We’re always looking for exciting experiences that make our incredible journeys and trip ideas even more extraordinary, so our experts love uncovering unique and unusual places to stay. For those in search of something a bit different to a standard hotel, how about sleeping with the fishes in the Indian Ocean? Or perhaps in a cliffside pod in Peru, treehouse in New Zealand or vintage airstream in a Bolivian desert? Read on to discover our experts’ top 10 most unusual places to sleep.
Best for… sleeping with the fishes
Manta Resort, Tanzania
Water babies will be in heaven at Manta Resort Pemba in Zanzibar, as you can go to sleep and wake up surrounded by the brilliant azure sea in their Underwater Room. The bedroom of this unique castaway guestroom plunges three metres below the water’s surface and has wraparound glass walls so you can watch all manner of marine life swim around you. Above the bedroom is the lounge area, and above that is the top deck which is prime for sunbathing by day and stargazing by night; as there’s only one room type like this, you’ll be blissfully secluded with nothing but you and the fishes for company!
Best for… sleeping in a tree
Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses, New Zealand
If, like us, the dream of sleeping in a treehouse has lingered ever since you were a kid, then Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses in New Zealand is just the ticket. Rubbing shoulders with the treetops on Kaikoura's sweeping coastline, the luxury tree suites overlook dramatic mountains, olive groves and the spellbinding sea, where you can spot resident dolphins and whales. Come down from your tree sanctuary to tuck into heart-warming breakfasts and delectable three-course dinners, prepared by MasterChef finalist Fiona Read, and head out to sea in a kayak or on a surfboard.
Best for… getting back to nature
Phinda Forest Lodge, South Africa
The remarkable Phinda Forest Lodge is sprawled across not just one, but seven habitats in KwaZulu-Natal, so in one trip you can immerse yourself in everything from dry sand forests to marshes and mountain ranges. On twice-daily game drives you’ll track the rare Black Rhino through scrubland, canoe past Buffalo on the Mzinene River, and watch elephants through the jungle among many other incredible wildlife encounters, and retreat to your luxury lodge for a well-earned dose of luxury at the end of the day..
Best for… adventure seekers
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
Enthroned dramatically on the rocks of Fogo Island, Newfoundland, this innovative boutique hotel offers the perfect castaway experience – with a twist. Although the suites and facilities scream luxury – from the Scandi-style interiors to the rooftop sauna and one of Canada’s top restaurants – Fogo Island Inn prides itself on eco-friendliness and community spirit, encouraging guests to discover the beauty of this remote island through educational walks, foraging and art classes – to name a mere few.
Best for… sleeping in a cave
Cappadocia is an ethereal place, where lunar-like terrain is punctuated with fairy chimney rock formations, and ancient subterranean cities can still be navigated. Hewn into the rocks here is the quirky boutique hideaway, Gamirasu, comprised of historic cave dwellings layered with lavish Ottoman-style rugs, antiques and even the odd hot tub or sauna. On top of your unusual four walls, Gamirasu is unique for its very own 11th century Byzantine church, agricultural workshops and complimentary horse rides around the local village.
Best for… daredevils
Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru
This very unique ‘lodge’ is not for the faint-hearted, so look away now! The pods at Skylodge Adventure Suites are clasped to the cliffs above the beautiful Sacred Valley, affording incredible panoramas that you won’t get anywhere else. The tricky part is: you can only reach these mountainside capsules by scaling 1,000 feet up or hiking a trail through the ziplines, and the only way down is an exhilarating zipline ride afterwards – so daredevils and thrill seekers will be absolutely delighted.
Best for… watching the Northern Lights
The great natural phenomenon that is the Northern Lights is a spectacle that makes it to many a bucket list. Watching the lights illuminate the night skies from a totally unique Icelandic hideaway like ION is sure to make the experience all the more memorable, with its impressive angular design and array of tempting offerings. From the heated outdoor pool to the celebrated Silfra Restaurant, there’s no shortage of spectacular settings to watch the dancing light show from. The remote, volcanic surroundings of the Golden Circle only add to the mythical atmosphere you’ll find yourself in here.
Best for… an alternative caravan
Uyuni Vintage Airstreams, Bolivia
Zip over to the heart of the vast and eerie Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia and spend the night in total seclusion in this vintage Airstream, a caravan not quite like any other. The impossibly white salt flats stretch as far as the eye can see, a surreal landscape straight out of a sci-fi movie, so you’ll get to sleep knowing there’s nothing but you for mile upon mile. Dinner will be prepared for you by the chef, so feast outside in this spectacular setting as the stars emerge above you in an ever shifting sky of pinks, purples and blues.
Best for… waking up on a boat
Belmond Road to Mandalay, Myanmar
Gliding along the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers on a river cruise is a highlight on any Myanmar holiday, but sleeping on an elegant vessel itself, like the Belmond Road to Mandalay, is a whole new level of luxury. This exquisite boat will have you waking up to the melodious sound of Myanmar’s iconic waters, before indulging in a sumptuous feast for breakfast and watching the shifting river-scapes from the pool or observation deck.
Best for… banishing memories of damp canvas
Hoshinoya Fuji, Japan
Wet and miserable camping holidays will be a far-off memory once you pitch up at Hoshinoya Fuji, the lavish glamping resort in the foothills of Mount Fuji. The newly opened Hoshinoya Fuji offers sleek and stylish cabins that will put every other rival to shame, with their exquisitely designed rooms complete with private terraces and campfires. Where else but Japan could offer a camping experience complete with sunrise yoga and decadent dining amidst the forest?