If you are looking for some unique accommodations during your trip to Europe, look no further! Whether you are after a summer stay in a tree house where you can get close to nature, or an icy winter retreat in an ice hotel, Europe has some of the quirkiest places for guests to rest their heads at night. Here’s a look at some of the best of them.
Helsinki happens to be home to a rather unique hotel which holds many secrets. Yes, Hotel Katajanokka wasn’t always a place where weary travellers could check in; this hotel was formerly a prison! The converted building has been operating as a hotel for several years now, however, once you walk through the main doors you can see signs of a former jail all around you: iron railings, long narrow hallways, high windows. The hotel’s best feature is the Jailbird restaurant located in the hotel’s basement. Breakfast is served in metal bowls and tin cups which really add to the feel of the place.
If you don’t mind a little chill in the air, another unique idea is to stay in an ice hotel. The ice hotel trend has become very popular in Scandinavian countries where the freezing temperatures allow inventive architects to fashion structures out of ice and snow. Norway in particular is home to two very popular ice hotels: Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta and Kirkenes SnowHotel. Both of these hotels open in January and stay open until April (weather permitting). These hotels are home to some great facilities including an ice bar, lounge, ice chapel, and beautiful restaurant. And of course no visit would be complete without a husky sledge ride through the snowcapped forest.
Cave hotels are particularly popular in Cappadocia, Turkey, where persecuted people groups found refuge in the rocks and built underground cities. Today, many of these former dwellings have been converted into hotels offering guests from far and wide a memorable stay. One of the most popular cave hotels in the region is The Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Ayvali Village near Urgup.
Tree House Hotel
Another interesting concept which your inner child is sure to love is the idea of staying in a tree house. This is where Sweden‘s TreeHotel comes in. The premise behind this unique hotel is to provide tree rooms with contemporary design in the middle of unspoiled nature; the rooms look like floating boxes in the middle of a tall pine forest. TreeHotel is is located in the little town of Harads, near the Lule river, and it offers a perfect escape away from the city.
And last but not least, for those looking to feel a bit like nobility while on holiday, there is always the option of staying in a palace. There are many manors, palaces, and castles scattered across Europe which have been refurbished to accommodate guests looking for a touch of luxury. Perhaps one of the best known palace hotels in Europe is The Gritti Palace San Marco in Venice. This hotel sits in front of the Grand Canal and is only a short stroll from Piazza San Marco. The palace was built in 1525 as the Gritti family’s residence and you can feel the opulence wherever you turn.
These are just a few of the unique accommodations you can find in Europe, but of course there are plenty more including cinema hotels, church hotels, floating hotels, capsule hotels, and so much more. It’s just a matter of doing a little research ahead of time and seeing what strange places you can find.
What’s the most unique hotel you’ve ever stayed in?