When the accommodation is the experience: a journey through Europe’s quirkiest hotels


So, you’re planning the trip, you’ve got the flights, chosen the destination and found a small tour of the area that looks interesting. Now it’s time to find a hotel you like that’s well located. But, what about if instead of just looking for a nice place to sleep, we thought about making the stay a unique experience in itself?

On most trips, it’s all about the experience in the destination, and how we interact to it, either actively or in a more contemplative way.  You head away for the weekend to explore someplace, a week on the beach to relax, or a few days with friends to do some sport, the main reason is usually linked to the destination itself or some specific activity, but where you stay is not normally one of the main things that triggers people to travel. However, have you ever thought that where you stay could be an adventure in itself?

For those of you who fancy an enriching experience in your accommodation option away from the destination itself or a typical hotel stay, well, you’re in luck as we’ve selected 10 of the quirkiest hotels in Europe (with the best ratings) for you to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  1. La Villa Cheminée de Tatzu NishiPays de la Loire, France

An accommodation offering like no other. The Japanese artists Tatzu Nishi created the classic French cottage on top of a 15m high tower to remind us of the chimneys from the power plant nearby. It sleeps two comfortably and comes with a kitchen, wood-fired heater, an outdoor garden and incredible views of the Loire Valley.


  1. La Balade des GnomesDurbuy, Belgium

This exceptional accommodation in Durbuy, a 17th-century Belgian town,

features 10 unique room inspired by fairy tales and legends. There’s a huge Trojan horse room, and the ‘Macquarie Island’ room is also a big hit with its bed-boat that appears to float on real water.

  1. Spitbank FortPortsmouth, England

Although initially, the idea of staying on an old sea fort in the middle of the ocean might not sound too appealing, if you check the stunning panoramic views, the luxury and the online reviews from guests, well, you might just change your mind.

A historic hotel in the Solent, the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England, with eight luxury suites, a bar, hot pool, sauna and, of course, incredible views. Perfect for your next all-night party as you’ll never disturb the neighbours. And like the hotel says, what happens at Spitbank Fort stays at Spitbank Fort!

  1. Crane Hotel Faralda AmsterdamAmsterdam, Holland

Tell us a place you would never, ever, in a million years think of sleeping in… what about a crane, maybe? The Crane Hotel Faralda Amsterdam is an old industrial shipping crane has been given a makeover and has three suites (Free Spirit, Secret and Mystique). Beyond the originality of the building, if you can call it that, are the incredible panoramic views of the city that are constantly changing as the crane moves with the wind.



  1. STF Kolarbyn Eco-LodgeSkinnskatteberg, Sweden

If you are one of those who likes nature, you’re going to love this place. Say hello to “Sweden’s most primitive hotel”, the STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge is definitely not for those looking for comfort. Staying here means back to basics, no electricity, but the rooms all have a fireplace, wooden beds and good sleeping bags. There are no showers, but you do have Lake Skärsjön at the foot of the twelve camouflaged cabins in the middle of the forest if you fancy a dip.

  1. Utter Inn, Västerås, Sweden

Those looking for a more sophisticated and eccentric option might want to take a look at the Utter Inn. A floating hotel in Vasteras, east of Stockholm, set in one of the area’s many lakes, but a few metres below the surface with the room decorated in traditional Swedish cabin style.

The hotel assures its guests that eating on the surface is akin to being on a boat, completely relaxing, with the gentle rocking of the waves, and that the sunsets are promising, but the best part comes when you go down to the room as you can see different species of fish swimming by the windows of your room.

  1. Golden Crown Levi IgloosLapland, Finland

Now to an even more remote destination. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon worthy of a great trip, and what better way to catch a glimpse of them than from an igloo? Well, all you need to do is stay at the Golden Crown Levi Igloos in Lapland, and believe us, this is an absolutely amazing experience whether you get to see the Northern Lights or not. Guests are treated to a luxuriously decorated, high-tech interior with a non-fogging glass roof to make sure you enjoy the spectacular sky views and surrounding scenery at all times.

  1. V8 Hotel Motorworld Region StuttgartBoblingen, Germany

The V8 Hotel is a dream come true for car lovers with 34 themed car rooms. Each of the rooms has its own special touch, inspired by car manufacturers such as Mercedes, Morris Minor and Volkswagen. There are even car wash and petrol station rooms. Car enthusiasts can also see the historic restoration of some models.

  1. Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden

Hard to believe, but we assure you that it’s true and exists on one of the disused runways at Stockholm airport. Jumbo Stay is a hotel, inside an out-of-service Boeing 457, with 33 different rooms and a luxury suite which, of course, is located in the cockpit.

  1. Mil Estrelles, Gerona, Spain

In Spain, we also have an original example of new styles of accommodation in a picturesque setting in Banyoles, Gerona. Mil Estrelles is an old farmhouse converted into an innovative hotel, where you can spend the night “outdoors”, although you are actually protected by inflatable bubbles with see-through ceilings in the middle of quiet gardens.




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