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10 of the Strangest Hotels on the Planet

Hotel Split
Flickr

Sometimes a bed is just a bed. It’s simply a place to lay your head down for a good night’s sleep. But sometimes a bed, and the room it happens to be in, is an amazing work of art, located in a bizarre place full of fascinating sights. Most of us have stayed in hotels during our life, some better than others, but how many people can say they’ve slept in an underwater hotel, or one built out of ice or salt?

If you’d like to include your name on that list and book into some of the strangest hotels on the planet, read on.

The Poseidon Hotel, Fiji

Let’s start with a hotel that’s located under the sea. While the Poseidon Hotel in Fiji isn’t the only hotel in existence to boast underwater rooms, it’s one of the most breathtakingly beautiful ones ever built. Transparent walls let you watch the ocean currents and marine animals drift past, all from the comfort of your bed. The proprietors of this unique hotel made a good choice when they named it ‘Poseidon.’ For some strange reason, they also seem to be fond of virtual tours, instead of real ones.

First World Hotel, Malaysia

First World Hotel
Benson Kua, Flickr

The First World Hotel is one of the largest hotels on the planet. With more than 6,000 rooms, there’s plenty of sleeping space to choose from. A lot of gaming and theme park action goes on in and near the hotel, which is located in the Genting Highlands, in Pahang, Malaysia.

What makes this hotel really stand out are the wild decorations inside, ranging from a tropical rainforest to a Spanish courtyard lobby, and the colorful splashes of paint that cover the façade. The First World Hotel may be lacking in personalized service (it’s very big, after all), but it makes up for that by the sheer pleasure of roaming around this behemoth, and getting lost among the crowds.

IceHotel, Sweden

Ice Hotel Sweden
nate2b, Flickr

The IceHotel in Sweden is the world’s largest hotel made out of ice and snow. Yes, if you go to Sweden, you can sleep inside of a work of art, an ice sculpture and hotel all rolled into one. The hotel has to be rebuilt every year, because it melts in the spring, causing the designs to change a little with each new season. If you’re simply dying to book a room here and sleep on top of a cool ice bed covered with reindeer skins, plan on visiting in the winter.

Waitanic, New Zealand

Waitanic, New Zealand
gewitterhexer, Flickr

The Waitanic is a hotel in New Zealand, built out of a decommissioned and refurbished WWII patrol boat that used to hunt down enemy submarines. If you’re a WWII buff, or just love boats, you should be right at home on this grounded navy vessel. There are only four suites available, so if you’d like to spend the night on the Waitanic, you should call in advance and check on availability.

The Salt Hotel, Bolivia

courneya, Flickr

The Salt Hotel is situated in the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, a massive high altitude desert and salt flat near the Chilean border. True to its name, the Salt Hotel is really made out of blocks of salt. The scenery surrounding the hotel is austere and beautiful. The hotel itself is fairly basic, once you get past all that salt, but it’s a good place to rest, play a game of pool or get a drink before you head out into the desert.

Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico

In the Mexican town of Zacatecas, you can stay in a former bullfighting ring, which has gorgeous rooms overlooking the old arena. The Quinta Real Zacatecas, built inside the 19th-century San Pedro bullfighting, is a lovely boutique hotel, offering a lot of charm, and a very distinctive spot where you can spend the night. The actual ring where the fights took place is now the hotel’s courtyard, where you can relax, or enjoy a meal, absent the threat of angry bulls trying to kill you.

The Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho

Dog Bark Park Hotel
erin_pass, Flickr

If for some reason you find yourself in Cottonwood, Idaho, you can pay homage to man’s best friend by taking a room in the Dog Bark Park Inn. This bed and breakfast was constructed in the shape of a beagle. If you decide to stay here, you’ll be sleeping inside the dog’s head. Since there are only two rooms available, you might want to book ahead. Kids generally love this place, and even a few adults as well.

Jumbo Hostel, Sweden

Jumbo Hostel
mikep, Flickr

We’ve already mentioned an ice hotel in Sweden. Let’s talk about a plane hotel now. The Jumbo Hostel was created out of a Boeing 747 airliner. Instead of sleeping at the airport, you can now sleep on a plane that goes nowhere. Since this is a hostel, the rooms aren’t particularly expensive (by Swedish standards), so backpackers and businesspeople alike can stay here if the mood strikes. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spend the night in the cockpit.

Crazy House Hotel, Vietnam

Crazy House Hotel
Tom Ravenscroft, Flickr

People familiar with the Hang Nga Guesthouse in Vietnam have dubbed it the ‘Crazy House Hotel.’ The reason for this moniker comes from the fact that the guesthouse looks like a make-believe tree fort.

Animals made out of stone, stairs built out of drums and lots of curving architecture and décor make the Crazy House Hotel a strange, yet entertaining place to stay. It seems as if Peter Pan might fly by the windows at any moment, looking for the rest of the ‘Lost Boys.’ Since it’s not the cheapest option around, you can always pay for a short tour and sleep elsewhere, if you’re on a budget.

Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

Nomads need a place to rest their tired bones after a hard day of roaming. The Three Camel Lodge allows guests to experience a bit of the nomadic life in the Gobi desert.

This ecologically minded Mongolian hotel sets guests up in ‘gers,’ or tents, complete with wood burning stoves, comfy beds and amazing vistas across the desert. If you really want to get away from it all, you might want to consider a journey to, and a stay in, the Three Camel Lodge. Open skies and the vast beauty of nature will be just a step away, outside your tent door.

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