The Most Unusual Hotels on the Planet

From funky local foods to buildings with spooky histories, tour guides worldwide will show you some of their country’s more unusual sides. But, other than the likes of deep fried tarantula (yes, for eating!) in Cambodia, little is more curious than the following out-of-the-norm hotels. Fancy sleeping in a giant version of Fred Flinstone? Thailand’s Suan Peung Resort is for you. And what about a hotel made entirely of…salt!? Again, you’re in luck at the Palacio de Sal in Bolivia. With their stories of their country’s intriguing heritage and history, guides from England to Peru never fail to remind us that the world is full of intrigue, but these hotels do a fine job of solidifying the notion that Earth is one fantastic (and fantastically weird) place. Here’s to being adventurous in all forms of life!

Thailand: Suan Peung Resort

Sightseeing guides in Thailand will show you one memorable time as you hop from elephant-petting to snorkeling in the most turquoise waters imaginable, and they’ll also be sure to tell you that the most unusual hotel in their vicinity is Suan Peung Resort in the Ratchaburi province. At this resort, the villas are shaped like Flintstone characters, and while they serve Thai food versus dino ribs, there’s also a Bamm Bamm restaurant!

Québec: Hôtel de Glace

Sightseeing guides in Québec, like Marie Legroulx who will take you to see landmarks including the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and the Basilica Notre-Dame (the first Roman Catholic Cathedral erected north of Mexico), Andy who will take you fishing for large Northern Pike and Brook Trout on Lac Perdu, and Neil Schomaker who will take you to visit the Literary and Historical Society (Morrin Centre), as well as the beautiful Jeanne d’Arc Garden and a local Latin restaurant where you can enjoy a slice of sugar pie, prove that the area has a plethora of interesting things to do, but one additional must-see is the Hôtel de Glace and its huge snow vaults and crystalline ice sculptures. Bundle up when visiting, but do know that the thick snow walls keep the Hôtel de Glace well insulated; no matter how cold it is externally, inside the hotel, the ambient temperature varies only by a few degrees between -3°C and -5°C (26°F and 23°F). Also, while the beds have a solid ice base, they are topped with thick mattresses and blankets, and guests sleep in arctic sleeping bags.

Bolivia: Hotel Palacio de Sal Hotel & Spa

From exploring the lovely Bohemian district of Santa Teresa in Brazil to visiting the world-famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu with Yure Chavez, South America offers countless sightseeing and adventure activities. But while you’re in that part of the world, we also recommend popping into Bolivia’s Hotel Palacio de Sal, a resort that, from the walls, floors and ceilings to many of the chairs, tables, beds and sculptures, is built entirely of salt! Sightseeing guides in Brazil and sightseeing guides in Peru may be able to show you some of South America’s most stunning landmarks — both natural and man-made — but once your memorable guided tour comes to an end, head over to the Hotel Palacio de Sal for yet another phenomenal experience.

Netherlands: Hotel De Vrouwe van Stavoren

Wine-lovers and wine guides worldwide will get a kick out of this: a boutique hotel boasting four rooms remodeled from real 14,500-litre wood containers that, at one point, stored delicious wine. Sightseeing guides in the Netherlands will show you the Western European country’s main attractions (as well as those that are off the beaten track), but after biking and walking around the city, nothing will feel as good as spending the night in…a wine casket. Guides like Bram Nijenhuis (he’ll take you on a memorable cruise down canals that pass by some of the country’s oldest houses) and Ana Rodriguez Giles (she’ll show you Amsterdam’s hidden inner courtyards, Dam Square — the old centre of Dutch social and political life — and the Canal ring, where you will learn about the antique waterways) will leave you feeling fulfilled with respects to your Dutch adventures, but your trip to the Netherlands will be that much more complete after staying at the Hotel De Vrouwe van Stavoren; after all, who wouldn’t feel wholly satisfied after experiencing perks like smelling yummy Beaujolais all night?

Kenya: Giraffe Manor

Sightseeing guides in Kenya will show you giraffes in the country’s breathtaking wild, but at the Giraffe Manor, you can experience the animal in your dining room too! With Clifford Langatt, you can go on a 3-day Mara Nakuru Tour that will take you through the Rift Valley and into Masai Mara, Kenya’s world renowned game reserve, and with Martin, you can explore the fascinating Hell’s Gate National Park near Lake Naivasha, and taste local cuisine and mingle with locals at, you guessed it, a local restaurant, but if you want to experience something a little more bizarre,  be sure to check out Giraffe Manor; there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

Germany: Propeller Island City Lodge

While sightseeing alongside Berlin’s skilled guides, you will struggle to pinpoint your favorite landmarks — Berlin is so packed with beauty and history, it’s virtually impossible to select one favorite spot in the city — but when it comes to picking the top hotel, it’s easy: the one-of-a-kind Propeller Island City Lodge. Walking tours in Berlin will show you stunning old and new works of art, but art guides worldwide would go gaga over the art inside Propeller Island City Lodge; none of it was bought — it is all made by patrons — and it is all authentic, functional, and not plastic or papier-mâché. Sightseeing guides in Berlin will show you many of the city’s top-voted highlights, and with tourists now raving about the novelty works inside Propeller Island City Lodge, this hotel may just be worth detouring to.

Latvia: Karosta Prison

Haunted ghost tour guides will show you your fair share of spooky buildings, but if touring a ghostly place isn’t enough, perhaps you’d better head to Latvia to stay in Karosta Prison, a former prison where many prisoners actually died after being shot in the head. Curious as to what it would be like to be a prisoner? This is the hotel for you; for as long as you’d like, you can stay in what used to be real prison cells, which the iron beds and bars will constantly remind you of. You will even be served meals the prisoners used to eat! Warning: this hotel is not for the faint-hearted; after signing a contract stating that you agree to follow the “prison’s” rules and be treated (and insulted!) like a prisoner, you will be forced to obey the “prison guards,” and if you don’t, you will be put through grueling physical exercises, or you will be made to help clean the property!

Australia: The Old Mount Gambier Gaol

Like Karosta Prison, The Old Mount Gambier Gaol is a converted prison, but unlike Karosta, it is a friendly, non-prison-like accommodation; for one, there are no acting prison guards or penalties, and two, if you’re squeamish about staying in former cells, you can opt for a former warden’s office. Sightseeing guides in Australia will take you to paradisiacal beaches, charming wineries and wildlife parks brimming with creatures of all sorts, but if you want to experience first-hand a piece of Australia’s past, book yourself into The Old Mount Gambier Gaol.

Austria: Dasparkhotel

Austria’s sightseeing guides, like Rob Pearce who will take you on a stunning 1939m bike ride from Kitzbühel to Penglstein, passing by rivers and lakes and through vibrant green valleys, and Vlastimil Kotyk who will take you biking along pleasant wine trails and wine tasting in a Chateau’s wine cellar, will give you a visually pleasing tour of the quaint European country, but if you’re on the market for something more cutting edge for rest, try Dasparkhotel where the rooms are sections of large concrete drainage pipes. Why, you may be wondering, did an architect decide to turn a drainage pipe into a hotel? Well, the answer is pat-on-the-back worthy: he wanted to create something minimalistic that made economic sense. His goal: to please on-the-go travels who simply want basic accommodations to crash for the night in. In Austria, Vlastimil will treat you to the area’s top wines, and to balance out their complexity, try spending a night at simple-as-can-be Dasparkhotel!

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