I’ve stayed in some amazingly unique places throughout my years of traveling. From treehouses and safari camps, to eco-lodges and 5* luxury hotels designed like palaces. It’s an experience that can take a holiday to the next level, turning it into a true adventure from the second you wake up, to the moment you lay your head down on the pillow at night. There are so many options – from the budget-friendly, to the rather more luxury choices, and each of them is designed to offer a fully immersive experience you won’t forget, even long after your tan has faded.
Traveling in this way was something I never truly experienced until I traveled solo and finally had completely freedom to design every aspect of my travels. Since setting out four years ago, I’ve stayed in a circus school, at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, and at a yoga retreat in Cambodia. I’ve gone luxury glamping in the UK, and stayed in safari camps and treehouses on the edge of the jungle in Sri Lanka and many more. These are traveling moments I will never forget – going to sleep surrounded by jungle sounds, lazy afternoons spent trying to tightrope walk and waking up to the sound of elephants just outside the window.
Doing it for the ‘gram
So many of us find our travel inspo from social media, and in particular Instagram, so it’s no surprise that accommodation has come in leaps and bounds to satisfy our lust for unique places and unusual experiences. I recently wrote an article on whether Instagram has changed the way we travel for student magazine, Kettle Mag, which debated whether we are traveling for the ‘gram or the experience and it’s a question that is still praying on my mind. But whether we are in it for the photo opportunities, or simply want an adventure, it seems that staying in unique places is a great way to upgrade your traveling style.
We’re all attracted to new experiences and original things to see and do. Whether you’re wanting to tick off those bucket list dreams or are looking to book an exclusive place for a romantic getaway with your partner, a solo trip or a family holiday. Online holiday home insurance provider Schofields have created this great infographic on their top unique places you can stay and it’s given me total travel inspo for my next trip!
Unique places to experience on your next adventure
This has always sounded so crazy to me, the idea of staying in a cave, let alone one underground! It would definitely be an experience to remember. Exploring Turkey? Don’t forget to stop in Goreme, which has been high on my bucket list for many years. A tiny town in the magical destination of Cappadocia where the skies are filled with hot air balloons at dawn and dusk. Ever since I first went in a hot air balloon in Sri Lanka, I’ve been dying to experience it again and I can’t imagine anything more out of this world than getting to do that after spending the night in a cave in the hillside, with mountain views from the balcony, and even a fireplace. If you’ve ever seen pictures of this other-worldly landscape, you’ll know exactly what I mean. (£115 pp per night)
Staying in a treehouse was one of my all-time dreams and I was lucky enough to experience when traveling in Sri Lanka last year. But this amazing tree hotel in Luleå, Sweden, has once again sparked my imagination with ideas for future travels. There are many options to choose from here, like the mirror cube, the UFO and the 7th room, sleeping up to five people. All of which are completely unique spaces and are up high in the trees, providing a secluded experience with spectacular views. (£57 pp per night)
It’s interesting that many of the most popular and creative options actually revolve around trying to get closer to nature, with some retaining the luxuries of a hotel but others going back to basics. Kolarbyn Eco Lodge is based in Skinnskatteberg, Västmanland, Sweden, and is perfect for those who want to get back to nature. It has no electricity, no showers, and no TV, it sleeps two adults and one child, and comes complete with a stove, firewood and bunks. You can even indulge in local activities including horse riding, hiking and wildlife spotting. (£67 pp per night)
Head to the beautiful Ubud, Indonesia, to stay in a bamboo built house for a similarly environmentally-friendly retreat. Don’t miss these unique places as a truly unique way to experience Indonesia. The open-air leaf-shaped house sleeps two people, and even has wi-fi available, it also features a swimming pool to relax and unwind in after a long day of exploring. (£36 pp per night)
If an unusual experience is what you’re looking for, check out Little River, New Zealand, where you can actually stay in one of eight unique silo houses. These unique places are environmentally friendly and the properties are fully kitted out with satellite TVs, luxury suites and kitchenette facilities. Each silo sleeps two people and will give you an experience to remember. (£100 pp per night)
Solar-powered Pure Pod
While you’re in New Zealand, it would be rude not to take a trip over to Port Levy, Canterbury, to sleep with the stars and experience great views and the fantastic New Zealand countryside. There are many solar-powered pure pods to choose from, all isolated for complete privacy, and they feature an all-round glass view to watch the stars at night. They are also insulated for winter, and use solar electricity, and an environmentally-friendly fridge and water system, plus bio-fuel heaters for heating and hot water. (£140 pp per night)
No Man’s Fort
They say “no man is an island”, well by paying a visit to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, England, you can be! This private island No Man’s Fort out at sea has 23 bedrooms, its own laser tag arena, historic tours, house parties, restaurants and great all-round accommodation which even offers a speedboat experience.
Camping, but with a very unique type of tent. These bubble domes are based in Lough Finn, Ireland, and offer a completely different experience with see-through walls that allow you to come face to face with nature. Sleeping two people, these bubbles offer a chance to full immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ireland, or you could even explore similar accommodation in places like Iceland and Finland. (£122 pp per night)
Indoor Beach Holiday Home
When the weather outside is less than sunny, why not treat yourself to a stay at this healthy indoor sun therapy home in Kent, England? With weather in the UK being less than reliable, it’s a perfect way to ensure you have private sandy beach access by staying at this re-purposed seaside hotel. The property can sleep up to thirteen people and has seven bedrooms, a cinema room, jacuzzi and of course, an indoor beach. (£150 pp per night)
Where is the most unique place you’ve ever stayed? Which of these would you most love to stay at?
With all these ideas, I’m starting to feel that familiar longing to book a trip! Check out this awesome infographic from Schofields for more inspo!