When it comes to holiday accommodation, there are two types of traveller: some just want to find a base – as long as it’s clean and close to the attractions, everything’s fine. Others, however, prefer to make their holiday lodging a more integral part of their trip, and the quirkier, the better. If you’re looking for an unusual holiday this year, we’ve rounded up some seriously different boltholes, from barges to treehouse hotels.
Unusual holidays: weird and wonderful holiday homes
Fancy staying in a luxurious, 5-star bespoke barge designed around the theme of The Joker from Batman? You can do just that if you book in at the Joker Boat in Liverpool’s Albert Dock – a short stroll away from the Beatles Story museum and Liverpool’s main shopping district. Kitted out with plush purple upholstery and a flatscreen TV in every bedroom, the barge comes complete with a fully-equipped Italian-designed kitchen and sleeps up to six people. It’s every comic book geek’s dream. If the fab four are more your thing, you might also want to check in at the Joker’s sister boat: the Yellow Submarine.
Modern-day mobile homes may be equipped with all the latest kit, but they don’t tend to be so big on style. If you think that’s a bit of a shame, why not rediscover an age when people took pride in their caravans; painting them in glorious primary colours or fashioning them from space-age, silver aluminium?
Those seeking a slice of retro Americana can recreate the open road of the 50s and 60s by renting a classic Airstream trailer; the design icon which first hit the highway in the 1930s.
The four-star Grand Daddy hotel in Cape Town features a unique Penthouse Trailer Park – a seven-strong fleet of Airstreams housed on the hotel roof, all with a different theme.
For a truly American Airstream experience head to The Shady Dell in Arizona, USA. Run by super-kitsch campers Justin and Jen, there are nine fully restored 1950s vintage trailers to choose from.
Based on a small working farm on the Isle of Wight, Vintage Vacations was one of the first UK companies to embrace ‘glamping’, and is committed to providing its guests an authentic vintage experience – complete with formica doorknobs and original furnishings where possible.
There are also several sites in the UK where visitors can stay in a traditional gypsy caravan, such as Rosie the Gypsy Caravan, a charming Romany-themed B&B in Dorset. Rosie is an old showman’s wagon that has been lovingly restored and sympathetically modernised, so guests can enjoy the trappings of a bygone era without forgoing modern-day luxuries such as electric heating and a fridge!
If you’re looking for a luxury winter experience with a difference, Sweden’s Ice Hotel completely redefines the definition of ‘cool’. This majestic and surprisingly cosy hotel was the first of its kind, and has been giving visitors a reception that’s far from frosty for 25 years. Guests sleep on beds made from giant blocks of ice, kept warm by thick reindeer bedding; for a truly unforgettable trip, book one of the ‘Northern Lights’ rooms, which are specially illuminated to capture the beauty of the Aurora Borealis.
Direct flights to Kiruna, just a 20-minute drive from the hotel, are available from the UK.
Staying in a treehouse is a childhood dream that will probably never come true for most people, but if you’re determined to realise that particular fantasy, you can certainly make it happen in exotic surroundings as a grown-up.
Ariau Amazon Towers in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest is the biggest treehouse hotel in the world. There are standard treetop rooms, suites, treehouses and Tarzan suites – the more you pay, the higher you go! You’ll have over six miles of tree-top canopy walkway at your feet – so you can experience the unique Amazonian eco-system without disturbing it too much.
The Canopy Treehouses are nestled in 100 acres of ancient rainforest on the Cairns Highlands in the north of Queensland, Australia. The six tree houses in this eco-friendly resort each offer self-contained kitchen, spa bath and balcony with BBQ and hammock – and all that wildlife of course.
If you fancy staying a little closer to home, The Treehouse in West Hayes is a luxurious getaway in the idyllic Somerset countryside, ideal for families. The treehouse is equipped with wifi, a cedar-encased hot tub, plasma screen TVs and wood-burning stoves, all set in chic and stylish surroundings for a memorable and comfortable stay. The nearest pub is just four minutes’ walk away – but we can’t imagine why you’d want to stray!