up Via Ferrata, but the views and bragging rights are priceless.
The aptly named The Davie School Inn was once a schoolhouse and has been transformed into an 11-room boutique inn with three luxury suites and eight historic classroom suites, each with a subject theme like geography, math, and music. Located along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, the inn is punctuated with school relics like chalkboards, globes, and school house furniture.
Located on 21-acres of desert campground, El Cosmico is a “community-lodging concept” where guests sleep in their choice of vintage trailers, Sioux-style teepees, or safari tents. Enjoy activities like stargazing and yoga as there is virtually no Wi-Fi here.
What was once a courthouse is now Clink78: Clink Hostels’ flagship London hostel in King’s Cross. Guests can sleep in an authentic 19th-century prison cell and chill out in the original courtrooms. Clink recently introduced pod beds, the first in London, that include an adjustable ventilation system, black-out curtain for privacy, and a multi-coloured mood light for ambience along with a reading light, USB port, and power sockets at the head of the bed.
Set in a lush forest, Finn Lough Resort offers a restful respite inside crystal clear bubble domes. Each of the seven domes affords 180-degree views of starry nights from four-post king beds. Breakfast is included at this adults-only accommodation.
This is one dope room where smoking is not only allowed, but it’s encouraged. One of the motel’s 11 themed chalets, Room 420 is an homage to California’s legalization of recreational marijuana. It includes an XBox, Cheech & Chong movies, a vending machine stocked with munchies, trippy blacklight posters, a record player with Burger Records, and a sunken queen bed. Guests can order breakfast and weed via room service, making Hicksville Pines a true bud and breakfast that caters to 21 and older guests (twice a year, the motel is family friendly).
Each summer, train enthusiasts can sleep in one of 10 retired Union Pacific cabooses at Waterloo Cabooses in the 302-acre Two Rivers recreation area adjacent to the Platte River. Each restored and remodeled train car features sleeping for six (two bunk beds in the rear and two beds in the cupola), air conditioning, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and outdoor picnic area for grilling.
Nestled in the lush Catskills Mountains, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls offers whimsical, bespoke accommodations that are eye-popping and jaw-dropping. Each of the property’s eight themed, theatrical, tower cottages are dramatic with features like an enormous pumpkin morphing into a golden-carriage bathroom in the “Cinderella’s Gown” cottage tower.
Perched on the end of a primitive forest on the northern end of Pemba, a remote island off the east coast of Africa, is The Manta Resort and its famous Underwater Room. The tri-level suite features a lounge, bathroom, and underwater bedroom, perfect for watching fish swim in mesmerizing turquoise waters.
Dog lovers can discover what it’s like to be in the dog house—literally—at this bed and breakfast created by two chainsaw artists. At the Dog Bark Park Inn, guests enter the world’s largest beagle from a second-story deck and can sleep in the loft room inside the dog’s head or cozy up in the alcove in the dog’s muzzle.
In an effort to bring stressed out city slickers closer to nature, Jeanna Berger designed The 72 Hour Cabin, a collection of glass cabins in Western Sweden. Each glass house is designed to de-stress and relax world’s away from city life.
An armed guard serves as your protection from polar bears while exploring the environs of Isfjord Radio Hotel, a 1930s-era coastal radio and weather station and wilderness hotel located in one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas.
Located just 30 miles southeast of Austin along Highway 71 is The Gas Station: a gas station turned barbecue joint made famous by the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fans of the film and barbecue can spend the night in The Gas Station’s tent campsite or in one of four small green cabins behind the store.
Kayak to your own private two-acre island where a domed ceiling yurt and views of the Blue Rocks fishing village await at The Private Island Yurt.
Couples and families can go off grid and enter the wild, wild west at Midwest Outdoors Resort. The roomy wagons are fitted with creature comforts like beds, heat, air conditioning, and a private fire pit.
Can’t decide between bunking in a cabin, yurt, teepee, or geodome? The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Ohio’s Hocking Hills has you covered with glamping options galore. Breakfast comes free with your stay. There’s also a spa and a tavern for dinner and drinks.
Throughout the Loire Valley, travelers can find many troglodytes (cave dwellers). Be a troglodyte for a night at the charming Amboise Troglodyte, which offers chic French interiors nestled within cool caves.
From the end of January to the end of February, Iiyama Snow Hut Village is punctuated with 15 to 20 kamakura huts created from snow. At night, the huts are illuminated by lanterns, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere. During the second weekend of February, there is a festival featuring live music, snow games, mochi cake pounding, snowmobile rides, hut making, and snowshoe walks.
Located in Oregon’s wine country, The Vintages is centrally located in Willamette Valley. The family-friendly and pet-friendly trailer resort features 35 refurbished retro trailers with 23 unique styles and luxe amenities like gourmet pour-over coffee from Caravan Coffee, cruiser bikes, a pool, and firepits.
The Cascade Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for Leavenworth Tiny House Village‘s five tiny houses. Each colorful tiny home features its own unique Bavarian theme and decor in these “glamping” style vacation rentals nestled on 300 acres of forest.
Situated on seven acres of desert landscape within 20 minutes of Joshua Tree National Park, Hicksville Trailer Palace is an 11 trailer boutique hotel surrounded by mountains. Each trailer, like the nautical-themed The Skipper, is individually designed. There’s a long list of activities and amenities at this adults-only, dog-friendly accommodation, including an arcade, BB gun range, archery, giant shuffleboard, heated saltwater pool, rooftop hot tub, firepits, tiki bar cart, and a giant ball pit.
Stunning views await at the Starlight Room in Northeastern Italy. Guests are driven by snowmobile or off-road vehicle to the secluded wooden room designed by Raniero Campigotto. Perched on a mountain, the glass walls and ceiling offer panoramic views of the sunset, stars, and sunrise.
While there, check out our guide to the Best Things to do in Italy.
The landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey is populated with ancient caves, many of which are homes and hotels like the luxurious 120-room Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel. This unique hotel boasts two pools, a spa, and restaurant.
Located on the southwest bank of Lake Biwa, Mii-dera is the head temple of the Tendaijimon Sect of Japanese Buddhism. The former priests’ quarters of the ancient temple can be rented out by groups wishing to stay the night and meditate in solitude.
Located in the Pawnee Teepee Village, guests can sleep in one of four spacious teepees. Each teepee sleeps six to eight people and has been modernized with wooden floors.
Japan is known for its compact capsule hotels that can be found at transportation hubs across the country, but few like Nadeshiko Hotel in Shibuya are female only. The cocoon-like sleeping pods feature an LED light and comfy bedding and the hotel offers amenities like a public bath, computer lounge, and laundry.
The quirkiest place to pass out at Hotel Costa Verde is the 727 Fuselage Home: a two-bedroom suite tucked inside a vintage Boeing 727. Perched on a 50-foot pedestal on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park, the suite includes a terrace with ocean views.
Located on the Point Prim peninsula, The Steeple House is a reconverted church where couples can sleep in a historic Bell Tower and relax in the screened-in belfry where the church bell used to ring.
Couples at the Domaine de la Grangée’s Square of Stars can comfortably stargaze at this cosmic accommodation in Central France. These two square suites are located in an isolated corner of a bucolic park, and each overnight stay comes with a “discovery kit” that includes a telescope so guests can explore the stars.
Moored on Skeppsholmen islet, the af Chapman is a three-mast steel ship that has been converted into a hostel that affords enviable views of Old Town and the Royal Palace.
On the shores of the majestic Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, is Palacio de Sal: the world’s first salt hotel. You read that right. This quirky hotel is made of salt—more than 1 million blocks made of salt extracted from the salt flats. It’s all held together with a paste made from ground salt and water. You’ll be salty if you miss staying here.