We’ve all seen, or stayed at, the typical “Holiday Inn” type of hotel. A vacation should be an experience that, from start to finish, is filled with fun, excitement and relaxation. Here’s a look at some unique hotel destinations that can seem like an adventure in themselves.
The Giraffe Manor was built in 1932, by Sir David Duncan, and modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge. Located in Nairobi, with a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Ngong Hills, it is located on 115 acres. The manor was opened, in 1984, as a hotel. The Rothschild giraffes were moved onto the property after the loss of their natural habitat, and now they thrive there. Staying at this giraffe sanctuary will allow you the opportunity of having the giraffes come right to your window, where you can hand-feed them and take pictures.
For those with a love of books and learning, the Library Hotel is for you. The floors are set according to the 10 main categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification system. They have arts, religion, philosophy, math and more. Included in the rooms are books from the theme of each floor.
The Karostas Cietums started as a Russian prison and remains much the same now as it was then. Your stay includes being handcuffed and led to your jail cell, stripped of your belongings, fed bread and water and allotted a bed of wood or iron mattresses. The hotel is only open from May 1 to October 1 each year. There have been reports that this is a haunted hotel, so in your cell you can expect to hear eerie noises, and maybe even see some of the former prisoners.
The Utter Inn is an art project by Mikael Genberg. It looks like a red garden shed stuck in the middle of the lake. The bedroom is located three meters below the lake, and is accessible by ladder. There are windows all around for fish viewing. Above water is a small deck to lounge on, and a row boat to explore the lake, or the island nearby.
This strange hotel is the work of artist Lars Stroschen. Each room has a different theme. There is a flying bed room, which has slanted floors and a levitated bed; the upside down room, which features all the furniture on the ceiling and a trapdoor on the floor that you climb down to find your sleeping accommodations; they also have a padded room that is covered in green leather padding, from top to bottom. For those who have vampiric tendencies, they also offer a room with coffins as beds.
Each December, artists start constructing this unique hotel. Open from January 7 to March 27 each year, the hotel requires 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow, and is redesigned and rebuilt each year. Everything you see at this hotel is made of ice, including the fireplaces and the glasses to drink from. They do have heated washrooms and outdoor hot tubs. The hotel also offers a wedding chapel, which is considered a top 10 wedding location.
We’ve all seen the big concrete sewer tubes waiting to be installed during construction work, and now Das Park gives the opportunity to stay in one of these tubes. Each weighs 9.5 tons and needs little up-keep, just a coat of varnish to help keep the moisture from cracking the cement.
Austrian artist, Thomas Latzel Ochoa, lends his touch to the inside of the tubes to make them a bit friendlier. The concrete stays cool on the inside and makes for a nice summer retreat. Das Park is open from May to October, and the rates are on a “pay what you think the stay was worth” type of system.
The V8 hotel is the perfect destination for car enthusiasts. Located in the city’s first airport, this hotel offers car themed rooms, including a Mercedes Benz car wash, Morris Minor Garage and a Route 66 theme. The beds follow the room theme by either looking like a continuation of the road, or a car. The whole hotel, from reception to the restaurant, features car memorabilia.
These bright orange oil rig survival pods are located in The Hague. While they aren’t very big, they do offer sleeping bags for 3 people (silk-lined ones for the more upscale package). Capsule Hotel offers a James Bond basic survival package, and an upgraded version that features a library of all the 007 movies, silk sheets, champagne and a disco ball. Bikes are included for sightseeing around the area. Those prone to seasickness should probably not stay here as the pods tend to sway constantly.
Hang Nga Hotel (or “crazy house,” as it’s been dubbed by the locals) is hidden away in the mountain town of Da Lat. The house is considered one of the most unusual pieces of architecture in Vietnam, where they tend not to have too much unconventional architecture. A random assortment of cubbyholes and rooms that twist and turn are pieced together with bridges to form a maze-type place. The house also contains caged birds, spiderweb creations, enormous animals and other curiosities that create a fairytale like atmosphere.