Weird, wonderful and unusual hotels

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For most travellers, a hotel is an essential part of any getaway; look carefully and there are some very unusual ones to stay in.

From renovated train stations to luxury tree houses, unusual hotels throw some variety into the mix on holiday.

If you’re looking to stay somewhere a little out of the ordinary, the sky’s the limit. Whether you’re after a Beatles themed hotel in Liverpool or an Ice hotel to keep warm in the cold Swedish winter, there’s no shortage of choice in the world’s best destinations. And thanks to their increasing popularity, unusual hotels are becoming more and more affordable to the average traveller.

The most unusual hotels in the world

If you want to spend some time holed up in a hotel room that’s anything but ordinary, guides like the Guardian’s World’s Most Unusual Hotels in Pictures and Escape Normal’s 100 most unique hotels offer a good overview of what’s out there. A few of the highlights:

Ice Hotel, Sweden – Sweden’s famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi is the largest of its kind in the world. It’s open year round to visitors and offers a unique sleep on an ice bed covered in thermal blankets and animal pelts. While not necessarily the ultimate in luxury, this hotel certainly offers a once in a lifetime experience.

Neemrana Hotel , India – The gorgeous converted palace hotel of Neemrana was first built in the 15th century but fell into disrepair until the late 1980s when it was restored and converted into a luxury hotel.

V8 Hotel, Germany – Classic car lovers will find a sanctuary at Stuttgart’s V8 hotel.  Each room is themed and guests have the opportunity to sleep in a converted Mercedes, Cadillac or VW Beetle.

Hotel Pilatus Klum, Switzerland – So remote it’s only accessible by cable car, the Hotel Pilatus Klum offers fresh mountain air at 7000 feet. There’s a large terrace where you can see the stars and even a gourmet restaurant to enjoy freshly prepared meals at this remote altitude.

Verana Hotel, Mexico – Experience simple luxury at the stunning Verana hotel and spa. The closest beach you can get to is Boca de Tomatlan – from there it’s a 30 minute boat ride to the coast of Yelapa, where mules will be waiting on the beach to carry you up the hillside to the hotel.

Book a one of a kind stay

Even the most unique independent hotels will offer deals and can be found on booking websites so don’t be afraid to look for the best deal. If you’re travelling close to home, Visit England has put together a list of the most unique hotels in the country, and Alastair Sawday’s is filled with what it calls ‘special places to stay’.

When it comes to unusual hotels, the most difficult part is finding them – you can search for unique holiday spots around Europe and beyond on Unusual Hotels of the World recommended by travel experts.  Other guides like Weird and Wonderful Hotels give a brief overview of the types of accommodation available and provide links directly to the hotel so you can book.

As unique accommodation becomes more and more popular with travellers it also means there’s high competition – to avoid disappointment plan and book your stay well in advance and try and stay flexible about dates. Small and unusual hotels often book up quickly and some even have waiting lists to be prepared with a backup just in case.



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