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Unique Hotels From Around The World

Updated on November 12, 2014

Interested in staying some place a little out of the ordinary on your next vacation? How does a hotel build underground or underwater sound? Perhaps you would prefer to sleep in the trees or in a converted prison. Numerous unique, exotic or simply stunningly beautiful hotel destinations are out there, this page highlights a few. Enjoy!

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Garden Hotels

A 'garden hotel' is one that is often better known for its gardens than for its modern use as a hotel. Many garden hotels are large private residences that have been converted to a hotel or a palace, monastery, or castle that can no longer be used as such and needs an alternative function. Here are two stunning garden hotels well worth a visit

Gravetye Manor in the Sussex woods is a stunning Elizabethan Manor House built in 1598. It is surrounded by 35 acres of renowned historic gardens and set in 1000 acres of forest.

Gravetye was home to William Robinson, one of the greatest gardeners of all time, who bought and the manor in 1884 and lived there for the rest of his life. Here he created his ideal vision of The English Natural Garden. During the years of WW II, the garden was left neglected and turned wild. Then in 1958, a pioneering hotelier, Peter Herbert came to Gravetye and established it as one of Britain's first country house hotels. The variety and charm of the arrangement of trees and shrubs, the landscaping and the layout of different types of garden at Gravetye is a still a creation of William Robinson and serves as a memorial to him.

Quinta De Las Flores is a small family owned and operated hotel in Antigua Guatemala. During the 1700's, the site was a public bath. Now, those baths have become a series of fountains and water features that adorn the lush, extensive and famous gardens. The outdoor space is serene and the stone walkways give the aura of a safe and peaceful retreat. The gardens have been designed with a wide variety of colorful plants and stunning views of the surrounding countryside and dramatic volcanoes. A huge variety of magnificent flowers grace the property.

Underground Hotels

A few hotels offer accommodations underground and are notable for being built into natural cave formations.

The Cappadocia valley in Turkey is home to many cave hotels. The soft volcanic rock has been hollowed out for homes for at least two millennia.

Gamirasu is an elegant and unique restored 25 room resort hotel built into a troglodyte cave in Ayvali Villiage near Urgup in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey.

The hotel is built into a thousand year old Byzantine monastic retreat. It is modern yet maintains a spiritual feel from the area which has been inhabited for more than five thousand years.

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, north of Adelaide. It is a small town known for its opals and opal mining and has become a popular stopover point and tourist destination. It is known for its unique underground dwellings of all sorts and types. One such dwelling is the Desert Cave Hotel.

Underground accommodation at the Desert Cave Hotel are a unique and stylish 'dugout' style. The Desert Cave Hotel is built into the side of a sandstone hill and the underground walls are natural cream and red colours. Temperatures remain cool and stable underground all year which can be a nice break from the hot Australian outback, especially during summer. In addition to staying underground, visitors can shop, eat and drink underground at the underground café or bar.

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Hotels That Were Once Prisons

Completed in 1851 what is now the Liberty hotel in Boston (photo below) was once the Charles street jail. In 1973, after 120 years of housing some of Boston's most notorious criminals, prisoners revolted because of poor living conditions and the jail was declared unfit and in violation of the inmates' constitutional rights. On Memorial Day weekend 1990, the last prisoners were moved out.

The transformation of the site into a hotel was the work of a team of designers and architects collaborating with historians and conservationists. Soaring 90 feet, the jail's central atrium was beautifully preserved and forms the core of the hotel. It features the building's trademark windows and historic catwalks. The jail's former exercise yard is now a private, beautifully landscaped courtyard

To learn about and see more of the Liberty hotel, visit HERE

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Located in the heart of in the heart of the historical old town of Lucerne, Switzerland, is the Jailhouse hotel.The historical building was built in 1862 and was used as a prison until autumn 1998. The rooms are former jail cells and yes, they are small. The price is right though.

For more information on the jailhouse hotel, click HERE

The First World Hotel in Genting Highlands, Malaysia is the world's largest hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms

The Worlds Most Luxurious Hotel

The Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, built on an artificial island, is structured in the shape of a boat's sail. The sail soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai skyline. It is Illuminated at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire. All of the rooms in the hotel are suites, many of them two stories or more, with a discreet in-suite check-in, private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers. There is a private clean and beautiful beach, two swimming pools and a unique underwater restaurant. The views are spectacular over the Arabian Gulf. The opulence at Burj al-Arab is truly out of this world and deserves its name as the worlds only 7 star hotel. Check out the video below, its worth watching.

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Burj al-Arab Hotel

Burj Al Arab in United Arab Emirates is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. However, the Rose Tower, also in Dubai, which has already topped Burj Al Arab's height at 333 m (1,090 ft), will take away this title upon its opening

The oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Japan which opened in 717

Stay On A Historic Ocean Liner

The RMS Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line uses its first-class staterooms as a hotel. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California. The Queen Mary's rich history includes carrying a total of 765,429 military personnel. Sailed a total of 569,429 miles (916,407 km). Carried up to 15,000 troops at one time. Carried wounded returning to the United States. Transported Winston Churchill three times to conferences. Carried 12,886 G.I. brides and children. The hotel cabin rooms are uniquely appointed, and embellishments vary to include rich wood paneling; Art Deco built-ins; original artwork; and, portholes for outside cabins.

To learn more about and see more of the queen Mary Hotel, click HERE

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Thanks For Visiting - I would love to hear from you

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    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      I could never, ever stay in one but I like the idea of those hotels made entirely of ice.

    • AlwaysCurious LM profile image


      6 years ago from St. Louis

      I wish I had enough money to stay in all of these places! Great lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good information, nice to find something of use to me keep up the good work, would be nice to see more from you, 5 stars! indoor vegetable garden

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      These hotels look amazing! I really enjoyed reading about them. Hard to decide which I'd like to visit the most, but I love the sound of all those fountains at Quinta de las Flores.


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