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11 strange places to wake up in

Published October 21st, 2015

Waking up in a strange place can be something you’re not afraid to tell your nanna about.

From tree houses in the Amazon to jails, nuclear bunkers and sewerage pipes, trade the walk of shame for shamelessly tagging all your pics and be excited to share your adventure to one of the world’s strangest hotels.

Who you wake up next to is another matter completely and one we’re happy to leave to your discretion.

Here are 11 of the strangest hotels in the world:

1. ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden 

Wake up on a bed made of ice in a room made of ice with 3D art installations made of, you guessed it, ice. Despite being nearly 30 years old, the art and design at Icehotel in Sweden’s is rebuilt from ice and snow (slice?) every November. It’s also a great base to see the Northern Lights.

2. Capsule Hotel Inn, Osaka, Japan 

Not for the claustrophobic, Japan has sleeping capsule hotels perfect for those wanting a little novelty but more so somewhere cheap to sleep. Capsule Hotel Inn was the first to offer this where alongside your tiny sleeping pod you can access a locker, change room, spa and restaurant.

I'll be in my pod if you need me. #capsulehotel #Tokyo A photo posted by Matthew Childs (@matthew_childs) on

3. Null Stern Hotel, St Gallen, Switzerland 

Technically it’s now a museum, but this null stern (zero stars) concept hotel operated for a year in 2009. Once an underground nuclear bunker, the renovation basically kept everything pipes and all and added beds and butler. Expect to see more Null Sterns popping up around Switzerland soon.

4. WagonStays, near Christchurch, New Zealand

Attention glampers; this one is for you. WagonStays is a luxury campsite nestled in a remote area of farmland close to wineries, fishing, swimming and beyond. Stay in what looks like old-school timber and canvas American wagons on the outside, but inside reveal large beds, leather sofas, luxury linens and wood stoves.

Kipping in a luxury wagon! #nz #roadtrip #wagonstays

A photo posted by Katie Spain (@spaink) on

5. Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Stay in gers, traditional tents home to nomadic herders of Mongolia for centuries. Boasting strong eco-principles alongside warm hospitality, this lodge is also in the perfect location for exploring the Gobi. Horse ride, dig for dinosaur bones and attend local festivals like Golden Eagles Festival and return to your cosy ger with wood burners, large beds and intricate ceilings.

6. Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria

What’s with Europeans converting post-industrial stuff hotels? Taking it to the next level, Das Park offers renovated drain (*cough sewage) pipes nestled rather peacefully on the Danube River. They actually look rather clean, functional and fun! Do we call this glamping too?

Unique Hotels: Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria.

A photo posted by Flight965.com (@flight965) on

7. Ariau Amazon Towers, near Manaus, Brazil

Be like Tarzan and live in a 110-foot high mahogany tree above the primeval rainforest surrounds of the Amazon. This is one of the many room options at eco and animal-friendly hotel Ariau Towers, built at canopy level and home to pink dolphins, tropical birds, monkeys, sloths, butterflies and, for a short while, you.

8. Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji

Start saving and register to stay in this five-star resort. Located 40-feet under the sea in an off-shore lagoon on a private island (sounds Bonds-esque and you do access the resort by a lift on the island), Poseidon will have 25 rooms with panoramic undersea views (and Jacuzzis), restaurant, bar, wedding chapel and so on. With deep submersibles, you can explore under the sea like Titan.

Under the sea. #Fiji #poseidonundersearesort #TravelTuesday #SeanJohn #comeflywithme

A photo posted by SEAN JOHN (@seanjohn) on

9. Old Mount Gambier Gaol, South Australia 

Now this is hard time you don’t mind serving. Cells of this former prison, which ran from 1866-1995, have been converted into hostel rooms with original features like the doors (minus the peep holes) still in place. Close to vineyards and the Blue Lake, this jail is even more rockin’ when they host one of their regular concerts.

10. Cottar’s 1920s Camp, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya 

Stay in a traditional style safari camp befit of the upper class in the 1920s. The same family has been operating this hotel since 1919. It’s a luxurious camp with tents that don’t hold back on the trimmings or timeless elegance. Plus, it’s nestled in the heart of a wildlife rich national reserve. Spend your days on safari and your nights in yesteryear.

11. Mustang Monument Resort, south of Wells, Nevada 

Stay in a teepee at this eco-friendly resort covering 2,350 square kilometres of wild that is also home to hundreds of rescued wild mustangs. A basic, colourful teepee on the outside, inside you will find modern and functional amenities. Spend your days horse riding, hiking, rock climbing and paintballing.

You may have also noticed it’s our new catchphrase, but we seriously advocate for you to never stop waking up in strange places … go forth and travel!

Love, SF

Jolee Wakefield

A seasoned backpacker and travel writer, Jolee has spent the past decade wandering the globe in pursuit of good vibes, unusual conversations and unforgettable adventures like cave diving in Mexico, mountain climbing in Borneo and learning (failing at) local dances in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.