Helping The World Meet

19 Bizarre But Beautiful Hotels You Have To Visit Before You Die

There are so many factors which make a hotel memorable; excellent service, panoramic views, top-class cuisine… The list goes on and on. What happens though, when hoteliers decide to push the boundaries and create something truly unique? Ever wanted to share your dining table with a giraffe or sleep in a tree house suspended by rope?

Thanks to our work with over 70,000 hotels around the world, we have come across some seriously unique hotels. From Jumbo jets to old trains, we’ve got you covered with this list of 19 absolutely insane hotels that you MUST visit before you die:

The World's Top 19 Hotels To Visit Before You Die

19. Giraffe Manor, Kenya.

Yes, those are actual giraffes chilling out by the breakfast table.

18. Jumbo Stay, Sweden.

Ever wanted a comfortable night’s sleep on a plane? Well Sweden has the solution in the form of a totally converted jumbo jet.

17. Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel, Amsterdam

Fancy sleeping at 50 ft above the ground? This one might not be for everyone but the views over the city are pretty spectacular.

16. Aescher Cliff Guesthouse, Switzerland

Built into the side of a cliff, this 170 year old guesthouse isn’t particularly fancy, instead offering guests a more rustic experience with dreamy surroundings.

15. Free Spirit Spheres, Canada

Located in the west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, these spheres are suspended by three ropes attached (securely!) to three separate trees. Tree houses for adults!

14. The Aurora Express, Alaska

700 ft of railway track is host to four majestic trains which have each been renovated to resemble different historical periods.

13. Ještěd Tower, Czech Republic

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this hotel was actually a spaceship. Standing at over 300 ft tall, the building is also used to transmit television signal and can be reached by cable car.

12. dasparkhotel, Germany

This novel project in Germany is repurposing drain pipes into hotel rooms and operates using a ‘pay-what-you-wish’ system!

11. Attrap’Rêves, France

Tucked away in the forest, these transparent bubbles are perfect for stargazers who enjoy totally uninterrupted views of the night sky.

10. Mirrorcube Treehouse Hotel, Sweden

There are five Treehouses to choose from, but the Mirrorcube has to be the coolest one of all. Designed to blend into its surroundings, mirrored walls mean that this hotel ‘room’ is actually invisible.

9. Martin's Patershof, Belgium

19th Century Franciscan church turned four-star hotel; step back in time and stay in one of the lavish Church Rooms.

8. Hanging Gardens Ubud, Indonesia

Have you ever seen something so breathtaking? These luxurious villas are hidden away in the picturesque rainforest.

7. Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, Netherlands

Amsterdam’s answer to those who want to never grew out of dollhouses.

6. 9 Hour Capsule Hotel, Japan

Possibly the most futuristic hotel in the world, complete with a modulated-light sleep system.

5. Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya

Fancy sleeping under the stars on a four-poster bed; surely it doesn’t get much better than that?

4. Hằng Nga Guesthouse, Vietnam

With its fairytale architecture and ten wacky-themed bedrooms, it’s not hard to see why this place has been nicknamed ‘The Crazy House.’

3. Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore

Four distinctly-themed floors are home to 29 rooms of the most eccentric order.

2. Hotel Silken Puerta América, Madrid

Arguably Spain’s coolest hotel with each floor designed by a different architectural firm.

1. Dog Bark Park, Idaho, USA

Yes, that is a hotel in the shape of a Beagle. I’m not sure what else there is to say about that.

#TTE15 - What Technology Will The Traveller Of The Future Use?

This week I attended the Travel Technology Europe Conference in London's Olympia. It is the only event of its kind that specializes in technology systems and software for the travel industry. While I wasn't overly impressed with many of the companies on offer (especially compared to the tech I saw at Confex and the Event Production Show the week before), one talk in particular really caught my interest.

'What technology will the future traveller use' was a demo session that took place yesterday afternoon and involved an insight into what technology travellers will be using in the near future and how this technology could change the travel industry forever. It included incredibly energetic and inspiring talks from Nicholas Gilbert, CEO of Aerial Empire, Henry Stuart, Co-Founder of Visualise and Joakin Everstin, Innovation Manager with Sabre.

Wearable Drones and Aerial Photography

aerial photography drones

First up was Nicholas Gilbert, a pilot and CEO of Aerial Empire, who talked about the rise of aerial photography and introduced the audience to some of the latest high-tech drones on the market, such as Nixie - the wearable camera that can fly. Speaking of wearable drones, he said they are simultaneously 'cool and terrifying' referring to the fact that we are now using military technology for pleasure! 

His company 'Aerial Empire' makes incredible videos for top class hotels around the world, combining aerial photography and flawless transitions to create viral video content. He says using drones for photography, especially within the hotel and adventure tourism industry, is a key way to stay on ahead of market trends and to gain maximum exposure for your brand.

Virual Reality

virtaul reality headsets

Next up was Henry Stuart, Co-Founder of Visualise - a Virtual Reality (VR) Agency with some of the world's top photographers and videographers. The company has worked with some of the world's most iconic brands and events including South African Touriism, the London Olympics and the Royal Wedding. 

He spoke about Virtual Reality headsets, comparing the current bulky product to 'the original mobile phone - the brick'. The hardware will drastically change over the next few years, in the same way smartphones were improved and developed over the last decade. These VR headsets allow travellers to see and hear and experience a hotel, a resort, a waterfall, a roller coaster or a beach before they have ever left the country. 

He emphasized that these 360 degree virtual tours will be available to everyone, anywhere. He said, "This doesn't live on the headset. It lives on millions of mobile phones around the world. You can share an image at any stage. Anyone, anywhere can jump into the experience at that point."

Google Glass and 'Location Based Services'

ibeacon location based services

The last speaker was Joakim Everstin from Sabre - one of the biggest travel market places in the world. Joakim talked us through Google Glass and latest innovations in similar technologies but what was more interesting was his view on 'location based services'.

Location based services offer individuals specific offers or services depending on where they are located within a building, For example, if you are entering an airport you could get a message offering you to upgrade to a 'fastrack' ticket allowing you to skip long security queues. Or receiving a text message once you sit down on the plane, asking if you want to upgrade to  a higher class to avoid screaming children and cramped leg space.

This can be done by pinpointing exactly where a person is within a building using WiFi triangulation and i-beacon points. Technology allows us to know where a person is within a building down to to a few meters.

He said, "In the future, you may not need a room key for your hotel - the i-beacon in the room will let you know when you are at your room and then you can use your smartphone to enter."

So, should we be excited about the future of travel or is it all a little invasive and slightly...terrifying?!