Do you love to travel, go to new places and experience new things? Want to see things you’ve never seen before? Well, The Blot Magazine’s list of the 10 Most Interesting Hotels in the World will amaze you before you even reach your destination. Each one will provide you with a lodging experience that you’ll never forget. If you want a trip you will always remember, spend the night at one of these very unique hotels.
Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji
The aptly named Poseidon Undesea Resort is unlike any other hotel in the world. It is the first with a one-atmosphere seafloor structure, the temperature and humidity are constantly controlled inside, and the interior pressure is no different than you would find at sea level.
You enter from the pier and take an elevator down to the front desk. Seventy percent of the exterior is transparent acrylic (not glass), so you will have a panoramic underwater view in every room and be able to push a button to feed the fish. The underwater views continue in the restaurant and bar, and the unique features don’t end with the exterior landscape. Enjoy a library, a conference room, a wedding chapel and even learn how to pilot a three-person submersible. At the pier entrance, there’s a nine-hole golf course, hypo-therapy center, dive shop with decompression chamber, a marina and even a private plane to fly you to and from the main Fiji island of Viti Levu. From there, you can catch flights to Sydney, Vancouver or Los Angeles. Non-residents can’t even gain island access.
Pretty awesome, huh? There’s only two problems: 1. The price. You’re looking at $1,500 a night, standard rate, per person. Couples staying the week are prepared to drop $30,000 for seven days of five-star underwater luxury. 2. Poseidon Undersea Resort was conceived in 2001, completed in 2008 and has a waiting list of more than 150,000 — but it hasn’t opened as of yet. It’s still taking reservations, so this door remains slightly ajar, if a little underwater.
Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia
Not sure about any long waiting list to stay here, but it sure is looking to provide you with an unforgettable experience. The Karosta Prison Hotel is a semi-remodeld former prison in Latvia, in an area just kilometers north of in the coastal city of Liepaja, just off the Baltic Sea. The Karosta Prison itself was originally designed to be an infirmary, but was then recommissioned as a working detention center from 1900-1997.
If you enjoy a hardcore, adventurous mindset, this hotel will test your resolve. You’ll need to sign a release upon entry stating that you do agree to be treated like a prison inmate. Verbal abuse is just fine with you, as is physical exercise (“Drop and give me 20!”) when called upon. Hopefully, you are comfortable with the “squat toilet” concept and sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of your unpainted cell. If not, you will learn. They will teach you and for only $16 a night. (I’d like to meet the person who pays to stay a second night here.)
Grand Canyon Caverns, Arizona
This archeologist’s dream resort is not six feet under. It’s more like 200 and 300 feet below ground. Special features for the Western traveler include an airstrip, RV camping area with full hookups and a rodeo ring, plus plenty of tours and cave history to fill your heart’s content. These 345-million-year-old caves are the largest dry caverns in the U.S. (97 percent of all caverns are wet), so between being in Arizona and a football field below ground, you won’t have to worry about those pesky raindrops or any condensation at all.
If you want to enjoy the Underground Cave Suite, that will set you back $800 a night, per couple, but they sleep up to six people ($100 per person above two.)
9h Hotel, Japan
If you’ve ever been in Japan for more than an hour, you’ll realize that in metropolitan areas, space is at a premium. Hotels are far from palatial, due to the size constraints of having more than 150 million people in a place the size of California. With that in mind, you may feel right at home at the 9h (nine hours) hotels in Kyoto or Narita International Airport in Japan.
Since 9h opened about five years ago, it’s served more than 700,000 people from 50-plus countries. It boasts central locations near transportation, flexible schedules (you can stay as little as an hour) and low prices.
What makes 9h unique are the sleeping pods, if you want that spaceship feel. They measure 110 cm wide by 220 cm deep by 110 cm tall, so you should be good if you don’t weigh much more than 200 pounds (Japanese are somewhat smaller than other cultures physically). They do not provide food or meals here, but you can bring any food you’ll need. You will get a bath towel, face towel, loungewear and a toothbrush can be found inside your locker. Hair dryers are located on each locker room/shower room floor. Shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided in each shower unit, and all guest must check out daily to ease facility cleaning. Think pit stop and not rest home, and you’ll be just fine at 9h.
La Villa Hamster, France
For just 99 Euros a night, you won’t get an underground or prison experience, you’ll get an out of humanity experience. Stay at La Villa Hamster in Nantes, France, and you’ll actually live in a human-sized hamster dwelling, fit for a human-sized hamster.
While there, you’ll receive all the proper amenities to make you feel .. right at a hamster’s home. You’ll get containers of organic grain, a foot-activated water spigot, a double bed within a crawl space that can only be reached by a stepladder, a bathroom with a vat of wood chips, a giant trough sink, a working human-sized hamster wheel and, last but not least, a hamster mask to wear during your stay.
Think of it this way: You can exercise in your room, and you certainly won’t get lost out on a jog.
Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
If you ever find yourself in the Arctic Circle, as the founder of this hotel did 40-plus years ago, and might like to find a place to stay, the original Hotel Kakslauttanen might be the unique resting spot you seek. Not only is its location unique (250 kilometers above the Arctic Circle), but the design of the living units is just as original. Besides the available log cabins, guests can stay in glass igloos for a great view of the Northern Lights from August until April.
From a misguided trip where he got lost to a summer in a tent at this location before building a cabin the following year, the owner, Jessi, still runs the family lodging business. He has watched it grow for more than 40 years. With the incredible activities available, it’s easy to see why. Snowboarding, Husky and reindeer safaris, ice fishing, aurora hunting, ATV and mountain biking andmuch more, there is always something for the outdoorsman in you to do.
The Balancing Barn, England
If you are ever in Suffolk, England, with the family, you may want to make your trip really unique and stay a weekend at The Balancing Barn. Designed to accommodate up to eight people, it has been in service since 2010 and is available for stays from three to seven days for 27 pounds per night, per person, if you fill it to its eight-person capacity.
Four large bedrooms, silver tiles on the outside and strengthened glass within the living room floor make it very livable and lets you see the ground below. When you walk to the cantilevered side, you don’t notice any vibration or movement. Jump up and down, and the side wobbles slightly. The idea is psychological to get your mind focused on its perceived lack of stability. That’s the fun of it.
Hotel of Ice, Romania
Everything is built around the concept of ice. The rooms are made with ice. The tables where you eat your meals? Ice (there is cloth over them.) The seats? Ice (there are pillows on them.). The floors are ice and even the church outside is made of ice. Pretty cool, huh?
Doesn’t the ice eventually melt? Yes and no. The hotel is rebuilt every winter with new blocks of ice from nearby Balea Lake, and this has been the custom for the past 10 years. There’s plenty to do here, as long as you like winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and more. There are also a lot of organized fun games with prizes, like snowballs fights, building the biggest snowman, and ice bowling. Prices start at 400 lei (about $100) per night, per couple.
BaseCamp Bonn Hostel, Germany
Want to holiday in Germany, but crave an American feel to your living situation? The BaseCamp Bonn Hostel in Bonn gives you an American trailer-park decor for those with a touch of middle America in their soul.
If you are the type who thinks 16 vintage caravans, two-night sleepers, two Airstreams and the odd VW Transporter are super-retro cool, then this is your German paradise, American-style. You won’t find this anywhere in the U.S., much less eastern Europe. There are restaurants and supermarkets within walking distance, and you can use the kitchen facilities, sink and microwave, just like any other hostel.
For just 22 Euro a night you get breakfast, a bed in an outdoor night sleeper and Wi-Fi as far as the eye can see. If you want campers and caravans for yourself, they start at 54 Euro a night.
Legoland Hotel, California
For those who want the absolute most-colorful boarding experience, you can miss the Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, Calif. The Danish invention (many Americans think it’s an American idea. Silly ‘mericans!) has spawned a theme park here since 1999, a new hotel in Windsor, U.K., and a new Lego Hotel in Florida this spring.
The kids will love this place, and hotel guests get special access to the nearby theme-park before the general public every day. Amenities include character visits in Bricks Family Restaurant as well as meet and greets in the hotel lobby, model-building contests and nightly entertainment for kids. Think of it as Disneyland for a lower price, and you can see the potential for a great weekend for the whole family.
Evander Smart is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.