25 Surprising Places To Sleep Around The World

Forget everything you thought you knew about what a hotel room should look like. There are some accommodations around the world that are less about the room itself; it’s their architecture or design that is the Instagram-worthy surprise. While the price tag might be equally extraordinary, so too, is the experience.

Whether you are cautiously planning travel for now (or the months and years ahead), the options of where to stay are endless. Some prefer the comfort of knowing they can buy out an entire hotel for their own Covid-19 travel bubble protection. Others may want a brand name with which they are familiar or a hotel that has onsite staff to oversee health protocols. Those with miles and points saved up can redeem them for an all-inclusive resort where they can hibernate in one tropical place.

Over the years, unusual hotel rooms for the adventurous traveler have been well-documented. To add to your bucket list, here are 25 more eclectic, and sometimes jaw-dropping, overnight options to pique your wanderlust.

The view from above, tree house-style

Guests can sleep under the stars in Kenya’s Loisaba Sands’ Star Beds, part of the Elewana Collection, while perched above a cliff known for active animal gatherings. A safari in Kenya is a bucket list experience, but sleeping alone on this protected platform is mesmerizing with sparkling stars and the endless savanna views framing the experience.

At Elewana Collection’s Tarangire Treetops, guests can watch giraffes and elephants from their treetop perch. These rooms are said to be among the largest in East Africa and are located in the sixth largest national park in Tanzania. The main lodge itself is encased by a thousand-year-old baobab tree.

Stateside, these five tree houses close to the Oregon Caves Monument welcome guests looking to explore the beauty of southern Oregon. Known as the Out ‘n About Treesort, it’s the perfect place for those looking to commune with nature.

In the Texas Hill Country River Region, Treehouse Utopia is a resort built entirely in the trees for that true “Swiss Family Robinson” experience. Its four tree houses, each individually decorated with the owner’s own antique collection, overlook the Sabinal River from their giant Bald Cyprus Tree perches.

Pods, tents, bubbles, and everything else

It’s not just the birds-eye views from tree houses worth exploring. Hoteliers continue to find ever-more creative places for people to spend the night. At Hoshino Resorts’ Tomamu Ice Hotel in Japan, guests slumber in warming sleeping bags in rooms created from ice. There’s an outdoor hot bath surrounded by ice and a signature ice afternoon tea service. To warm up another way, the Ice Whiskey Cellar contains 20 Japanese whiskeys.

The jungle bubble tents at Thailand’s Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort allow guests to sleep in privacy and comfort while watching the resident elephants wander by their bed. The two popular tents debuted last November and have been exceptionally popular with guests.

For more of that great outdoors feeling, head down under to New Zealand. Composed of heavy-duty glass from top to bottom, the PurePods scattered around the countryside show off the starry night sky and the indigenous plants growing beneath the structure. These solar-powered, free-standing glamping abodes immerse you in nature. Don’t worry, there’s a working bathroom with shower and toilet.

Across the Tasman Sea, these inflatable bubble tents give guests the chance to stargaze before they snooze. Bubble Tent Australia is located on a working farm in Australia’s Capertee Valley (the world’s second largest canyon). In addition to the bedroom, there’s an ensuite bathroom plus outdoor terrace and fireplace. Don’t worry about privacy as these tents are placed in isolated locations so guests can truly absorb nature.

In Norway, guests can sleep in a transparent igloo offering 360-degree views of the Trondheim Fjord in Trøndelag. The year-round Trones Eye accommodation is surrounded by cultural monuments as well as natural beauty.

If your 2020 travel plans may feel like a wreck, then why not sleep in one on your next vacation? Travelers to Namibia can sleep in a shipwreck (or at least a replica of one). Natural Selection’s Shipwreck Lodge has accommodations that are purposely designed to look like one of the many 20th century shipwrecks that already line the country’s Skeleton Coast. Wood-burning stoves and fake fur blankets coddle guests as they sleep amid these famous sand dunes.

Life on the high seas can indeed be treacherous, especially if you get seasick. Luckily, the boat suites at Melia Koh Samui in Thailand are fixed into place. They have the appearance and design of an authentic Thai-Chinese fishing boat (complete with furnished decks), but without the motion of the ocean. They also come with access to The Level lounge for complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails.

Guests of the Manta Resort can enjoy the Exotic Zanzibar experience with African Travel, Inc., including the option to sleep underwater. With an above-the-water living area and below-the-water bedroom, guests can keep an eye on the marine life from all angles.

Another option to feel like you’re sleeping underwater is Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai where several suites peer directly into the Ambassador Lagoon aquarium. They create the illusion of sleeping under the sea and come with the services of a private butler and chef.

Reef Suites in the Great Barrier Reef’s Whitsunday Islands puts guests face to face with even more underwater creatures. Glass panels on the floor add even more variety and angles for endless scenery changes.

Back above land, in San Bernardino, California, wigwams are the traditional room type at the WigWam Motel. Each one measures 32 feet tall with enough space for a queen bed and living room. It has even been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sometimes being alone in nature is just what the soul needs. Sip and slumber in this private vineyard loft at Entre Cielos Luxury Wine Hotel + Spa in Mendoza, Argentina. Rising 30 feet above the eight acres of Malbec grapes, oenophiles will be in their element.

Guests at Domaine de Montcy in the French Loire Valley can sleep in a wine barrel overlooking the vineyards, too. If you prefer not to be amid the budding grapes, the estate’s suite is another option to get some rest.

You’re alone with your thoughts while overlooking Norway’s Lysefjord at these fully-equipped accommodations known as The Bolder Sky Lodges. They blend luxury with wilderness living. Views from this vantage point are stunning no matter what time of day or night. That’s a good thing because in Norway, sometimes daytime looks like night, and nighttime looks like day.

In the heart of the Serengeti, this mobile safari camp is part of the Roving Bushtops luxury experience. Here, you see it packed aboard a mobile unit dubbed “a box on wheels” as it is towed to its next location. Soon, a team of six convert the Rover into a fully-functioning luxury tent with all the bells and whistles. A wooden deck, hot tub with lounge chairs, fully functioning bathroom, and cushy bed await.

If it’s the mobile, American pioneer experience you’re after, a night in an air-conditioned wagon at Yosemite Pines RV Resort could be the perfect road trip destination. These now-stationary covered wagons can sleep as many as six people for the ultimate glamping experience.

To cement your wild, wild west experience, try living the farmer lifestyle by sleeping in a grain silo at Abbey Road Farm in Carlton, Oregon. This bed and breakfast sits on an 82-acre farm in the state’s popular wine country.

If you’re a general fan of the industrial-chic look or the mechanics of a construction site, crane life might be for you. At Hamburg’s Hafencity harbor across from the city’s Elbphilharmonie, guests can sleep in the crane operator compartment of a renovated construction crane with glass-walled views of the city from its modern and cozy guest room and terrace.

Copenhagen has a crane of its own, known as THEKRANE, where guests can sleep in a luxury accommodation in the old engine room with views of the harbor. This one-room hotel comes with two terraces, complimentary breakfast, and (since it’s Denmark) free bikes to cycle around town.

Train fanatics will find this caboose car in Spartanburg, South Carolina to be just what the conductor ordered. Guests of The Clevedale Historic Inn and Garden can sleep in a 1947 Mack Rail caboose car converted to a guest room with its own private deck.

In Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, guests can pretend they are a train conductor at the Train Station Inn. Here, the rooms are fashioned out of repurposed box cars and cabooses and decorated with railway memorabilia. Each has a fireplace, private bathroom, and air conditioning for extra comfort (just in case the real train conductor experience is not exactly for you).


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