9 Out-of-the-Norm Places to Stay for the Night

On many trips, the journey to the destination is often the best part. The anticipation, soaring off into the sky or jumping in the car, with your feet on the dashboard and then finally stepping foot on to new ground, breathing in fresh air full of endless adventures.

After a long day of travel, most just want to lay their head to sleep, and usually it doesn’t matter where — as long as it’s clean and it’s comfy.

But sometimes you crave more — you crave a room with a view and maybe a challenge to get to. For your next trip, book a room at one of these wonders — you may never want to leave.

1. Floating Hotel in Zanzibar  

Imagine waking up, completely surrounded by water and somehow being able to breathe. A stay at the Pemba Island floating hotel room at the Manta Resort in Zanzibar will give you such a luxury.

Couples and singles can book a night in a fully submerged room with night guests including octopus and squids. A balcony bedroom is also available for those who have fewer gills.

2. A Swiss Mountainside Guest House

Redo för en utmaning (ready for an adventure)? Then pack your bag and head for the tucked away guest house on the side of a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, a 170-year-old establishment, is precariously positioned and only accessible by cable car and hiking trail.

A challenge to get to, but the views will make it all worth it to wake up on the side of a cliff face, knowing you can stay in bed a little longer and face the way down in the afternoon.

3. An Ecolodge in Sweden

Described as “kind of like a hotel”, the Kolarbyn Ecolodge in Sweden is a primitive hotel aimed at nature lovers. Fully unequipped with electricity and showers, the Kolarbyn offers rentals of sleeping bags, firewood, axes and organic groceries.

Located two hours from Stockholm, just outside the village of Skinnskatteberg in the forest of Bergslagen, getting there is easy — just remember, if you don’t see any trees, you’ve probably gone too far.

4. Treehouse Point in Washington

Growing up, I had one tree readily available to perch on. I could be found up there for hours, fully stocked with a day’s worth of snacks to sustain me.

As an adult, any excuse to scurry up a tree for a night (especially if a bed is involved) sounds wonderful. Treehouse Point near Seattle offers just that.

Created by treehouse builder Peter Nelson, the resort features two cabins built into the moss-covered forests of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible by suspension bridge or spiral staircase, Treehouse Point offers any tree lover the chance to fully appreciate the beauty surrounding them — by literally being among them.

5. A Quirky Hostel in Iceland

Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, KEX Hostel was named, and built from an old biscuit factory. KEX blends vintage industrial with electric, contemporary feels.

Home to a variety of dorms, travelers are welcomed by a gastropub, bike rentals and quirky decorations through every turn — and a view of Mt. Esja with your morning coffee is just another added bonus.

6. Sunset Views in Nicaragua

Overlooking the fishing village of San Juan del Sur, the Casa de Olas in Nicaragua (translating to “house of waves”), is located near many local beaches and some of the best breaks.

Opened by native Australians Fred and Carla Batty, Casa de Olas is a resting spot to enjoy a sunset and cerveza after exploring the natural playground that is Nicaragua.

7. To Get That “Igloo-Feeling”

Iglu-Dorf Zugspitze, located above the clouds of the Zugspitze Glacier in Bavaria, Germany, will not only take your breath away and send a shiver up your spine, but also allows an overlook to an amazing panorama of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Feeling the warmth of the sunset far away from the rest of civilization will make you realize that moments warm your heart more than an electric blanket ever could — although the abundance of sheepskin rugs provided will also help.

8. Renovated Airbnb in Lincoln

Sometimes unique places to stay are just around the corner. Owned by Clint! of Lincoln, Nebraska, this once-grocery-store and butcher shop is now a renovated, hip Airbnb for all travelers.

The loft features original décor, such as a checkout desk, meat-cutting tables and candy displays transformed into new-age, modern uses. Located near the Historic Haymarket, booking a night in this change-the-floor-light-to-fit-your-mood loft will be a stay to remember.

9. Play Cave(wo)man in Turkey

Going back in time without leaving the digital-age is just what you’ll experience after staying at the Aydinli Cave House near the Goreme Village Center in central Turkey.

A family-run guesthouse carved from the natural rock and stone of Cappadocia, these modernized rooms are aimed to provide comfort while maintaining originality of the structures — including famous traditional cave dwellings of Cappadocia.

These are just a handful of exotic places to stay around the world. The next time you book a trip, look for something that makes that next night of sleep one for your dreams.

Author Bio

Laura Smith is a writer, biker and avid wanderer. She’s always looking for a new adventure, documenting her stories along the way; her writing can be found on her Tumblr and Diary Traveler.