The world is full of amazing places to visit, whether you’re drawn to the pristine beaches of the Maldives or Thailand, or the cosmopolitan buzz of Paris or New York City. While it’s tempting to play it safe and opt for luxurious resorts with Michelin-starred restaurants and beautifully appointed bedrooms, resplendent with crisp white linen, this might not always be the most interesting option.
Sure, it’s great to take the traditional five-star package, but cast your net a bit wider and you will find some truly unique accommodation choices. Here are five weird and wonderful options I’d like to try one day.
Crane Hotel Faralda, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ever wondered how it would feel to have a bird’s eye view of the city without settling for a soulless high-rise hotel? Check out Crane Hotel Faralda in Amsterdam. As its name suggests, the hotel is actually housed inside a shipping crane, located in a former shipyard. The other buildings in this edgy area have been transformed into funky artist spaces and hip restaurants, making this a quirky location, even for Amsterdam.
Boasting a panoramic lounge, three fabulous suites and a spa pool at the top of the crane, the 360-degree views of the city are unrivalled. Definitely one for my bucket list.
Find out more here: www.faralda.com
Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile
Is a trip to the rainforest more your style? Take a look at Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, set deep in the Chilean Patagonian Rainforest, in the shade of the Andes Mountain range. Committed to the conservation of nature and local culture, the Huilo Huilo Foundation will take you on a fascinating journey through the reserve. Along with a more traditional hotel, the accommodation options include the Canopy Village, which is essentially a collection of giant tree houses. This no-frills lodging, equipped with camp beds, blankets and cooking facilities, affords guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna of the rainforest, without having to pitch a tent.
Find out more here: https://huilohuilo.com/our-accommodation/standard-canopy-village/
Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden
Experience your most unique flight yet without leaving the runway in the Swedish city of Stockholm. Take this opportunity to spend the night on vintage Jumbo Jet, a relic from the mid-1970s. Located next to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, Jumbo Stay offers guests options including budget dormitory accommodation with communal facilities, en-suite rooms or the luxury Cockpit Suite, which affords panoramic views (of the planes landing at the adjacent airport!). Quirky and fun, this is a great alternative to the usual airport hotel with a very modest price tag, inclusive of free transportation to terminals.
Find out more here: www.jumbostay.com
Skylodge Adventure Suites, Cuzco, Peru
Another aerial view (without the skyscraper) awaits in Sacred Valley of Cuzco, Peru. Spending a night at Skylodge Adventure Suites will give you an idea of what it would be like to spend a night in a condor’s nest. These three transparent capsules are only accessible by climbing a 400 meter high via ferrata – a protected "iron path" climbing route – or hiking through a trail of ziplines; there’s no luxury buggy transfer, so travel light. Guides are provided to assist you on your journey to the Skylodge and there’s a dining capsule for lunch with a view, too!
Find out more here: www.naturavive.com
Henn na Hotel, Nagasaki, Japan
Not keen on your fellow humans? This Japanese hotel might be just right for you. Henn na Hotel in Nagasaki is staffed by robots. To add to the futuristic feel, no room keys are required, as a facial recognition system allows access to your room. The robots have been programed to be warm and friendly (in multiple languages) and will have a conversation with you as they go about their chores. Could this be the future of the hospitality industry? It's got to be worth checking out.
Find out more here: www.h-n-h.jp/en/concept/
Originally from a tiny seaside town in the UK, Frances Strong has called Singapore home since 2011. Six years later, she's still exploring the Little Red Dot and loves to find new and quirky places to wow her visitors. When she's not playing taxi driver for her children, she likes to write about travel, motherhood, food, life... and anything in between.
Photo courtesy of Crane Hotel Faralda