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There’s no shortage of accommodation options available for the modern day traveller, so why choose a stock-standard hotel when you can experience something that’s truly out of this world?
TID’s travel safety specialist, Phil Sylvester explores the wackiest hotels from around the globe and travel tips for exploring the city’s they exist in.
We started with the best and for good reason – there’s nowhere wackier than Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin. ‘Hotel’ barely covers it.
A reservation at the Propeller Island City Lodge is like staying in a work of art. The 30 rooms have been immaculately designed and decorated by German artist Lars Stroschen. From menageries featuring dual lion cages, to sleeping inside a closed coffin in a gothic labyrinth, there’s something at Propeller Island City Lodge to tickle all fancies.
If you haven’t outgrown your love of treehouses, the Free Spirit Spheres are your spiritual home.
Giant handcraft pendants that hang from the tall trees within the west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, these 9 ft spheres are kitted out with the necessities – a bed, a settee, kitchen space, purified water for tea and coffee and some incredible views. The Free Spirit Spheres are open 12 months of the year, giving travellers every chance to see Canada in all its seasonal glory.
There’s nothing like getting back to nature and a stay at Giraffe Manor in Kenya is the perfect way to do it. But as the name suggests, you won’t be the only guest.
Giraffe Manor is home to a resident herd of Rothschild giraffe who have no problem popping their heads through the kitchen window to say ‘hello’ each morning. The hotel itself is set on 12 acres of idyllic land in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. The city itself is nicknamed ‘Nairobbery’ so keep your wits (and your valuables) about you if you plan any day trips.
Not suitable for those who feel uncomfortable in confined spaces, Japan’s Capsule hotels are exactly that. A capsule.
Guests stay in (what can only be described as) a small box, which has a bed, WIFI and other necessary services for your stay. The idea originated from businessman who needed a convenient space to stay while on 9 hour business trip. A few things to watch out for: most Capsule hotels request you remove your shoes (these can be kept in a small locker that’s provided). You’ll also be provided with a robe and slippers and it’s considered totally acceptable to wander around just in your robe and slippers. When booking, just check for gender specifications as some capsule hotels are for men only. That’s a whole lot of testosterone in some very small space.
This one’s for the rev heads. When it comes to automobile restoration, you can’t get much cooler than the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart which is a car-lovers paradise.
The rooms are themed on legendary automobiles, from racey numbers to vintage collectables. Even the beds themselves have been turned into classic convertibles, making this is the only place in the world where it’s ok to fall asleep at the wheel. If the hotel inspires you to take a trip on the local autobahn, ensure you have an international driver’s license and a ‘vignette’ (pre-paid toll sticker) before you hit the road.
The only words which come to mind here are: mouse trap.
La Villa Hamster in Nantes is a hotel designed around the experience of being inside a mouse cage. The hotel has all the basic amenities a guest needs, with a few quirky additions. These include a metal water spigot which is activated by pushing a giant lever with your foot, a bathroom with a giant vat of wood chips and the piste de resistance, a large metal mouse wheel. The hotel is the brainchild of 42 year old scenographer Yann Falquerho and Frédéric Tabary, the interior designer who also joined the project. Of course, it would be apt to have some rat-atouille during your stay.
The only time it is okay to spend the night behind bars is at the Karosta Prison Hotel in Latvia.
The hotel used to be a prison, where it’s believed many of the inmates were killed, leaving the prison just a bit haunted. The rooms come kitted out with a bed, a small dresser, a toilet and of course, iron bars. The real kicker however, is that guests can sign an agreement to be treated like a prisoner during their stay, by being served the original inmate meals and forced to do cleaning and physical exercise if they disobey orders.
When staying at the ICEHOTEL, you better be prepared for an icy reception.Located in Jukkasjärvi, 200km north of the Arctic Circle, ICEHOTEL is an art exhibition and hotel made completely from ice and snow.
The hotel is re-built each winter by a team of designers from all creative disciplines who build the walls, floors, ceilings and furniture completely from ice and snow. If sleeping sound in -5 degrees isn’t for you, ICEHOTEL also features warm rooms for the warm-blooded. Come spring, the hotel melts and returns to Mother Nature.
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