Sick of hotel rooms that are sterile, cold, and have just as much personality as the monotonous receptionist manning the front desk? Maybe you should start looking into something a little out of the ordinary – how about a room with a hidden bookcase entrance? Or a suite that’s moored off the coast of the Maldives? Or even a hotel made entirely out of ice? The possibilities are endless once you step a little outside your comfort zone.
#1 Cocoa Island by COMO – The Maldives
Quirkiness factor: 6/10
Staying in one of Cocao Island’s Dhoni suites is like staying on a luxurious boat, only without the sea legs and leaking toilet/wet room. The villas were designed to reflect the traditional Dhoni boats used by local fishermen in the Maldives, copying the wooden vessel’s exterior, while the inside features a modern, white and blue interior, bathtub and separate shower (phew!). Sit back and relax on your private sundeck before jumping in to the crystal blue water below. The suites themselves don’t float – they are actually fixed to the lagoon and wooden jetty – so if you decide to swim off you’ll know your boat will be there when you return.
#2 Stonefield Castle – Loch Fyne, Scotland
Quirkiness factor: 5/10
Want to live like the Starks of Game Of Thrones, minus the sex, violence and impending doom? Stonefield Castle in Scotland may be the answer. Built in 1837, the castle has since been converted into a 32-bedroom hotel complete with the building’s original furnishings, wood panels, ornate ceilings and marble fireplaces. Feast like a king in the dining room, which boasts views of the idyllic Loch Fyne below. Read 100-year old books in the study then make your way upstairs for a soak in the bathtub. Re-enacting GOT in more ways than one? You’ll be impressed, then, with your four-post bed, but for the other guests’ sake, maybe leave your whips, chains and groans at home.
#3 Free Spirit Spheres – Qualicum Beach, Canada
Quirkiness factor: 8/10
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Free Spirit Sphere. This suspended tree house dangles high above the forest floor in Qualicum Beach, Canada, connected to surrounding trees by vertical ropes and anchors. Your orb – one of three – is accessed via a spiral stairway and short suspension bridge. Inside you’ll find a cosy cabin with no corners in sight, while circular windows and skylights offer unparalleled views of the forest canopy surrounding you. The sphere itself gently rocks when the wind blows, so you’ll be singing ‘rock-a-bye baby’ as you drift off to sleep.
#4 Hotel Not Hotel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Quirkiness factor: 7/10
Just like the name suggests, this hotel is not a hotel, and nothing is what it seems. According to the owners, Hotel Not Hotel is one giant living room, filled with ‘rooms’ designed by Collaboration-O – a group of young designers from the Eindhoven Design Academy. Stay in an Amsterdam tram cart, which has been restored and transformed into a bespoke bedroom, or perch yourself atop the hotel’s watchtower, which you can climb up the side of the Crow’s Nest cottage. If you’re more of a bookworm, grab a book from the bookcase, before sliding it open to reveal a secret entrance to one of the hotel’s more mysterious rooms.
#5 V8 Hotel – Stuttgart, Germany
Quirkiness factor: 8/10
Rev heads rejoice! There’s now a hotel that’s been made just for you, and it’s found in Stuttgart, the home of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Located on a former airport site in the heart of the town’s automobile district, the hotel is filled with vintage cars, racing paraphernalia and the soothing sounds of revving car engines. Rest those heavy feet in a bed made from old car classics, or in one of the V8 Hotel’s many themed rooms, which include a carwash, gas station, drive in cinema and a racing room.