As a budget backpacker, I quite often find myself staying in cheap hostel dorms rather than hotels when I’m travelling.

That does not stop me from dreaming though!

I have found that, as I have looked more into the countries I want to visit, I have stumbled upon unique hotels and accommodations that, despite being way out of my budget, I would love to stay in!

Saying that, some of these location aren’t too expensive! I just need to take the trip to the country they’re in and make the most of them.

Whether it is for the adventure, the experience or just to be able to say I have slept there, there are a multitude of reasons for my wanting to stay in these hotels.

I can’t say that I will ever be able to stay in all of these places, but if I do I assure you I will post plenty about it.

Skylodge Adventure Suites – Peru

Skylodge Adventure Suites on the side of a mountain in Peru
Photo of the Skylodge Adventure Suites by F Delventhal, posted on Flickr

The first hotel on my list is perfect for anyone with an interest in adventure travel!

The Skylodge Adventure Suites have been on my radar since 2017 and were probably the first hotel that I ever saw and thought about the concept of staying somewhere for the hotel itself and not just to have a bed for the night.

These capsule hotels are hanging on the side of a mountain, meaning that in order to get to your room you have to climb up to it.

I am someone who has started to enjoy bouldering over the last year or so. It is something that my boyfriend really enjoys and so, when I can, I go with him. I am yet to do any actual mountaineering, however this seems like a good combination of my interest in travel and my interest in bouldering!

The pods aren’t exactly conducive for exploring the surrounding area, so it would probably be a one or two night stay at most, but it seems like such a stunning way to wake up, overlooking the world below.

The Walled Off Hotel – Palestine

The Walled Off Hotel in Palestine
Photo of Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel by Travel 2 Palestine, posted on Flickr

The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem is an art hotel set up and financed by Banksy. It is a completely independent centre that holds no political leanings towards either side of the conflict and states on its FAQ page:

It is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group. Our Palestinian management and staff offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis who come with an open heart.

http://walledoffhotel.com/questions.html

The hotel itself has a myriad of things to keep you occupied. A museum, art gallery and piano bar are all on site (and open to the public) and there are some great tours and day trips from the facility too!

The thing that really draws me to the walled off hotel however is its commitment to put any profits back into the local community. This is important to me as I don’t want to support anywhere that is profiting from other peoples struggles.

Fairy Chimney Inn – Turkey

Fairy Chimenys in Cappadocia with a hot air balloon
Some Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia with a hot air balloon!
Image via Peakpx

The Fairy Chimney Inn in Goreme is a hotel room build into the famous Fairy Chimney’s of Cappadocia.

The Inn promises ‘local style with modern amenities’ meaning that, despite saying inside of what is essentially a cave, it is still meant to be comfortable.

My main reason for wanting to stay here is for the unique location. A lot of the places on this list are on here because of their being close to nature. Since starting to live more sustainably, I have become more and more fascinated with the idea of staying in more eco-friendly or natural hotels and hostels. You can’t get much more natural than a cave.

Plus, who doesn’t want to be able to say they’ve watched the sunset from a fairy chimney?

Aura House – Indonesia

Aura house treehouse in Bali, Indonesia
Aura house in Bali, Indonesia!
Image via https://aurahouse-bali.com

The next on my list is probably more about fulfilling a childhood dream than anything else.

I never got to have a treehouse as a kid but it was always something that I wanted. Treehouses make me think of adventure and keeping secrets with your friends – at least that’s what movies have taught me about them.

It is probably for this reason that I find the concept of staying in a treehouse overnight so exciting! I have seen some stunning instagram photos from people who have stayed in them overnight and it just strengthens my desire to stay in one.

And, realistically, where better to sleep in a treehouse than Bali?

Shakespeare and Company – France

Shakespeare and Company book shop
The storefront of Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France!
Image via Wikimedia

This one is less of a hotel and more of, well, a bookshop! Despite that, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France has been high up on my bucket list of places to stay for years!

The bookstores owner, George Whitman, considered himself a tumbleweed as he travelled the world “sheltered by the grace of strangers”. In a bid to repay those good deeds, he started the tumbleweed program, allowing writers to stay in the store for free in exchange for a few hours of work, the promise to read a book a day and write a single page autobiography.

I think this would be such an incredible place to relax, knuckle down on my (non-blog) writing and refresh!

The tumbleweed program is in line with everything I stand for in life and it is a huge dream of mine to be able to stay there someday! It can be quite tricky to get a spot in the store but if I keep trying then potentially, someday, I will be able to call myself a tumbleweed too!

Kolarbyn Ecolodge – Sweden

A kolarbyn ecolodge hobbit hole
One of the hobbit-hole-esc Kolarbyn Exolodges in Sweden!
Image via Wildsweden.com

I am ashamed to say that I have only recently watched the Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit, but I quickly fell in love with the world within them!

Therefore, when I discovered the Kolarbyn Ecolodge, I couldn’t pass up the chance to add ‘living like a hobbit’ to my bucket list!

The concept of the forest huts is, essentially, a way to help you get closer to nature, listen to the birds, cook food over an open fire etc. I doubt I would be able to stay here for more than a night or two, as I’d miss some of my creature comforts, but it sounds like such a beautiful way to experience a more rural side of Sweden.

To really hammer home the fascinating nature of the ecolodges, the founder described them as such:

No electricity, no showers, nothing fancy at all, just natural mysteriousness. And that is precisely why you will love this place!

— Marcus Eldh, founder of Kolarbyn Ecolodge

Plus there is a floating sauna on the lake!

Overwater Bungalow – Maldives

Some Overwater Bungalows in the Maldives
Some overwater bungalows in the Maldives!
Image via Wallpaperflare

The overwater bungalow is more of a future goal of mine than one that will happen any time in the near future.

Being a popular honeymoon destination, and therefore incredibly expensive, means that, unfortunately, my dream of going from my balcony, down my private slide and into crystal clear waters may have to wait.

Yet, it seems like one of the most peaceful locations on earth and I would love to spend a few nights here lounging in a bikini and catching up on reading and writing and resting.

Bambu Indah – Indonesia

A building in the Bambu Indah hotel
One of the buildings in Bambu Indah in Bali, Indonesia!
Image via Booking.com

Bambu Inda, often called the Robinson Crusoe Hotel, is an eco lifestyle boutique hotel in Bali, Indonesia.

With yoga classes and natural pools, Bambu Indah is more of a relax and renew retreat than a hotel, which, if you haven’t noticed yet, is a theme that ties a lot of my bucket list hotels together quite nicely.

It is also quite possibly one of the most instagramable locations I have ever seen and seems to be designed to help you to take the perfect photograph. If you’ve seen my instagram you’ll know I need all the help I can get with that.

Martian Dome – Jordan

A Martian dome in the desert in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
Photo of The Martian Camp by soomness, posted on Flickr

Staying in a desert camp in Wadi Rum has been brought to my attention a few times as I have asked about which countries I should visit to get to 100.

Whilst I really want to take at least one night to live the local experience, the Martian Domes in the desert also really caught my eye.

The otherworldly desert landscape through the geometric windows of your dome give the impression that you really are on Mars.

As recreational space travel is not a thing yet, and may not be a thing (that I will be able to afford at least) in my lifetime, I think that a Martian Dome in the middle of the Jordanian desert is probably the next best thing!

The Madonna Inn – USA

The daisy mae room at the Madonna inn. A bed in the middle of a cave.
Room 138, ‘Daisy Mae’ at The Madonna Inn in California, USA!
Image via Madonnainn

The Madonna Inn is unlike any other hotel on this list for the sole fact that it isn’t a unique experience because of it being an unusual type of accommodation, for where it is or for what it stands for, but for the decor!

The rooms at The Madonna Inn are so intricately decorated to their individual themes, be it cavemen or romance!

There are such a wide variety of rooms that I think it would just be a fun place to visit and soak in the theme.

Out of all of the hotel rooms you can view on their website, the ‘Daisy Mae’ room is definitely my favourite! It looks so cozy and romantic.

Capsule Hotel – Japan

A Japanese capsule hotel
A capsule hotel by Kojach, posted on Flickr

If you read my post about my top 5 bucket-list countries then you know that Japan is way up at the top of my list and, alongside that, is the capsule hotel.

Unlike most of the other items on this list I do not have a particular hotel in mind. Instead it is the concept of the hotel that draws me to it.

As someone who often stays in hostels, it is arguable that the capsule hotel is a large hostel dorm with less of a social life. Yet, the idea of sleeping in my own little pod seems futuristic and fun and is something I would love to do… if only for one night.

Whilst capsule hotels are the only thing on this list that I think I could only stand one night in, potentially with the exception of the Kolarbyn Ecolodge, they are still an experience I would love to have and are, potentially, the most achievable on this list!

Which hotels are on your bucket list?

Have you stayed in any unique places?

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79 Comments

  1. When can I get packing?? These are incredible! I have no idea why I don’t spend more time looking at amazing hotels online, these are just stunning.

    I hope you make it to all of them at some point, and hey if you have any space in your luggage, I think I’d make an excellent travel partner 😉

    1. I don’t know when I started thinking about actual hotels as being a getaway in themselves but there are so many lovely ones out there!

      If I manage to get to them I’ll definitely post about it 😊

  2. Awesome list we are the same to save money we normally have a typical airbnb apartment, but it is nice to have that dream list:) I love the Overwater Bungalow – Maldives – This is on my bucket travel list 🙂

    1. A girl can dream! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to make it to some of these!

      Some aren’t even expensive just awkward to get to so they’re definitely feasible for the future 😊

  3. These hotels look fascinating. I’d love to stay at all of them but alas most seem so far away.

      1. I hope you are able to. I am in the US on the East Coast. California would be closest place.

  4. Great list! I have stayed at the Walled Off Hotel and I will say that it is extremely eye opening. I did a tour to a local refugee camp with them, and their stories will stay with me.

    It inspired me and now I work for an organization that works with refugees.

  5. This is a great list! I’ve wanted to stay in overwater bungalows for so long but it seems so expensive. This tree houses in Indonesia look so fun!
    -Hillary

    1. I’ve always wanted to sleep in a tree house so I couldn’t resist putting some on here! I’m determined to one day make my dream of staying in an overwater bungalow come true!

  6. Some of these look more appealing than others. Although I love a good view I’m not sure about how precarious the ones in Peru look. Also not interested in being in a capsule. But I’ll take a Maldives bungalow or a cave hotel any day. The only one here I’ve been to is Shakespeare & Co and had no idea about their program. It was a cool shop. I love going there when I’m in Paris

    1. Aha they’re definitely not for everyone! Glad some of the hotels on my list appealed to you though! Shakespeare and Co.’s tumbleweed program is something I discovered when contemplating a gap year and has stuck with me since!

  7. What unique places! I’ve never heard of most of them! I especially love the fairy cottage in Turkey and the hobbit hole.

    1. It’s a haven for writers I believe! I’be heard it’s quite tricky to manage to stay there though but I would love to spend a bit of time just focusing on writing there! I’m glad you enjoyed my list!

  8. I have done an overwater villa in the Maldives and I’ve got to say it was amazing. Your other selection of bucket list hotels is good. I like the look of the fairytale chimney hotel in Turkey. Let’s hope you make it to all of them eventually.

  9. Ive stayed in an overwater villa in the Maldives and it is amazing, you will love it. I like the look of the fairytale chimneys on your list. I think I will put that on my bucket list agenda.

    1. They’re very high on the list for me! Cappadocia seems like such a beautiful place with both the fairy chimneys and hot air balloons! I’m glad you enjoyed reading 😊

  10. I really like the concept of this post! I think I need to make a list! I’ve had a chance to stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives and that had been a dream! Great read!

    1. Thank you for reading! I feel like hotels are often overlooked and seen as just a bed for the night but there are some really interesting ones! I’m very jealous of the bungalow stay though!

  11. Never knew about these hotels. I liked that fairy chimney inn looks cool.hope you’ll get the chance to visit these amazing hotels.✌️❤️🌺🌸

  12. Good list. The Skylodges look really great. I’ve stayed at the Madonna Inn. It is a really interesting very eccentric place to stay. You never know quite what you’ll get in any of the rooms when you step inside.

    1. Thank you for reading! All of the rooms look so unique and I’ve only seen a small percentage of them! Definitely need to make a trip there if I’m ever in California!

  13. Great post! I used to write for a travel website and had to write descriptions of amazing hotels like this – there are so many that are just INCREDIBLE! The bucket list one for me is still an overwater villa in the Maldives… one day!

  14. I absolutely love the Skylodge and the Fairy Chimney Inn in Turkey! Never heard of any of them as well.

    In Costa Rica, we had the chance to Stay at Luna Lodge. It is an amazing ecolodge where you sleep in tent in the middle on the Jungle (you can check it there: https://www.vire-volte.com/2020/03/26/last-stop-corcovado-national-park-carate-luna-lodge/). We loved this experience so much and we now want to try more original hotels and many of the one you recommend looks very unique!

    Thank you

  15. Shakespeare and Company’s tumbleweed program sounds right up my alley! The capsule hotel though oof I think my claustrophobia would kick in.

  16. Love these ideas! The Madonna Inn & overwater bungalows in Maldives are amazing. Going to add Bambu Indah to my list when I can travel again. For Tokyo after you try a capsule hotel check out Park Hotel Tokyo – it’s affordable (for the city) and has beautiful art rooms.

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