Unusual Places to Stay
Dom Herrera 15.05.18
Alternative thrift shop: 6 min read
First you decide on the country that you’re visiting, then you decide on the hotel that you’re staying in — that’s what most people do when planning a getaway. But, there's a great deal of unique and unusual accomodation in the world and some of which might make you re-think the way you travel.
From an ancient cave turned boutique hotel to a reconstructed Boeing 727 jet, here’s a list of luxury, quirky, and sometimes out-right weird alternative accommodation that will make you not want to leave your hotel room.
Alternative Airlines' top 8 unusual places to stay
1) Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Igloo Hotel - Photo credit: Greenland Travel
First on our list of unusual places to stay is Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort — one of the best places on Earth to marvel at the northern lights. The best time to visit is August—late April, when the aurora season is at its peak. There’s a range of activities to take part in at Kakslauttanen — from riding snowmobiles, to canoeing in the wilderness, and even a reindeer sled safari! And, If you’re the type of person who prefers to wind down on holiday, the resort’s spa boasts the world’s largest smoke sauna.
But what really makes this winter wonderland alternative vacation rental is the amazing glass and kelo-glass igloo rooms that pop out from beneath the snow. After being in minus-degree temperatures all day, there’s nothing more snug than retreating to your igloo and relaxing around a log fire with your loved-ones.
- Take me to the igloos: The closest airport to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is Ivalo Airport (IVL), which can be reached by a small number of European airlines including easyJet and Transavia. Many more international airlines fly into Helsinki Airport (HEL). From there, you can get a short domestic flight to Ivalo Airport with Finnair.
Price: $501 per night.
2) Manta Resort, Tanzania
Stay on your own private floating island with the Underwater Room at Manta Resort on Pemba Island, one of the most unique hotels around the world. The ultra-luxury room sits 820 feet away from the shore on crystal blue waters and is so isolated that it can only be reached by a short boat journey.
You can soak up the sun on the daybeds on the top floor, kick-back in the lounge on the landing deck, or go below sea-level in the submariner bedroom, where the only other hotel guests you’ll encounter are the friendly sealife that swim past the window.
Manta Resort is perfect for that special occasion — whether it be a wedding, a honeymoon or a special anniversary.
- Take me to the island: The easiest way to get to Pemba Island is to fly into Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ), Zanzibar, and then get a short domestic flight to Pemba Airport (PMA). Auric Air and Coastal Aviation regularly operate the Zanzibar—Pemba Island route.
Price: Contact hotel to get a quote (ultra-bespoke service)
3) Dog Bark Park Inn, USA
Ever wanted to live 30 feet above the ground inside a giant dog? Not really? We weren’t too convinced on the idea either. That was until we saw Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho. Set up in 1997 by local couple, Dennis and Frances, this is a dog themed hotel in which the building itself is shaped like a giant Beagle and is one of the most unusual places to stay around the world.
While your excitement levels for this hotel will depend on whether you love or loathe ‘man’s best friend’, even if you’re not a dog-lover, you can still enjoy a spacious two bedroom bed & breakfast with great service and some pretty incredible views of the surrounding area. It’s undeniably a unique place to stay. And yeah, you guessed it, it’s pet friendly — just maybe don’t bring your cat.
Dog Bark Park, USA - Photo credit: Graystock
- Take me to the dog: Boise Airport (BOI) is the largest airport in Idaho and serves a number of domestic routes with carriers Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Price: $136 per night.
4) Sextantio le Grotte Della Civita, Italy
Sleep in the candle-lit caves of Sextantio le Grotte Della Civita. This 18-room hotel is located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera, and is said to be several centuries old.
It's breathtakingly romantic with simple but stunning furnishing that complements the stone cave’s structure. What is most impressive is how the hotel has modernised itself to cater to the needs of luxury accommodation, while managing to keep its authenticity and ancient aesthetic.
- Take me to the caves: The closest airport to Sextantio le Grotte Della Civita is Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI). You’re best to fly into one of the larger airports in Italy such as Rome Flumicino (FCO) and then get a domestic flight to Bari. However, some airlines do operate international routes to Bari, such as Air Dolomiti, Eurowings, and Mistral Air.
Price: $330 per night.
5) Free Spirit Spheres, Canada
If you really wanted a treehouse as a kid but are worried that you’re far too grown-up to stay in one now that you’re an adult, don’t worry, Free Spirit Spheres has you covered. Taking ‘glamping’ to the next level, these ultra-sleek spherical rooms are suspended in the treetops in Vancouver Island rainforest. Choose between three different rooms – Eyrn, Melody, or Luna — varying in size but all equipped with double beds and beautiful furniture. You’re never too old to stay in a treehouse when they look as good as these!
- Take me to the treehouse: Many airlines operate to Vancouver International Airport (YVR), including WestJet, Sichuan Airlines, Interjet, and Air Transat. Price: $231 per night.
6) Magic Mountain, Chile
Located in the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, the unique and unusual Magic Mountain Hotel has a selection of cosy rooms decorated with wooden interior, an indoor spa, swimming pool, and a restaurant — all built into a mountain structure clothed in greenery.
While we don’t know for sure if there was any real wizardry involved in the making of this hotel, it certainly looks magical when the waterfall at the peak of the mountain flows down its verdant frame. There’s plenty of activities to do in the area as well, including trekking, water sports, and zip-lining.
- Take me to the mountain: La Araucanía International Airport (ZCO), Temuco, is the closest airport to the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. However, it doesn’t serve international flights. So, if you’re travelling from abroad, we recommend flying into Santiago first and then getting a domestic flight to La Araucanía with either JetSmart or Sky Airline.
Price: $285 per night
Photo credit: Tony GuytonMagic Mountain Hotel, Chile
7) Costa Verde, Costa Rica
If there’s one thing we love at Alternative Airlines, its aircraft. So, you can imagine our excitement when we found out about the ‘727 Fuselage Suite’ at Costa Verde hotel. The special suite is made from a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727, which apparently used to fly passengers on two of our favourite airlines — Avianca and South Africa Airways.
The suite has two bedrooms with queen-sized beds and furniture inside the vintage jet is hand-carved from Indonesia. It boasts a gorgeous view of the ocean from the terrace and it has a private entrance with a river rock spiral staircase too!
Costa Verde Plane Hotel, Costa Rica
- Take me to the plane: The closest airport to Hotel Costa Verde is Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO), San Jose. This can be reached with airlines Nature Air, Copa Airlines, and Air France.
Price: $360—$500 per night, depending on which season you visit in.
8) Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China
Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China Photo credit: John Voo
Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is a luxury hotel in Huzhou. Other than its five-star rating, 321 rooms, 37 villas, 40 suites, and extensive list of amenities, the hotel is most notable for its incredible oval-shape design, which has earned it the nickname ‘doughnut hotel’. Sitting on Lake Tai, the hotel looks particularly remarkable when it lights up at night and its reflection gleams on the stretch of freshwater surrounding it.
- Take me to the doughnut: Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) is the closest airport to Huzhou. It can be reached by many international airlines, including Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Qatar Airways.
Price: $236 per night
*Prices based on rate for 2 adults
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