Whether it’s the more traditional beach holiday, a quick city break or a total culture immersion you’re after, it’s a safe bet that Europe will always have something to offer you. But what about experiencing a different side of things? Want your trip around Europe to be as weird as it is wonderful? Not to worry – we’ve got it covered with eight weird hotels you’ll find around the continent.
To call this converted warehouse an alternative place to rest your head would be an understatement. Sheltered under this former storage facility’s roof you’ll find everything from caravans to train carriages which will become your home away from home. Each one features a different theme from 60’s Hippie to British Royal, a ‘front garden’ and various props, and with prices from only 22 euros per night, this is one night’s sleep that you’ll never forget.
As the old saying goes, nothing says weird like sleeping in a concrete tube. Okay, so maybe we made that one up – but in Das Park Hotel, guests have the opportunity to do just that. Cool in the summer, and warm as the temperature drops, these concrete structures have been renovated into a totally unique hotel experience. Each one features a double bed, storage space and plug sockets, as well as a cosy little window so you’re not completely shut off from the outside world. The best thing about Das Park? It’s run on a “pay as you wish” basis, meaning your night here will only cost you as much as you want – or can afford – to spend.
If sleeping in a concrete tube doesn’t float your boat, perhaps a night in a reconstructed Ottoman mansion will. Grandeur is given new meaning in this surprisingly affordable wood-clad hotel in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, with seventeen uniquely decorated (and very Turkish) guest rooms featuring hand-woven carpets, marble staircases, dark wooden statues and everything else one could expect from a stay in a lavish, traditional Ottoman dwelling.
From spending a little more than you should to throwing the diet out of the window for a week or two, holidays are the time to be naughty. Visit Latvia however, and you might end up doing the time after those little vacation crimes. Karostas Cietums finds its home within an old Latvian military prison. Almost entirely unchanged since the days it was actually functioning, guests have the chance to experience prison life for themselves. Handcuffed on arrival, you’ll be escorted to your room and locked away for the night by your very own prison guard. Let’s just hope they don’t lose the key! Cheap and not-so-cheerful, a cell for the night can cost you from the equivalent of £10.
The fun doesn’t have to stop when your glass is empty – grab a room at the Hotel de Vrawue van Stavoren and you’ll be sleeping inside a 14,500L wine casket. Voted one of the most unusual destinations in the world by the LA Times in 2012, guests can enjoy television, radio and shower facilities inside their barrel with stunning views of the nearby harbour. Completely bizarre yet absolutely awesome and with prices starting at £24 per night if you agree to stay three days, the Vrawue van Stavoren really is a barrel of fun!
Airlines are always trying to tell us that our holiday starts as soon as we board the plane – well thanks to the Jumbo Hostel in Stockholm, they’re absolutely right. This decommissioned Boeing 747-200 jet once flew for Singapore Airlines and Pan-Am but is now home to 29 rooms – including one in the cockpit – as well as a café and washroom facilities. Any big kid at heart will enjoy the landing gear tyre swing and a walk across one of the hostel’s vast wings, safe in the knowledge that sitting just off the runway of Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, they’re sure not to miss their next flight.
Sweden makes a triumphant reappearance in today’s list with the Utter Inn, situated on a picturesque lake close to Stockholm. Though the small floating islands topped with sweet-looking red houses is strange enough for many, the real unique feature of this hotel becomes clear once inside. When they’re not relaxing on their private sun deck, guests climb down a three metre ladder into their underwater bedrooms, which feature panoramic windows into the underwater bliss. Upon arrival, guests are given an inflatable boat and a set of instructions and are left to it – the epitome of a Swedish getaway if there ever was one.
The last and without doubt coolest (no pun intended) hotel can be found in snowy Lapland, where wonder and childlike enthusiasm are abundant. Your glass-roofed private igloo will keep you toasty in the -30C night temperatures as you gaze at the northern lights high above you. From dining in the world’s largest snow restaurant to tying the knot in the hotel’s ice chapel, this winter wonderland is not something to be quickly forgotten.
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