Are you tired of the usual hotel room with its stock standard decor, layout and design?
Do you wish your unique travel experiences could extend to the place in which you stay?
Below are five different hotels from around the world that will challenge every idea you had about holiday accommodation and make you want to visit toute-de-suite for a one-of-a-kind, who’d-have-thought type of vacation …
My top pick for the most original, thought-provoking, witty, ingenious, artistic hotels I’ve ever seen is street artist Bansky’s newest endeavour. The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine, facing the wall separating Palestine and Israel, takes the concept of visiting a new place to a whole new level. Without bias or prejudice, the hotel tells the story of the wall through art, a museum and decor. And it’s clever – if tongue-in-cheek and black humour are your thing. The hotel’s name says it all. As do the floating cherubs with gas masks in the piano room (image above), the street art on the walls and the statues choking on tear gas.
At the moment there are three types of accommodation: the Budget rooms (below) fitted with surplus items from an Israeli military barracks; the Artist which features work from artists Banksy, Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin; and the Presidential – a palatial suite with a water feature made from a bullet-riddled water tank.
For history of a different sort Quinta Real Zacatecas in Zacatecas, Mexico is a luxury hotel built around a restored 19th century San Pedro bullfighting ring.
The hotel’s restaurant looks over the old arena where the last bull run happened in 1975 and the brick-walled bar is where the bullpens used to be.
What a fabulous use of a historic building and a great way to keep it alive. Even better, no one gets hurt in the ring, unless, of course, you overdose on Spanish hospitality!
Now, why would I include a photo of a crane in this post, I hear you ask?
You guessed it, there’s a hotel up there! What I love about this is that instead of emulating the industrial exterior inside, the designers have gone all out with creating glam, sumptuous, rich interiors that completely belie what’s going on outside on the banks of the river Ij in the disused dockyards of NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam Noord in the Netherlands.
The Crane Hotel Faralda is kind of bonkers and obviously nothing like a traditional hotel with a reception or restaurant. But there is a hot tub up top and a bungee rope if the urge to jump takes over! Pictured are two of the three suites available.
This next one if for those who like idea of being in a ball suspended in the trees. Three spherical ‘hotel’ rooms dangle in a wood, rather magically, as part of the Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island in Canada. They look part science fiction and part Alice in Wonderland and are the ideal accommodation for those wishing only to mingle with nature and not end up chatting to the concierge or a stranger at the hotel buffet.
Accommodation is cozy and inventive, and the design of the spheres is based on biomicry, described as ‘an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies’. So integral to the concept is biomicry that there is a whole page dedicated to how the spheres have been designed inside and out on their website. You can read about it here.
From one ball to another, this time it’s a see-through bubble in France. Set in a Provencal pine forest near the village Allauch, Attrap-Reves is a simple concept all about star-gazing (a telescope with star chart is available), nature watching (there’s an outdoor jacuzzi) and enveloping yourself in next to nothing.
A French breakfast is included and you can order dinner boxes as well.
Which place tickles your fancy?