If you guessed that they are all places you could pay to spend the night, you would be correct. From a drainpipe, to a plane, to a cave, to a former Turkish prison, the definition of ‘hotel’ is forever expanding. If your curiosity is piqued, you may have just discovered a new voyeuristic hobby, happily supported by several sites that have pulled together rich collections of unusual hotels. My favorite is Unusual Hotels of the World, which categorizes hotels by 20 different types of ‘unusual-ness’ such as ‘Crazy/Designer/Décor,’ ‘Underwater/Reefside,’ and ‘Trains and Planes.’ You may be lucky enough to visit some of these hotels, but there’s a lot to be said for simply imagining.
Some hotel websites begin the strange journey the second customers start browsing. Winvian, hidden away in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, masters the experiential website experience, warning visitors to ‘hold onto your hat’ as they check out the helicopter (yup, an actual helicopter), tree house or greenhouse cottages, to name a few.
There are a series of hotels based on artistic innovation. My favorite artistic hotel (and also a fascinating website) is Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin. If this kind of description appeals to you, you’re in for a treat: Dawn’s early light smiles on glistening magenta and rewards you with an unbelievable chromatic experience at the break of day. 100 Nordic runes are suspended from a pink-toned celestial canopy and summon up the mood of a witches’ or sorcerers’ coven.
Web Urbanist pulls together many intriguing lists, including 16 of the Most Creative (and/or Sexy) Hotel Rooms in the World and Submerged and Seaworthy Hotels. Although not necessarily quite as unusual, if you have some cash to spare, or love to dream, Concierge’s “The Checklist: Hotels to Stay in Before you Die’ is a must read. The Post Ranch Inn is on my ‘as soon as I win the lottery’ list.