1Ice Hotel (Sweden): 6,000 square feet of ice and snow
Made up of over 6,000 square feet of ice and snow, it’s the largest – and the original – ice hotel in the world. Guests sleep in a thermal sleeping bag on a special bed built of snow and ice, on reindeer skins. In the morning, a cup of hot lingonberry juice is brought to their bedside. After enjoying a good (?) night’s sleep on a bed of snow, that morning delivery should be quite a delight. With an average temperature of 17 degrees Fahrenheit, bring lots of layers, or just visit the Absolut ICE bar and drink some vodka to stay toasty – in more ways than one.
2Gamirasu Cave Hotel (Turkey): a cave on a volcanic rock
Sleeping in a cave, according to the management of Gamirasu Cave Hotel, is surprisingly comfortable. The volcanic rock that insulates the cave keeps the temperature at a comfortable level, between 63 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, year round. The cave itself used to be a Byzantine monastic retreat, dated at about 1,000 years old. Until recently, part of this retreat was used by Christian monks, and some of the individual rooms were used as cells.
3Old Jail Mount (Australia): an actual prision
If you’ve ever spent a night in jail you probably don’t want to go back. However, for the do-gooders that may never get there – The Jail in Australia is just the place to get locked up for the night, sans the legal fees and court appearance. This old prison in Mount Gambier has been transformed into a lodging aimed at budget travelers. Considering guests will have to eat in the mess hall and sleep next to a toilet, it’s pretty safe to say that anyone with more than budget needs should steer clear of The Jail.
4Poseidon Undersea Resort (Fiji): an underwater hotel
By early 2009, travelers will have the opportunity to stay at the grandiose Poseidon Undersea Resort. Nestled forty feet below the surface of the clear blue Fijian Lagoon, the underwater suites will be accessible by elevator. 70 percent of each suite is enveloped in Acrylic walls that allow for spectacular views of the ocean. Guests are invited to interact with the surroundings. At the push of a button the fish are fed, and a flip of a switch turns on the sparkling underwater lights.
5Capsule Inn (Tokio): capsules instead of rooms
The Capsule Inn provides more a capsule, than a room. While the Inn provides a public lounge space, including bathrooms, guests stay in a capsule unit. These capsules, which are made of reinforced plastic, have all the required amenities, like TV, radio, lighting, and alarm clock access. While you may be asking, required amenities for who? a quick stay in the Capsule Inn just might make you long for an all access capsule of your own.
6Green Magic Treehouses (India): built in trees 90 feet high
If you longed for a tree house getaway as a child, the Green Magic Treehouses in Kerela, India may be a long awaited dream come true. The houses are built in trees 90 feet high, and nestled in a tropical rainforest. They come complete with running water in private baths, telephones, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous – access to a hanging bridge. All of the houses are made of Eco- friendly materials, and run by alternate energy sources, avoiding conventional electricity power. This, coupled with the beautiful abundance of flora and fauna, make for a beautiful and unique place to stay.
7Exploranter (Brazil): a hotel on wheels
The Exploranter — a hotel on wheels — was certainly designed for the adventure traveler. Though the digs are modest, Exploranter is fully equipped with facilities that include a kitchen, hot showers and 28 beds. The Exploranter is based in Sao Paulo and tours through Brazil, Chile and Argentina. The hotel even caters to themed private parties, such as hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, rafting, or visiting vineyards. Keep an open mind when you’re traveling with the Exploranter gang: the chef on board wants guests to sample international cuisine and might surprise you with a snack of crispy red ants.
8Woodlyn Park Motels (NZ): a railcar and a plane
Planes, Trains, and Hobbit Motels? Woodlyn Park in Waitomo, NZ offers three unique lodging options. A 1950’s railcar and a Bristol Fighter plane have been refurbished and transformed into small self-contained motel units. The Hobbit Motel resembles an authentic hobbit hole built into the side of the mountain. The entertainment provided at any of the 3 Woodlyn Park motels is equally bizarre. Guests are invited to enjoy a sheep shearing and fun with bush animals, such as the kiwi bird or the dancing pig.
9McMenemins Kennedy School Hotel (USA): back to school
Have you ever experienced the went to school in your underwear nightmare? At McMenemins Kennedy School hotel, that nightmare becomes a reality. The Kennedy School, a historic elementary school, has been converted into a delightful little place to stay while visiting the Portland area. Each room, fashioned from original schoolrooms, contains a chalkboard and comes fitted with a phone, Internet connection, and even a private bath.
10Woodpecker Hotel (Sweden): on a park, for a single guest
The Woodpecker Hotel is among the smallest in the world. It only accommodates a single guest or a couple, which makes perfect sense considering that the digs at the Woodpecker are located in a tree house about 42 feet above a Swedish park. Your tree house is not completely rustic — it comes complete with a veranda, hammock and toilet.