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10 Weirdest Hotels

Travellers go long distances just to see historical landmarks, natural wonders and exotic attractions. But sometimes the hotels are worth the trip all by themselves. Prepare to be stunned by the 10 strangest hotels in the world.

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1. Jules' Undersea Lodge, Florida

1. Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Florida

Most hotels will let just about anybody stay, but at Jules’ Undersea Lodge you need to have certification… in scuba diving. Visitors – either for a day visit or an overnight stay – must be able to dive to get to their room 21-feet below the sea of the Emerald Lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. The underwater hotel, which was once a research laboratory off the coast of Puerto Rico, has two bedrooms, a common area, cooking facilities, a TV and 42-inch round windows offering great views of curious sea life. Not dive certified? The lodge also offers PADI and NAUI dive certification courses. (Photo courtesy of Jules’ Undersea Lodge)

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2. Kelebek Hotel, Turkey

2. Kelebek Hotel, Turkey

A hotel carved out of rock? There is one place on earth where that’s not so unusual: Cappadocia, Turkey. The landscape, covered with “fairy chimneys” of rock, looks like another planet, and over many centuries the locals have carved out their lives here. The Kelebek -which translates as butterfly — has several cave rooms, including a former chapel, complete with a holy cross on the ceiling. (Photo courtesy of Julian Fong)

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3. Salt Hotel, Bolivia

3. Salt Hotel, Bolivia

The Salar de Uyuni in southwestern Bolivia is the largest salt desert in the world. As far as the eye can see is a gleaming white surface of a former lake, which until recent years has only attracted salt miners and a few species of birds. But what a lovely place to stay! In order to lodge tourists, however, the area needed a hotel. Playa Blanco Hotel used the only building material that was easily accessible: salt. And so the entire structure is blocks of it cemented together by even more salt. There’s a bar inside and even an outdoor pool. Guests need to be reminded not to lick the walls. (You know you’d want to!) (Photo courtesy of Leonora Enking)

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4. IceHotel, Arctic Cirle

4. IceHotel, Arctic Cirle

Service is a bit chilly at this hotel, but that’s not through any fault of the friendly staff. 200-kilometres inside the Arctic Circle in Jukkasjärvi, in Swedish Lapland you’ll find IceHotel – when it exists. Each year the hotel is built from scratch and with a unique design every time. Snow and ice make up the entire construction which offers up to 55 rooms, including suites. There’s also a bar on site specializing in cold drinks, and even an ice church popular with wedding parties. The hotel season typically starts in December as the construction is completed in three phases, and ends whenever Mother Nature says so (usually the end of April). (Photo courtesy of rieh/Flickr Creative Commons)

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5. Crazy House Dalat, Vietnam

5. Crazy House Dalat, Vietnam

Hang Nga Guesthouse and Gallery in Dalat, Vietnam is known affectionately by the locals as “Crazy House” Hotel. What makes this hotel and oddball tourist attraction unique? The surfaces curve and twist all over like a Salvador Dali painting and inside are many unusual amenities. Stairs made out of bongo drums? A bear at the center of the curved room? There’s even a kangaroo with glowing red eyes, and the whole structure is designed like a forest of hollowed out trees. Outside are many places to climb all over the structures, offering beautiful views and fun for the kids. (Photo courtesy of Tom Ravenscroft)

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6. Hotel Marques de Riscal, Spain

6. Hotel Marques de Riscal, Spain

If you know anything about architecture, you’d probably be able to guess this is a Frank O. Gehry design. Quite a spectacular sight, this luxury hotel in the Rioja wine region of Spain was commissioned by a local winery. The curving surfaces are made of stainless steel and a gold and pink-coloured titanium meant to recall the colours of the wineries bottles. This 43-room boutique hotel is much more than just a sleek modern design: a Michelin-starred chef is the mind behind the menu and the spa with its “wine therapy” – using hot spring water with vine and grape extracts — was rated Number 1 in the world by Conde Naste Traveler. (Photo courtesy of igorre1969/Flickr Creative Commons)

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7. Capsule Hotels, Japan

7. Capsule Hotels, Japan

Japan is a very crowded place, and with all the “salarymen” rushing about, finding a business hotel can sometimes be a challenge. Not for the claustrophobic, these tiny “rooms” are large enough for one person only and resemble, in some respects, coffins. But fear not: there is a TV screen and air flows in liberally. If you are much taller than 6 feet, it probably isn’t for you. But at about $40 per night, it’s a good deal in a high-priced town like Tokyo. (Photo courtesy of Adam Fletcher)

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8. Kruisherenhotel, Netherlands

8. Kruisherenhotel, Netherlands

Situated in Maastricht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, is this stately luxury hotel set in a repurposed 15th-century cathedral. Gothic on the outside, modern on the inside, this was once the church of the local monastery. Built into the nave are a breakfast area, the lobby and even a wine bar. The rooms offer many modern amenities, colours, and design patterns, but this is all set alongside the old stain-glass and serious arches of the former identity. (Photo courtesy of Minke Wagenaar)

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9. Propeller Island, Germany

9. Propeller Island, Germany

Designed by German artist Lars Stroschen, Propeller Island is “a habitable work of art in the heart of Berlin”. Choose from 30 unique rooms where every piece, colour or amenity has emerged from the artist’s mind. Spend the night in a padded room, if you’d like. One room has a slanted floor (like an old Batman episode), while another features a bed suspended from the rafters by ropes. Another room is painted entirely in one colour: orange. The floor, ceiling, walls, bedding – everything is orange. (Photo courtesy of dsopfe/Flickr Creative Commons)

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10. Jumbo Hostel, Sweden

10. Jumbo Hostel, Sweden

Parked just outside of Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport (a ten-minute walk from the check-in counters) is a most unusual hostel. A retired 747 jumbo jet, built in 1976, has been reborn as budget accommodations. How big is a jumbo jet anyway? Well, the hostel has 27 rooms with 76 beds, including a honeymoon suite in the cockpit. Flat-screen TVs, WiFi, and breakfast are included and some rooms even have private baths. One of the wings is an observation deck, a great place to have a coffee while you’re in between flights on the jets that are still flying next door. (Photo courtesy of carlbob/Flickr Creative Commons)