Prisons, caves, and even a bubble are all open for bookings. If you are particular about your lodging arrangements, if you would go as far as to claim that it defines your travel experience, then you might want to take a moment and go through this list. There are some hotels around the world that aren’t only meant for checking in and dumping your luggage, they have been built to amaze and excite.
Here, The Week brings to you some unique hotels that we think you must experience.
The underwater experience
As if pristine waters and the peace and quiet of a remote island weren’t enough, Pemba Island in Zanzibar also offers underwater rooms. Yes, we are talking about you sleeping in a room with a 360-degree view of all the aquatic life around you.
The place we are talking about is known as Manta Resort. When you look at it, it seems like a simple floating structure but the resort provides three levels of unique lodging experience.
The main attraction here is obviously the bedrooms where one can climb down into from the deck. The ‘downstairs’ has a truly magical feel about it. The rooms are surrounded glass panes that give the residence full protection as well as a glorious view.
You can simply sit on your bed and enjoy all that the ocean has to offer around the area from corals to local aquatic creatures. Manta also has underwater spotlights on all sides of the room that gives it a luminous glow during the night. This has been known to attract more creatures giving you a brilliant night show.
But you don’t have to be underwater 24/7, the lounge area and the bathrooms are on the deck. You can simply climb up and spend your days sunbathing and reading and the nights enjoying the starlight.
The cave experience
Reviews describe Aydinli Cave House Hotel, in Göreme, Turkey, as “family friendly” and “pleasing” but you should know that the hotel is actually also a cave.
Aydinli aims to make your long journey to Göreme in Turkey that much more memorable with its history and unique settings. It may be located high above the old village center in Göreme but it is a family run hotel. Visitors have been known to love the personal touch that the family has bought to the hotel’s hard earthy decor.
The hotel is carved from natural rock and traditional stone but has all the comforts that you would expect from a hotel. Some of its 14 rooms even have balconies with panoramic views. If we were to trace its history though, the structure is said to date back 750 years.
Along with its history, the hotel has also built its theme to highlight and promote local Turkish culture. From the food, décor to the planned activities, it seems it’s all been designed to connect us to Turkish culture.
The whimsical experience
In Durbuy Belgium, there lies the imaginary world of architect Mr Noel, only he devoted years to bring it to life. Thus we have the hotel, La Balade des Gnomes. This unusual hotel has been inspired by myths and fairytales. So as you go about you can choose to reside in the Trojan horse or the Chambre de Trolls or Zobabou bou's. One surreal room on the third floor even has a wooden sailboat floating in its very own pond. There are 10 crazy rooms in total and all have been extraordinarily decorated and furnished to evoke ideas from re-interpreted fairy tales.
In case you didn’t know, Durbuy with its 17th century town and cobbled streets already looked whimsical but Mr Noel’s hotel takes it to another level. He was after all known as a visionary. For some, La Balade des Gnomes is still a hidden secret in an unassuming town but for many, this amazing property has gone on to become an absolute find. The innovation and incredible imagination is bound to leave you in awe.
The prison experience
When Boston’s Liberty Hotel opened its door to patrons, several articles were written on how the jail turned into a luxury hotel. You can still see the jail’s original structure in the hotel that has 298 rooms and, what’s more, the hoteliers aren’t trying to hide it either.
Previously the space went by the name, Charles Street Jail and was built in the heart of its town around the 18th century. Its inmates have been the likes of Malcolm X. But now, you don’t have to be incarcerated to go inside the building. In fact, Boston’s Liberty Hotel hosts guests from around the world and serves many fancy banquets.
Apart from its history, the guests are often drawn to the architecture of the building. Since everything used to build it was indigenous, it is referred to as a historic landmark. The owners have also maintained some of the building’s original design. For example, the two restaurants, CLINK and Alibi, in the hotel still have the jail bars and the wrought iron railings. They have clearly had fun with the theme. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for the rooms also says ‘Solitary’. Excited by its history, guests often like to wonder about and inspect the indoors and the grounds.
The bubble experience
Here designer Pierre Stéphane Dumas basically took the idea of living in a bubble to a whole new level. Bubble Tree, the French hotel is on the grounds of the 16th century castle Château de la Forêt and it puts its guests in airy architectural bubbles, aka their rooms. It’s made of transparent plastic and accommodates two people.
The idea of these bubble rooms is apparently to soak up the stunning scenery, natural beauty and, if you are interested, astronomy as well. They even put complementary telescopes in each room so stargazers can enjoy the night sky.
Further, don’t assume that each bubble room will be the same. At Bubble Tree visitors can choose from five different concepts. They even have different names – Suite Chic, 1001 Nights, Zen, Glamor, and Nature.
Some may consider this to be peculiar but these transparent inflatable pods are becoming quiet popular across Europe. Such bubble rooms have also appeared in Spain and Switzerland so far.