14 Wacky Hotels You Have To See To Believe

Holiday. Even the word makes us want to do a little in-seat dance. You book the time off work, you block it off in your diary, you book an ace hotel, and you go on to tell freaking everyone about it. Hotels, after all, have a way of making or breaking a holiday, and there’s nothing more disappointing than arriving at one, only to realize it’s a corporate snooze-fest of a tower block. Yawnnnn.

We’re not saying we need Olympic-size infinity pools and Laurent-Perrier-stocked mini-bars. We’re just saying we want, you know, vibes. Memorability. Originality. Panache. And, the 14 hotels we’re about to show you have all of that in bountiful supply. Yes, these bad boys are so creatively forward-thinking and unreal that we'd take them over a traditional resort any day of the week. 
1 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of The Castle.
The Castle, Dalian, China
Yes, a Bavarian fairy tale-like castle atop a mountain in China actually exists. Aptly titled The Castle, it’s one of the newest additions to Dalian’s luxury-hotel scene, and an extra place for the über-wealthy to add to their bucket lists.
2 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Treehotel.
Treehotel, Sweden
Fancy staying in a bird’s nest or in a UFO? At the Treehotel in North Sweden, either is a viable possibility, as guests can stay in one of six themed tree houses, which are all individually designed with contemporary decor and boast eco-friendly creds. There’s also a treetop sauna — cool!
3 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Costa Verde.
Costa Verde, Quepos, Costa Rica
Looking like a scene out of Lost but actually a real place you can stay, the 727 Fuselage Home at Costa Verde is a 1965 vintage Boeing 727 transformed into a luxurious, two-bedroom hotel suite. The structure juts out 15 meters above ground, overlooking a jungle canopy and the sea in coastal Quepos, Costa Rica. Unique enough for you?
4 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of 25Hours Hafencity.
25Hours Hafencity, Hamburg, Germany
Located in the middle of Hamburg’s newly regenerated "Habour City," 25Hours Hafencity is a quirky hotel designed to mimic a ship by architecture firm Stephen Williams Associates. The 170 "cabins" have eccentric, maritime-themed furnishings, with rope ladders up the walls, packing trunks for shelving units, and illustrations of sailors’ tattoos on the wallpaper. The hotel’s conference room is a converted shipping container, making meetings more interesting, too. Plus, there’s complimentary bike rental and BMW Minis for cruising around town in style.
5 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Adelphi Hotel.
Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
Considered the crème de la crème of Melbourne’s boutique hotels, Adelphi is super-stylish but sort of weird. Redeveloped in 2014 to be the world’s first dessert hotel (no, really), it has the smell of baking wafting through the lobby, furnishings that are chocolate-coloured, and stools designed like liquorice allsorts. Elsewhere, giant decals of a woman’s screaming face cover the walls of the bathrooms, bold monochrome zigzag carpets will make your eyes spin, and there’s a giant wire horse and cart in the lobby. Staying here is an experience you won't soon forget.
6 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Giraffe Manor.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Here, you’ll wake up wondering why your cheek feels wet, before realizing it’s a giraffe licking your face. This is the only place in the world where you can pet giraffes through your bedroom window on the second floor — and that in itself is awesome, right? Giraffes roam the surrounding land, and guests can stroll around, feeding them at their leisure.
7 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Das Park Hotel.
Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria
Sleeping in sewage pipes genuinely sounds like our worst nightmare, but remarkably, Das Park Hotel in Austria has made the concept so appealing, people actually pay for it. Making good use of someone else’s junk, the ultra-hip hotel boasts a series of cabins made from segments of giant, old drainpipes that are scattered in a public park in Ottensheim. The cabins are about two meters wide, and the only window is a circular skylight at the top — perfect for those who like their privacy.
8 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Manta Resort.
The Manta Resort, Pemba, Zanzibar Archipelago
Fancy spending the night submerged under water? Don’t worry, it’s all safe and leak-proof. At Tanzania’s unbelievable Manta Resort, a tri-level suite that floats in the middle of the sea, the master bedroom is a glass box, which is fully under water in an area of thriving coral reef off Pemba Island. Perfect for fulfilling those mermaid dreams.
9 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Faralda.
Hotel Faralda, Amsterdam, Netherlands
How’s sleeping in a crane for unusual? If industrial vibes are your thing and you like your views panoramic, here in Amsterdam you can dangle from a 50-meter-tall maritime crane, in one of three stylish suites with plush furnishings and 360-degree views. There’s even a hot tub up there, too.
10 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Backstage Vernissage.
Backstage Vernissage, Zermatt, Switzerland
Swiss architect Heinz Julen has designed a glass-fronted stunner of a hotel, which stands out on the wintery slopes of ski resort Zermatt. All of the rooms feature eclectic designer decor and are completely open-plan, so you can pretty much lie on the sofa with your feet in the bath. The Cube Lofts up top are multilevel, with mezzanines, and are, as their name suggests, cleverly designed to be cubes within cubes.
11 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Whitepod.
Whitepod, Switzerland
For a truly different ski trip, venture to Whitepod, a series of 15 cozy, igloo-like pods that are situated 1,700 meters up on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. Each one has an en-suite bathroom, wood-burning stove, and traditional Alpine furnishings, along with super-eco credentials. To help them blend into their environment, in winter they’re covered with white canvas, and in summertime they’re changed to green.
12 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
How to keep warm and cozy in ice-cold Finland in winter? Hide in an underground igloo! The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers a variety of different rooms, the quirkiest of which are the bunkers. They are built into the ground, with glass skylights — perfect for spotting the Northern Lights.
13 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Room 47.
Room 47, Molja Lighthouse, Norway
Room 47 is the undeniably exclusive suite in Norway’s Brosundet Hotel, the only one located in the lighthouse at the end of a jetty. Those who book it can enjoy extreme privacy and peace and quiet, tucked away in their own tower. Only three meters wide, the lighthouse features a circular bedroom upstairs with a custom-made bed, and a compact yet elegant bathroom downstairs. Perfect for a kooky kind of honeymoon, right?
14 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of SleepIn FÆNGSLET.
SleepIn FÆNGSLET, Horsens, Denmark
Opening in March 2015, SleepIn FÆNGSLET will offer guests an interesting and unusual experience, thanks to it being a former prison hospital. Appealing to some and probably not to others, the building has been rigorously restored into a modern hotel with 22 rooms, though the sense of its former self still very much remains. Ever wondered what it’s like to sleep in a cell?

More from Travel