Fashionably Wacky: 10 of the World’s Weirdest Hotels
Cynthia Ross Cravit
| August 21st, 2017
From sleeping in a sewer pipe to dining with a giraffe, here are 10 of the world’s most fashionably weird and wacky hotels.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Dine with a friendly giraffe.
This small and exclusive hotel — surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Nairobi — is famous for its resident herd of giraffe. (Pictured above.) Enjoy feeding and photographing the giraffe over the breakfast table and at the front door. (While you dine, the giraffes poke their heads through the window.)
As well as the giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck.
Located along the banks of the Wadden Sea off the Dutch coast, this former timber-hauling derrick has been repurposed into one bi-level room that towers 60 feet in the air. The deluxe accommodations include a shower/bath for two, Eames chairs, a rooftop patio and touch screen lighting systems.
Tired of the view? Then let it swing (the crane that is). At your command, the 143,000-pound crane rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to change the panorama, day or night.
Kick back in a dome-shaped tent in the Alps.
Talk about off-the-beaten path. Visitors at the Whitepod Eco-Retreat stay in an eco-geodesic dome (there are 10 of them) on a glacier-topped ridge above the village of Les Cerniers. Located about 90 minutes from Geneva, the hotel won the 2005 Responsible Tourism Award for Innovation.
While there is no running water or electricity in most of the dome-shaped tents (bathrooms are located in the main lodge), visitors aren’t completely without creature comforts: accommodations include wood-burning stoves, sheepskin rugs, 14-tog duvets, Tilley lamps, iPod speakers, and round windows with views of the snow-covered Alps. The resort, which accommodates no more than 20 guests at a time, offers ice climbing, ski tours, guided and unguided snowshoe tours, backcountry skiing and dog sledding.
Canopy Tower, Panama
This former radar military installment charms the birds from the trees.
These days the resort is a paradise for bird-lovers the world over, but the Canopy Tower was not always quite so fanciful. Built in 1965 by the United States Air Force, the hotel was once a facility used to house a radar unit used in the defense of the Panama Canal.
The 30-foot-high geotangent dome that rises above the canopy offers 360-degree views of the tropical forest of Soberanía National Park and potential sightings of such unique species as the slaty-backed forest falcon, the bicolored antbird, and the spot-crowned antvireo. Adding to the ambiance, the hooting of a distant troupe of monkeys punctuates the birdcalls.
Spend your next vacation in a drainpipe.
Perhaps of the world’s unusual hotels, this is the most unusual of all. Austria’s Dasparkhotel consists of three 10-ton reinforced-concrete drainpipes measuring 6.5 feet in diameter. Situated along the banks of the Danube in Ottensheim, Austria, these ‘rooms’ are stripped down to the basics: A double bed, light, and sleeping bags. (Toilets, showers and a cafeteria are available in the nearby hotel complex.)
Originally built as a geological research office, the man-made dwelling is carved into a cliff face 70 feet below the surface. While reminiscent of the nearby Anasazi cliff ruins, this cave room offers modern creature comforts such as a flagstone hot tub, cascading waterfall style shower, authentic Southwest furnishings and a deck for incredible sunsets and stargazing.
The Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland
An igloo anyone?
This resort, set 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Finnish Lapland, offers accommodations in a small village of glass igloos.
Built of special thermo glass, these igloos maintain a comfortable room temperature – and because the glass doesn’t frost over, the view is always kept clear, even when the temperature drops under -30 C. Not surprisingly, the accommodations are popular with people who want to take in the northern lights.
All glass igloos offer a private toilet and luxury beds. The Igloo Village also includes 20 snow igloos for sleeping, and a gallery, bar, and chapel constructed of ice, as well as the world’s largest snow restaurant.
Marmara Antalya, Turkey
Take in a – revolving – view of the Turquoise Coast.
This luxury hotel is also the world’s only revolving hotel. Set on the southern coast of Turkey and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, the modern, circular Marmara Antalya completes a full revolution every seven hours. (Note: Be sure to reserve your room in this part of the hotel, as there’s also a non-revolving building behind it.)
Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida
If you “want to be — under the sea”.
Located 21 feet beneath the surface, Jules’ Undersea Lodge is an authentic underwater research habitat and hotel inspired by the fantastical world of Jules Verne. Certified divers can earn an Aquanaut certificate while enjoying unlimited diving. And when it’s time to relax, enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by the hotel’s “mer-chef”.
Hotel im Wasserturm, Germany
Tower high above the Rhineland.
Rising high above Cologne, this international luxury hotel was once the largest water tower in 19th century Europe. In 1990, French designer Andrée Putman transformed it into an elegant 78-room hotel.
Classified as a heritage site, the timeless modern design still manages to preserve the water-tower architecture and a sense of refuge and protection.