Sometimes a bed, TV, mini-bar or even the most insane swim-up pool bar are just not good enough when you are looking for a hotel to stay at. Sometimes you crave something different in your hotel—a lot different. Fortunately, hoteliers around the world are stepping up and fashioning unusual lodging experiences. From Europe to Central America, wacky hotels keep springing up that cater to these more adventuresome guests.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida
What It Is: A 70’s-era research lab turned two-bedroom capsule in Key Largo that can accommodate six guests on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Experience: Guests scuba dive to this unique unit, located 21 feet below the surface. Once inside the 600-square-foot capsule, there are all the accoutrements of a regular hotel, including a spacious living room with TV and stereo and a dining area. But that’s where the similarities end. In the pair of bedrooms, the lodge makes full use of its location, with 42-inch circular windows that offer views of passing sea life, including barracuda and angelfish.
What It Is: A trio of 10-ton reinforced-concrete drainpipes measuring 6.5 feet in diameter.
The Experience: Situated along the banks of the Danube, in Ottensheim, Austria, the electronically secured enclosures of Dasparkhotel is set in a leafy park. But claustrophobes beware: while there’s a comfy mattress, a lamp, and an abstract silk-screen wall decoration, there’s only a tiny skylight.
The Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland
What It Is: A collection of 20 geodesic glass igloos set 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Finnish Lapland.
The Experience: Indoor space isn’t the attraction at the Kakslauttanen—outdoor space is. After all, the spartan rooms are just 161 square feet and have a small toilet. But each also has a panoramic thermo-glass casing that enables guests, from the comfort of their adjustable double beds, to take in the night skies. Not surprisingly, they’re particularly in demand during the northern lights.
Jumbo Stay, Sweden
What it is: If you ever wanted to spend the night in the cockpit of a real, converted jumbo jet on the ground, then this is your chance! The plane is a used out jumbo jet model 747-212B from 1976, which was originally built for Singapore Airlines and later served with legendary Pan Am. It has been awarded a brand new, modern interior decoration, offering guests a memorable overnight experience.
The Experience: Jumbo Stay is an exciting budget hotel for aviation enthusiasts and families with children but also caters to business people since it’s located at the entrance to Arlanda airport.
Neko Hatago, Osaka
What it is: Forget ocean views. “Cat view” is the best kind of hotel room. Called Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago, this unique mixed-use space in Osaka combines a cat cafe (Neko Yokujo) and a capsule hotel (Neko Hatago) for humans who love cats. The facility is split down the middle, with the cat cafe on one side and the cat hotel on the other.
The Experience: The floorplan is such that the cats’ play area is directly adjacent to the back of the hotel guests’ sleeping spaces. But rather than a solid wall separating the areas, the back of each sleeping compartment has a pane of glass, serving as a window that gives each person staying in the hotel a view of cats, the best possible view of all.