Friday, September 11, 2009

The 12 Weirdest Hotel Rooms

One of Propeller Island City Lodge's highlights. The diamond-shaped room is completely laid out with mirrors and gives you the impression of living in a kaleidoscope. Kinky!

One of the many recessionary busting ideas for moteliers at Motella was the inspiration to create theme rooms. Now we admit that we don't intend to commence our own theme room project anytime soon, however we enjoy laughing at being inspired by some creative thinking.

We salute those select few accommodation providers that have taken theme rooms to the extreme. They have made the choice of accommodation the destination and an attraction. 

Shouldn't staying at commercial accommodation be a unique experience that begins at check-in and ends at check-out?

Click on the following links and make sure you check-out our favorite, Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin. These folk need some serious medication!

1. Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin
Propeller Island's collection of chambers are more like psychological experiments than holiday retreats. Although it's hard to pick just one, the upside-down room has all of its furniture nailed to the ceiling. (The Lodge's kaleidoscope room has its charms as well.) $165/night.

2. Jumbo Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden
While the stay-in-an-airplane concept doesn't quite pass our weirdness test, Sweden's Jumbo Hostel gets bonus points for actually dividing the airplane into different classes of accommodation. We say go for the cockpit. If you can't seal the deal there, you might as well give up. $460/night, with breakfast.

3. Sala Silvermine , Sweden
We were about to highlight the Kokopelli Cave in New Mexico when we came across Sweden's Sala Silvermine offering a suite 155 meters underground. (Leave your cell phone at home, their site advises.) The hotel "pool"? Deeper caverns accessible only by scuba diving. $520/night.

4. Jules' Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Fla.
This is actually not the world's only underwater hotel. (A far more lavish underwater resort is in the planning stages in, surprise, Dubai.) This former research lab, which you must be a certified scuba diver to enjoy, does offer a great honeymooner's package and a reasonable "day rate." At least you won't have to worry about the maid walking in. $375 pp/night, $250 per couple/3-hour day rate.

5. Palms Resort, Las Vegas: Barbie Suite
The Palms itself has several lavishly themed rooms -- basketball court, bowling alley, even a mini-Playboy Mansion -- but now you have a chance to stay in Barbie's Malibu dream house. (Let's just agree you're staying here to make some girl's fantasy come true.) Feel icky yet? Go take a shower ... and ignore the stripper pole. $3,000-$4,000/night.

6. Capsule Hotel, The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague is best known as the seat of many international tribunals. Perhaps negotiators could make good use of these austere, oil-rig escape pods, located along one of the city's canals. $100-$250/night.

7. The Old Jail, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Kink. Kink. Kink. Hear that noise? Must be someone banging on the pipes for room service. Mount Gambier, Australia's finest digs are in an 1866 jail. Little changed other than removing the cells' outer locks. Private cells range $38-$55/night.

8. Woodpecker Hotel, Västerås, Sweden
Treehouses are ho-hum, you say? Sure Brazil's Ariua Amazon Towers is an entire resort built into treetops, but these are 13 meters up, in the middle of a public park, and only accessible by a rope ladder. Unfortunately that may limit beer runs. Plan wisely or bring extra singles for room service. $400-$550/night.

9. Controversy Tram Hotel, Hoogwoud, Netherlands
This small "Inn" is a collection of Dutch and German streetcars turned into a funky B&B. The hotel's video library, for some reason, is one of the same "UFO" pods found at a Capsule Hotel. Yet the weirdest thing about the Controversy might be the owners, who named the place after their favorite Prince album (seriously). $250-$300 for your own car.

10. DogBark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho

The weirdest element of this cozy cottage may be its creator -- "self-taught chainsaw artist" Dennis J. Sullivan, who took his profits from selling dog carvings on QVC to build this dream home. You have to admire a man with vision. $92/night.

11. Wigwam Villages, Multiple Locations
Of the original seven, three of these unique early-20th-century motels remain in Cave City, Kent., Holbrook, Ariz. and Rialto, Calif. Far be it from us to choose one. In any event, you're staying in a frickin' concrete teepee, but the western two are both located on former Route 66. The Rialto one is near San Bernardino's McDonald's Hamburger Museum. $35-$92/night.

12. Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile
Nestled into the Huilo Huilo natural preserve with a waterfall running over it, this is the kind of hotel you come back from a changed person, even without the (practically required) controlled substances. The best part? Miniature golf on property. A magical mountain indeed. $120-$160/night.

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