Most hotel rooms, whether they’re a budget option or a luxurious five-star resort, are in essence very similar. When you slide your key card into the door, you’ll typically walk into a tidy, boxy room with one or two neatly made beds, bedside tables, a television set, a table and chairs, a desk, and a window- with a spectacular view if you’re lucky or maybe a rooftop air conditioning unit if you’re not so lucky. There’s that signature clean scent that greets your nostrils as you walk in and if you’ve been to enough hotels like I have, it becomes difficult to distinguish one from another.
The vast majority of hotels are variants of one another, but there are a few standout hotels around the world offering guests unique, unconventional lodging options. My family and I have been lucky enough to stay at one of these seven unconventional lodging options, and, upon researching others, I realized there are many more I will need to add to my bucket list! Driven by a sense of adventure, one of my greatest pleasures is experiencing new cultures and activities with my family. If you too are looking to expand your horizons and indulge your sense of adventure, consider one of these for your next vacation.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to fall asleep under a canopy of rainforest trees or you’ve never quite let go of your childhood treehouse fantasies, then you should do yourself a favor and look into one of the treehouse rooms at Caves Branch in Belize. Rooms start at $381 USD per night during advent season, or if you’re willing to spend a little more, the canopy view treehouses start at $506 USD per night. Words really can’t do justice to how spectacular these views are- check out the website and you’ll see what I mean.
Each room of the Winvian Farm hotel in Connecticut features a different eclectic theme. With five-star dining and a spa set amid 113 acres of serene woods and lakes, Winvian Farm is at once a lavish retreat and whimsical experience. Some of the 18 cottages available include a restored 1968 helicopter, a rustic cabin called “Beaver Lodge,” and a cottage modeled after a golf course.
Sleeping in what is essentially a giant, translucent bubble may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this lodging option in France offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sleep under the stars and take in the spectacular French countryside from the comforts of a furnished bubble. The plastic spheres are also eco-friendly, made from recycled materials.
You may be thinking that sounds like the name of a train, and it is! Unlike a moving sleeper train, though, the Santos Express is a stationary lodge with extraordinary views of the Santos Bay. It is an excellent option for budget travelers as well, with rooms starting around $100.
Have you ever been curious about what it would be like to live in an igloo? Cold, for sure, and maybe not the most practical long-term living arrangement, but at the IceHotel in Sweden you can experience the best of igloo living where everything from the furniture to the walls and floors, is made of ice. If you’re thinking a stay in an ice palace doesn’t sound so accommodating, think again- the hotel provides guests with expedition-style sleeping bags to keep warm, and it features gourmet restaurants and an ice bar. Because the hotel relies on frigid temperatures to avoid melting, it runs every year through the months of December to April.
For a slightly tamer igloo option, the Igloo Village in Finland simulates the experience of staying in an igloo without the frigid temperatures and actual ice. The resort’s igloo rooms are made of thermal glass walls so you can stay warm and cozy while taking in the spectacular Northern Lights.
The Free Spirit Spheres take your childhood dreams of living in a treehouse to the extreme. Embrace your inner child as you climb the spiral staircases and cross drawbridges to access your home-sweet-orb suspended 15 feet above the ground. The orbs even have names! You can choose from Eve, Eryn, or Melody. Worried you’ll be roughing it with Mother Nature during your stay? In addition to the orbs being quite comfortable themselves, the hotel provides everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay, including a heated bathhouse, cooking house, fresh linens, and complimentary snacks.
If you’re looking for a truly unique hotel stay that can’t be replicated anywhere else, then you really can’t go wrong with any one of these unconventional lodging options!