Written by Victoria Philpott
HostelBookers.com has cool accommodation around the world and whether you want wicked hostels or unusual cheap hotels, there are a few ‘crazy gems’ on our books you’ll have fun trying out. You could be sleeping in a reformed jail in Switzerland, kicking your boots off entering your cone-roofed house in Italy or eating your breakfast in a tree house in Turkey. Why would you want to stay in a generic hotel room when you could sleep in a yurt in Mongolia?
1. Trulli Holiday Hotel
Alberobello is one of the most unique areas in Italy. Look out from the viewpoints and you’ll see conical roofs as far as the eye can see. Known as trullis, the cone-style buildings are the traditional dwelling of natives – the design was developed to avoid the tax man during the town’s tough history. When he came around they’d knock their houses down and reply, “House, what house?” and so avoid the taxes. Then they’d easily build them up again. The structures are more permanent now and and the town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. All the trullis at the Trulli Holiday Hotel have a kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom in the romantic alcove.
Private rooms from €35pppn.
2. Aydinli Cave Hotel
It’s time to play Flintstones at the Aydinli Cave Hotel. Wannabe cavemen and women will love the family-run hotel, which has six unique rooms, most with stone fireplaces, Jacuzzis and walk-in showers. Take your breakfast up to the rooftop terrace and admire the view over the old village where the famed rock-cut features sprawl in front of you.
Private rooms from €25.94pppn.
3. Kadir’s Treehouses
In an area filled with history and surrounded by natural beauty the tree houses in Kadir allow you to act out your childhood Tarzan fantasies for your stay. Kids will love the excitement of climbing up a rope ladder to get to bed at night, so would I (just a little bit). If you don’t fancy any ladder action at Kadir’s Treehouses there are also private bungalows available and you can enjoy the thought of being in among so much nature instead.
Private rooms from €22pppn.
4. Jumbo Stay, STF/HI
Plane spotters beware, you are literally going to cry with joy when you set eyes on this unique hotel. Jumbo Stay is a converted Boeing 747-200 Jumbo Jet located just a 10-minute walk from Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport check-in desks. Book yourself into the cockpit suite for the private ensuite bathroom or save a bit of wonga and check out one of the other 25 rooms; each one has more than four metres of head room, flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi. Great if you’ve got an early flight as you can even watch the arrivals and departures on the on-board big screen.
Shared rooms start from €45.09pppn.
5. Anak Ranch of Mongolia
If you’re after a story to tell the folks back at home, then you’ll definitely get it at the Anak Ranch of Mongolia. Submerse yourself in the wild wilderness and make peace with the world in your temporary home of a ger, or yurt. The semi-permanent four-bed tents are traditional Mongolian nomadic homes, they’re especially designed an age ago to be easily dismantled so nomads could move them along on the back of a camel or yak. Speaking of four-legged friends, horse riding is included in the price, so slap a saddle on and yee haa your way across the baron landscape in style.
Shared rooms from €29.61pppn.
6. Santos Express Train Lodge
Santos Beach, South Africa
Seems like hoteliers love the challenge of transforming transport into accommodation. The Santos Express Train Lodge or ‘The Train’ ? as it’s known to the locals, has five coaches, each with five compartments looking out onto the neighbouring Santos Beach on the Indian Ocean. Located in South Africa’s famous Garden Route, if you’re there at the right time you’ll be able to see the whales and dolphins showing off in the sea from the train’s deck. Out of season, you can still enjoy the cosy bar and traditional seafood just 30m from the sea.
Shared rooms from €9.90pppn.
7. Zhangzhou Wei Qun Lou Inn
The layout and design of the Zhangzhou Wei Qun Lou Inn is a symbol of wisdom and diligence for the local Hakka culture. The site, in the mountainous area of Taxia Village, has UNESCO World Heritage status. The interior is beautiful with soft, red lighting throughout and washrooms on each floor. There are 20 guest rooms and internet too. It’s a great area to be in if you’re into your outdoor activities too.
Private rooms from €6.02pppn.
8. Jailhotel Lowengraben
After more than 100 years of retaining the nasty and naughty, the Löwengraben is now a cool and unique hotel. You can stay in ‘unplugged cells’ for the real behind-bars experience or for a bit more luxury opt for the Director’s Office or former Library.
Private rooms from €31.76pppn.
9. Arkabarka Floating Belgrade Hostel
Check this out – a hotel on water, wow! The beautiful floating building is surrounded by the scenic Usce Park and the ArkaBarka Floating Belgrade Hostel is just 20 minutes’ walk from Belgrade. The hostel has a contemporary interior, a wicked roof terrace and a panoramic view of the Kalemegdan fortress.
Private and shared rooms from €15pppn.
Thanks to all the hostels for the images.