Unusual Hotels

Guten Tag, Treehouse Hotel

This being Germany, every treehouse includes a beer-filled mini bar

Ever since we published our selection of places that resemble a Dr. Seuss illustration we’ve regretted leaving certain hotels off our list. Like this one: the funky, arboreal Baumhaus Hotel in Neißeaue, Germany.

Baumhaus is a sort of woodsy-themed adventure park with eight different treehouses that can be rented for the night. Each treehouse is multistoried, each is perched 8 to 10 meters (26 to 33 feet) above the ground and accommodates 4 to 6 people. Rates include breakfast and use of the adventure park grounds. This being Germany, every treehouse also includes a beer-filled mini bar.

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Oslo’s Wildest Hotel Room

A sandy floor, a full size tree trunk, a profusion of green plants and a posse of endangered species — in cuddly toy form. The WWF room at Scandic Vulkan hotel in Oslo is wild! The only thing missing are the calls of rainforest birds. Although, if you are after a good night’s sleep, that’s is probably for the best.

Designed in partnership with WWF Norway, to raise awareness of environmental issues among hotel guests, the room also features recycling bins (yes, you’ll have to sort out your paper from your plastic waste), second-hand furniture, organic toiletries and long-life bulbs, among other energy-saving devices.

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Stay in an Eclectic, Inexpensive Mediterranean Treehouse

Kadir's is the sort of place travelers end up staying for much longer than they planned.

Imagine a shabby yet chic cabin resort. And then imagine life in The Lord of the Flies — in the first part of the William Golding classic, that is, before things go horribly wrong. That’s the vibe guests get at the eclectic, colorful — and outrageously affordable — Kadir Yörük Top Tree House.

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Total Luxury Half Underneath the Indian Ocean

Longtime readers of Spot Cool Stuff might remember our review of Sweden’s Utter Inn. The “inn” is located in the middle of a lake and consists of a single suite with one room above water — and another room beneath it!

It’s amazing being a guest at the Utter Inn, laying snuggled under your sheets while looking out at the underwater scene beyond your bedroom’s windows. But how much more cool would it be if that scene was of crystal clear tropical waters instead of a murky Scandinavian lake?

To answer that question, one needs to travel to the The Manta Resort on Pemba Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. That’s where Genberg Underwater Hotels, the company that designed and constructed the Utter Inn, recently finished work on their second half-underwater suite.

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The World’s Deepest Hotel Room

While being lead to your room through dark rock passageways one feels like a dwarf on a quest in the Mines of Moria

Hitting rock bottom on vacation can be a very cool experience. At least it can in Scandinavia, in Sweden, in the county of Västmanland and in the town of Sala. For it is there that travelers can find the Sala Silvermine and can stay in the accommodations of its Mine Suite. At 155 meters (509 feet) below ground level, it is deepest hotel room in the world!

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The Ski Resort That Disappears Every Year

Whitepod is an eco-resort in the truest sense of the term

Visit the site of the Whitepod ski resort in the Swiss Alps between April and November and what you’ll see of it is . . . nothing.

You’ll see no roads. No electrical wires. No place to stay. Just a 19th century farmhouse. And a pristine alpine meadow that’s begging for some von Trapp kids to twirl around in Sound Of Music style. And an amazing view. The vista of the snow peaks from this virtually untouched place 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above the oceans is among the grandest in Europe. “Untouched” being the key word.

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The (Love) Hotel Where Every Day is Christmas

Stockings may wind up on the floor instead of over the fireplace

Yes, Virginia (and Mara and Wei and Dev and Ashley), there IS a Santa Claus. And contrary to popular belief, Santa only winters at the North Pole with the Missus! But he’d love to have you visit his permanent residence — in Osaka — if you have a little time, and mischief, on your hands.

That’s right, jolly ol’ Saint Nick makes his home in Japan, at the eyepopping Chapel Christmas, in one of Japan’s thousands of “love hotels.” Santa’s a nice chap, but he’s never naive. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, and he knows there always a little of both going on at the Hotel Chapel Christmas.

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Rolling Huts of the Methow Valley

The Methow Valley is as picturesque as any in the world. Nestled in a high pocket of the North Cascades of Washington State, the valley is all forests and flower fields, ravines and rivers, snow peaks and sunshine1. And it’s all crisscrossed by biking, hiking and running paths — and by one of the longest cross country skiing trails in the world.

Until recently, one of the few blights on the Methow Valley was a particularly unattractive RV park northwest of the town of Winthrop. Happily, the Winnebagos there have given way to a wild meadow that’s mostly untouched except for the unusual, low-impact accommodations offered by Rolling Huts. It is a fantastically cool place to stay.

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