Going on holiday is a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, whether you’re relaxing, exploring or learning. A lot of us tend to favour places we know with a language we speak or somewhere hot and sunny, with hundreds of other tourists
If the idea of another two weeks sitting on a beach in the Costa del Sol sounds desperately dull and boring, branch out and go somewhere different.
We’ve compiled a list of unusual hotels, ranging from dangerous and scary to mystical and fantastical.
Ice Hotel, Sweden
Constructed anew each winter, Ice Hotel is made entirely out of ice and snow and lasts only until spring when it melts away. Sleep on a bed of snow and ice covered in reindeer skins in temperatures of -5° but inside your snuggly sleeping bag you’ll be warm and cosy. Warm clothes and a morning sauna are included in the price and there is warmer accommodation available.
Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
A must for chocoholics, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel offers mouth-watering chocolate weekends. Chocolate themed bedrooms with daily chocolate are only the beginning. Experience luxury chocolate tasting and find out about the history of chocolate, before indulging in truffle making and chocolate portrait painting. Relax in the hotel chocolate bar with a Choctail and learn how to pair wines and chocolates.
EcoCamp Patagonia, Chile
Amidst the vegetation of Patagonia are the green domes of EcoCamp Patagonia. This hotel makes use of natural heat and light for minimum environmental impact - rooms have fleece blankets and wood burners. Spend the days on guided treks of the landscape, feast on local produce and Chilean wine and then head to your dome - complete with composting toilet - to sleep underneath the stars.
Karosta Prison, Latvia
Dubbed hell on Earth, Karosta Prison has been labelled the site with the most paranormal activity in the world. This former KGB prison is now a museum where guests take on the role of detainees and are subjected to harsh treatments and prison food. Accommodation is cheap and (far from) cheerful, as visitors sleep in a cell on a hard narrow bed. However the price is a mere LVL 12 and you might even see a ghost!
Green Magic Tree Houses, India
Almost 90 feet above the ground, wrapped around a banyan tree are the Green Magic Tree Houses made of jungle jackfruit timber, coir rope lashings, bamboo matting and thatch. You’ll need a guide to explore the surrounding rainforest, although you’ll see elephants from your treetop room. Breakfast on baked banana and ghee and experience spectacular sunsets, guaranteed peace and tranquillity.
Desert Cave Hotel, Australia
Constructed out of sandstone, the Desert Cave Hotel offers guests the chance to sleep below the Earth’s surface in spacious, high ceilinged rooms. The hotel is home to the world’s only underground bar, as well as an historic display on mining and the Australian outback. There are a variety of tours available, including a cave tour, ghost tour and mining tour and you may even see some kangaroos and dingoes.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida
To enter Jules’ Undersea Lodge, visitors must scuba dive 21 feet below the sea, entering the lodge through an opening at the bottom. Safety briefings are included and guests can choose to stay underwater throughout their stay, take part in dives or venture to dry land. You can even earn a Habitat Speciality certificate.
La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
Myth and fairytale combine to create La Balade des Gnomes, a B&B shaped like a Trojan Horse. The ten uniquely decorated rooms, designed by an architecture inspired by fantastical literature, include a troll’s lair, ship’s cabin and wine cellar. Dine in the neighbouring restaurant La Gargouille for quirky design and fresh local produce.
Magic Mountain Lodge, Chile
Located in northern Patagonia, this volcano shaped lodge wouldn’t look out of place in Tolkien’s imagination, with windows placed higgledy-piggledy in the sides of the mountain. Complete with rope bridges and a cascade of running water, Magic Mountain Lodge has 13 rooms available. Hot tubs have been created using hollowed out tree trunks and legend has it that the native trees have magical properties and can grant wishes.
The Marmara Antalya, Turkey
Floating in a tank of 478 tonnes of water, The Marmara Antalya is the world’s only spinning hotel, with 24 guest suites comprising ever changing views. Relaxed and informal, guests can sprawl on sofas reading a book from the library or eat dinner while watching a film. There’s also a swing corner, climbing column and a play pool.
John Lewis Travel Insurance
Whether you want a quirky and unusual hotel in the centre of the city or you’d prefer an ecological shack in the middle of nowhere, it’s important to take out high quality Travel Insurance.
We aim to give you peace of mind so you can relax on your holiday, but if you do fall ill or have an accident, you will be eligible for up to £10 million of emergency medical costs.
You’ll also be covered if your passport and personal belongings are lost or stolen.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply.
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Ageas Insurance Limited who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Ageas Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 354568. Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, SO53 3YA.