No Vacancy: A Guide to The World’s Quirkiest Hotels

There’s a hotel in Tokyo called the Mitsui Garden Yotsuya, which is offering women special “crying rooms” to help them handle stress. The rooms include tissues, warm sheets, eye masks, sad movies, and even super-sad manga. All this for just 10,000 yen per day ($85) so you can let your tears fall on their clean cotton sheets.

Let’s put aside the fact that these rooms are only for women (for now) and focus on how brilliant this idea is. We previously have talked about being open with our feelings, hell, we did an entire week about crying, so clearly, this speaks to us on a deep level. Now if only that idea can come to the States, that would be great.

When we went to Austin, our hotel room was not quite suitable for a hearty cry, it also did not have any quirky theme (unless comfort and business friendly is a theme). But if you have the dollar bills to travel the world and stay at weird and odd hotels, here are a few suggestions that don’t necessarily involve a plethora of tissues.

Poseidon Undersea Resort

Location: Fiji

Price: $15,000 per person for one-week package, including transportation, two nights in an underwater suite, scuba diving and wine tasting

Why It’s Worth Going: It’s a five-star hotel that’s conveniently located 40 feet below the Fijian Lagoon. You get there by elevator and most of the 24 suites are surrounded by clear (super thick acrylic) walls that offer you a view into the ocean. There’s even a button in the room that you can push and the food is put out for the fish and another switch turns on sparkling underwater lights.

Panda Inn

Location: Emeishan, China

Price: $112/night to $386/night

Why It’s Worth Going: Located at the bottom of the Emei Mountain, the hotel is located near the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, home to the most captive-born giant pandas in the world, hence the panda theme. But they take it once step further, because the rooms are filled with panda pictures, panda slippers, panda towels, one room even has a mural recreating Jack and Rose’s iconic I’m Flying scene with two pandas. And if you noticed in the picture above, there’s also a person in a panda suit hanging out around the hotel. Not creepy at all.

Attrap’Reves Bubble Hotel

Location: Multiple Locations, France

Price: $172/night to $567/night

Why It’s Worth Going: Book a bed in a bubble! You can stay in a transparent and fully furnished pod in the middle of the forrest, basically next level glamping, and all the bubbles are made from recyclable materials. You’ll have to exit your pod to go to the main building which houses bathrooms, meals an outer jacuzzi and even provides telescopes with star charts so you can follow along whilst dozing off in a deep slumber.

Jumbo Stay Hostel

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Price: $85/night to $280/night

Why It’s Worth Going: Forget the Marriott by the airport, just continue your flight path to the Jumbo Stay Hostel, located on an unused part of Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. The Boeing 747 was originally built for Singapore Airlines in 1976, but when this opened in 2008, it became the world’s only jet of its kind to be transformed into a hostel. There are 27 rooms, and if you want to splurge, you can stay in the “cockpit suite” located in – you guessed it – the cockpit.

IceHotel

Location: Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Price:  $187/night to $850/night during peak season

Why It’s Worth Going: The “original ice hotel” is located in a small town just north of the Arctic Circle, and for the past 25 years, workers cut ice from the Torne River every winter to sculpt the hotel used huge-ass (scientific name) ice blocks to construct the building. Obviously because of weather, it’s only open from December to mid-April, and your stay includes a hot/cold breakfast, access to their sauna, and they’ll even loan you warm clothing! The IceHotel is also a popular destination for couples who want to get married in a magical ice palace. Black tie parkas required.

The Giraffe Manor

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Price: $770/night to $2000/night during peak season

Why It’s Worth Going: The Giraffe Manor is located in suburban Nairobi, and was modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge, reminiscent of the 1930s when European travelers flocked to East Africa to go on safaris. Many say their visit reminds them of Meryl Streep classic Out of Africa, and one of the suites is even named after the author of the book, Karen Blixen. But let’s get to the point here – it’s not every day you can have breakfast with scones and casually share it with a giraffe. The resident herd of giraffes poke their heads into the building mornings and evenings for some foods, then go back to their homes in the nearby forest. Livin’ the life.

Madonna Inn

Location: San Luis Obispo, California

Price:  $200/night to $609/night

Why It’s Worth Going: This place is known for having outlandish and weird theme rooms. It’s as if Fran’s mom from The Nanny had no limits as an interior decorator and the hotel became an international tourist destination. The 110 rooms each have names based on the unique decor, such as Love Nest, Old Mills, Rock Bottom, Cloud Nine, Caveman Room and Safari Room, as seen above. I mean, it’s so loud in there, how is it even possible to sleep?

Das Park Hotel

Location: Linz, Austria

Price:  I shouldn’t be surprised, but the Das Park Hotel operates on a “pay as you wish” system.

Why It’s Worth Going: Who doesn’t want to spend their vacation in a repurposed cement drain pipe? What’s not to love – a double bed, power, a light cotton sleeping bag and a skylight at the top of the pipe to let natural light in. Don’t worry the bathrooms and a minibar (because you’ll need it) are nearby.

La Villa Hamster

Location: Nantes, France

Price: Starts at $112/night

Why It’s Worth Going: In 4th Grade, I wanted a hamster so bad that I borrowed one of those educational learning discovery books about hamsters from the library and photocopied it and put it in a pink binder to show my parents I was responsible and meant business about having a pet hamster. I never got one. But I’m not about to live out my dreams and pretend I’m a hamster in a hotel, but apparently you can do that. This hotel has a hamster wheel for two to make you feel like a rodent. It comes complete with haystack beds, a giant foot-operated water bottle and woodchip-lined bathroom. Not clear on whether you actually ‘go to the bathroom’ on the woodchips or an actual toilet. You also get hamster masks when you check in.

 

Propeller Island City Lodge

Location: Berlin, Germany

PriceStarts at $112/night

Why It’s Worth Going: Like the Madonna Inn, the Propeller Island City Lodge boasts unique and maybe even weirder themed rooms, like this coffin where you and your significant other can spend the night dead, or a padded cell room where you can recreate ‘N Sync’s I Drive Myself Crazy music video.

Palacio de Sal

Location: Potosí, Bolivia

Price: Starting at $96/night

Why It’s Worth Going: If ice isn’t your steeze, maybe salt is? The entire hotel is made out of salt – the floors, the walls, even the furniture. If you’re wondering where all the salt comes from, it’s because the hotel is located at the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. There’s also a sauna, steam room, and saltwater pool JIC you want more salt in your life. And one rule: don’t lick the walls.

CasAnus

Location: Stekene, Belgium

Price: Too much for this shit ($165/night)

Why It’s Worth Going: This is a hotel in the middle of a Belgian field and shaped like an anus. The end.

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