For the adventurous and wacky traveler who wants to break free from daily life’s routine, a standard luxury hotel is just plain boring. If you’re one of them, or you just want something different on your next trip, then you should consider a thrilling, memorable stay in one of the following 10 eye-popping and unusual hotels.
Since its unveiling in 2006 this masterpiece hotel created by Frank Gehry has become a highly sought-after contemporary, luxury retreat. Design, art, gastronomy, wine and the lush landscape all combine to create a memorable sojourn among medieval towns in Elciego. The hotel’s luxurious interior bears the unmistakable stamp of Gehry’s design. Tilted walls, zigzag windows, cathedral-height ceilings and a host of bespoke details create the impression of accommodation as a work of art in its 43 rooms & suites.
- Hotel website: Hotel Marqués de Riscal
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in, and late check-out).
Built as a line of defence against enemy attacks on the Solent and Portsmouth, No Man’s Fort is the largest of three spectacular man-made forts that form the collective, Solent Forts in Portsmouth. From the moment you catch a glimpse of the impressive No Man’s Fort on the horizon, as your private boat makes its approach, it’s impossible to feel anything short of excited. Boasting 22 luxurious rooms and suites, the real draw of this outstanding but unusual hotel is the vast and varied nature of the facilities and activities on offer.
- Hotel website: No Man’s Fort
Costa Verda is located on a coastal rainforest bluff nestled between the lush green of Manuel Antonio National Park and the incredible blue of the Pacific Ocean. The resort is home to one of the world’s most unusual hotel suites, a refurbished Boeing 727 airframe (built in 1965), which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia). This fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage suite jets out from the jungle canopy, affording you views that will make you feel like you’re flying.
- Hotel website: Costa Verde
Located on a coastal cliff in Jeongdongjin, a tourist destination known for having the best view of the sunrise in South Korea, Sun Cruise Resort is one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations. The hotel is a specially designed cruise ship on land. It is constructed high on the edge of a mountain, so that a stroll on the sun deck allows its guests to feel they are out at sea without suffering from motion sickness. Sun Cruise Resort features 211 rooms, both condominium and hotel style, a Western and a Korean restaurant, revolving sky lounge, a night club, a karaoke, and sea water pool.
- Hotel website: Sun Cruise Resort
The exclusive boutique hotel Giraffe Manor is located in one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, and its timeless elegance recalls the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa. However, the most fascinating thing about this unusual hotel is its herd of resident Rothschild giraffes who visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.
- Hotel website: Giraffe Manor
- Other accolades: Giraffe Manor also features in my top 10 list of the most Instagrammable hotels in the world.