World's Most Unusual Hotels

by AOL Travel Staff Subscribe to AOL Travel Staff's posts Posted Oct 21st 2009 02:59 PM


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Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Nantes, France

Believe it or not, the Hamster Villa in Nantes, France provides guests with the opportunity to experience life from the perspective of a hamster. The interior of the room is designed to look like a larger-than-life hamster cage, complete with a six-foot wheel to run in. Guests can dine on seeds and drink from a hamster fountain before getting ready to sleep on a bed made of hay. If you're only concern is leaving behind your creature comforts, don't fret-the owners have included everything a hamster needs, including WiFi and a large screen TV.

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Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Costa Rica

The two-bedroom/two bathroom suite Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica takes architectural salvage to a whole new level. The structure is actually a 1965 Boeing 727 that was recovered from the San Jose Airport. Now it's set 50-feet up a hillside from which it cantilevers out over the jungle. It might sound like you will be living as a castaway, à la Lost, but there's a hardwood deck on the right wing with ocean views and the interior is done in local teak, including a dining nook and a TV room. Plus the suite has air conditioning. Jack and Kate never had it so good.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Packing is easy for the IceHotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden, 120 miles above the Arctic Circle. Long underwear? Check. Snow pants? Check. Thick Parka? Check. Once you get there you can fill your days with dog sledding, ice skating, and taking in the Northern Lights (peak times are from January to April and July to November). Yes, the beds are also made of ice, but they do have standard mattresses and cozy reindeer skins to keep you toasty (which you'll need, since interior temps never exceed 32 degrees, of course). The complimentary morning mug of hot lingonberry juice will help thaw you out as well.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Farmington, New Mexico

Lots of hotels like to trumpet their historical prominence, but few can boast the history of Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast in Farmington, New Mexico. It's located in a cave cut into 65-million-year-old sandstone. A geologist first had his offices there and later lived in the cave full-time before turning it into an inn (so you can rest assured that the accommodations aren't prehistoric). You'll have running water, a full kitchen, and even a Jacuzzi, but be sure to pack light. The hotel is only accessible by making a steep hike up the hillside.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Key Largo, Florida

You have to either be a certified diver or take a three-hour SCUBA training course before you can spend the night at Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida. That's because the entire hotel is located 21 feet below the water of the Emerald Lagoon. Talk about a room with a view. The 42-inch-round windows are perfect for peeping at angelfish and barracudas swimming by. There's no need to surface during your stay-all meals (and your luggage) are delivered by SCUBA diving porters.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Harlingen, the Netherlands

The Dutch port town of Harlingen is packed with cranes, but there's one that definitely stands out. The Harlingen Harbor Crane Hotel is located right in the docklands and has space for two guests in the crane's main cabin, which is suspended 55 feet above a pier. There's enough room in there for a double shower and a flat-screen TV, plus the rooftop patio is perfect for taking in the sights. Of course, you can always give the crane a spin and get a panoramic view of the port and the Wadden Sea.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Cologne, Germany

The Hotel im Wasserturm in the German city of Cologne may have all the trappings of a luxury hotel, but the building itself is something of a surprise. It's located in 130-year-old water tower. The rooms inside the round tower have lots of right angles, but the circular theme is echoed in the custom furniture and upper-floor suites incorporate the original porthole windows. The 36-foot-tall entrance hall is lined with catwalks, so you can really get a sense of the tower's construction. One surprising fact? The hotel lacks a pool.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Ottensheim, Austria

Have you ever had that nightmare where you get to your destination and your hotel reservation doesn't exist, everywhere is booked, and you have to sleep in a drainpipe? At the Dasparkhotel in Ottensheim, Austria, you can live that dream under the best possible circumstances when you book one of three suites located in refurbished drainpipes. Located in the city's Rodlpark, the minimal rooms each have a double bed and a lamp, but that's about it. Bathrooms are located in an adjacent building, as is a bar and restaurant. The pipes do have skylights cut into the concrete, though, in case you are feeling a bit claustrophobic.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Bisbee, Arizona

Retro is the name of the game at The Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona. The hotel is made up of nine 1950s-era trailers (plus an Airporter bus and a land-locked yacht). The kitsch doesn't end there. Kitchens are stocked with vintage plates, canisters, and barware. The "Airstream" trailer is done up like a love nest (chenille bedspread, vintage wedding photos) while the "Royal Mansion" is party-ready with leopard carpet and a martini set. Though you could cook all your meals in your trailer, the hotel has a 1957 diner right on site for an authentically greasy mid-century breakfast.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

Blue Lagoon, Jamaica

The five eco-friendly bungalows at Kanopi House in Blue Lagoon, Jamaica, are not for you if you are afraid of heights. They are all built into 100-foot-tall banyan trees. The rooms incorporate work by area artisans and furniture is made from sustainable materials. The real reason to stay here, however, are the unparalleled vistas of the jungle and the sea from the treetops. The cabins all have terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows for taking in the rainforest below and the Caribbean Sea. They also come stocked with snacks, wine, and the local Blue Mountain coffee as well, so there's little need to descend from your perch.

Top Ten Most Unusual Hotels

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