24 Of The Best Unique Hotels Around The World

Published on: Mar 02, 2021
Alyce Gibson
Share this Article:

Want to dine underwater, cuddle up in a luxury Patagonian yurt or bask in the peace and quiet of the desert from the privacy of your very own pool villa on your next holiday? Now you can! Because we believe every trip away should be about making memories, we’ve thrown together a round up of the very best hotels we have to offer, where you can do just that! Indulge on your next big holiday and choose from our list of the top 24 unique hotels you should certainly add to your bucket list.

Unique hotels and resorts in the Middle East

Book a holiday you'll never forget with the promise of luxury and decadence in the Middle East. There are a range of unique hotels to choose from whether you prefer Arabian-inspired accommodation in the desert or an overwater villa in the Maldives.

1. Bedouin luxury in the Dubai desert

Nestled amongst the golden dunes of Dubai’s Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa offers 5-star luxury at its best and is a truly unique hotel for those looking for to mix things up. This luxurious desert camp offers a choice of secluded Bedouin suites with your own private pool overlooking the rolling dunes. Spend your days in search of desert-adapted wildlife such as Arabian oryx and gazelle or indulge in a touch of adventure with authentic Arabic archery classes, wildlife safaris, falconry shows or camel trekking. Or simply relax at the Timeless Spa, offering a fusion of spa rituals from around the world. 

2. Sleep in an underwater hotel in Dubai

Watch cow nose rays and angelfish gliding lazily past as you drift off to sleep in your luxurious underwater suite at Atlantis The Palm Dubai. This truly unique hotel boasts underwater suites with floor to ceiling windows looking into the Ambassador Lagoon and its 65,000 marine animals from the Arabian Sea. Can you imagine anything more memorable? Plus, guests staying at Atlantis, The Palm can take advantage of unlimited access to the Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium during their stay. Don’t miss the chance to hurtle down the Shark Attack chute through a glass-enclosed shark tank! 

3. Palace style luxury in Abu Dhabi

Experience the spectacular Arabic culture of Abu Dhabi when you stay at the 5-star Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi. Situated on the shorefront amongst lush green orchards and landscaped gardens, this palatial resort offers Arabian opulence you won’t find anywhere else. Opt to arrive by limousine and enjoy a camel riding experience, complete with Arabian coffee, tea and dates served in a traditional Bedouin tent before along the edge of the Arabian Gulf on the back of a dusty camel. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of private butler service available 24 hours a day during your stay! 

4. The Sail-shaped hotel in Dubai

The famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the only 7-star hotel in the world and one of Dubai’s most famous and recognisable icons. Towering high over a manmade island and offering a new over-water terrace, it’s no surprise the Burj has been declared one of the most luxurious and unique hotels on earth. With spectacular views over the city and the Palm Jumeirah, guests can enjoy the quintessential Dubai experience. Sip drinks at the rooftop Skyview Bar and relax in a private cabana on the pool terrace or on the private beach. Plus, you’ll receive complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark as well as the kids’ club and shuttle to selected shopping malls during your stay. This is the life!

Unique hotels across the Indian Ocean

The paradisiacal locations in the Indian Ocean are where many of us flock too for sun, sea and sand but for your next holiday why not mix things up a bit with one of these unique hotels? From dining under the sea to rooms with waterslides (yes, you read that correctly) here are just a few to choose from – and we can help you get there! 

5. Dine in an underwater restaurant in a hotel in the Maldives

Did you know that the 5-star Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to the world’s very first all-glass underwater restaurant? Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is located five metres below the water’s surface and has been voted the “most beautiful restaurant in the world” by New York Daily News. Offering 180-degree views of the coral gardens that surround it, this glass-enclosed restaurant has live fish for wallpaper and six-course set dinner menus with luxury dishes like caviar on offer. But, when it comes to breaking food records, that’s not all this Maldivian resort offers. You can also indulge in over 101 different types of cheese at the wine bar! 

6. Stay in a villa with your own waterslide in the Maldives

Every now and then, it’s healthy to act like a kid again. And that’s exactly what the 5-star Soneva Jani in the Maldives offers. Stay in a One Bedroom Water Retreat and you’ll have your very own waterslide that slips from your private villa right into the warm waters of the crystal-clear lagoon! Spend your days relaxing on your private deck or reading a book in an over-water hammock. Lazy evenings are reserved for “silent cinema” nights with movies screened over the water and stargazing with the telescope you’ll find at the Observatory deck. Does it get much better than this? 

7. Sleep amongst paddy fields in Sri Lanka

Retreat to the secluded paddy fields that only Sri Lanka can provide. Jetwing Vil Uyana is an eco-retreat with 30 individual dwellings nestled amongst the forest, paddy fields, and marshlands at the foot of the famous Sigiriya Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Part of a three-acre conservation site, the resort is home to 20 different types of mammals and a variety of other fascinating wildlife. End your day at the Graffiti Bar where you can relax with a drink beside a soporific lotus pool. Feeling tempted? 

Unique hotels in Africa

Take a walk on the wild side with a range of unique hotels in Africa to choose from. Some get you up close and personal with the wildlife of the continent while others take you up into the trees for a birds-eye view of the world. Check out our suggestions below.

8. Sleep under the stars above a wild reserve in Kruger National Park

Spend a night under the stars in a treehouse towering on stilts above Lion Sands Game Reserve in South Africa – home to the famous Big Five. A choice of three treehouses, namely Chalkey, Kingston and Tinyeleti, make up the astonishing Lion Sands Treehouses. These elevated bush bedrooms are scattered throughout the reserve and offer luxurious king-size beds, en-suite bathrooms and no connection to the outside world – except for radio communication with the lodge guide. Dine by candlelight, taking time to admire the incredible view of the stars and wake up to sweeping views of the wild African plains. 

9. Get lost in the Palace of the Lost City in South Africa

When it comes to African luxury combined with the thrill of adventure, you can’t get much better than The Palace of the Lost City. This palatial resort forms part of the famous greater Sun City resort complex that has achieved Botanic Garden status for its most beautiful natural gardens. Spend your days exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the resort. Get lost within the incredible Maze of the Lost City, unwind at the Valley of the Waves with its water slides, pools and lazy river, and discover the forest filled with swinging bridges and chattering monkeys. For those looking to combine their trip with game viewing, Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve is just a short drive away and safaris can be easily arranged. 

10. Sleep in an unusual hotel made from boulders in Zimbabwe

Camp Amalinda is a 4-star wilderness of granite located in the boulder-strewn hills of the Motobo Hills. Nestled within an ancient bushman’s shelter, this luxury lodge is filled with historical African artefacts and antiques from years gone by. Spend your days exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Motobo Hills – home to the highest concentration of rock art in southern Africa. 

11. Stay in the wilderness of Damaraland in Namibia

When it comes to peace and quiet, Mowani Mountain Camp offers this in abundance. Tucked within enormous ochre boulders in Namibia’s tranquil Damaraland, this 5-star camp is the ideal place to escape the city. Soak in an open-air bathtub with undisturbed views over the dry river beds, home to desert-adapted wildlife like springbok and jackal, before climbing into bed in your semi-open-air thatched suite. The stargazing here is phenomenal! 

12. Cuddle up in the treetops in Garden Route

Tsala Treetop Lodge is set high above an indigenous forest along South Africa’s spectacular Garden Route. Nestled above the foliage of Knysna Forest, Tsala Treetop Lodge is inspired by age-old African ruins and promises sky-high luxury with unsurpassed views across the hills and valleys. The resort is linked by elevated walkways high above the forest floor and each suite has an elevated private infinity pool tucked with the privacy of the foliage. Guests can also relax in the hotel living room with glass floor panels that peer into the forest below. 

13. Stay in a dome in Ngorongoro in Tanzania

The Highlands Ngorongoro offers a stay with a difference. This 5-star lodge offers the chance to overnight in luxury tented domes on the lush green slopes of the mighty Olmoti Volcano. Each dome is solar-heated with cosy indoor fireplaces and large glass windows that overlook the dense forests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In the evenings, guests can look forward to undisturbed star gazing and relaxing around the campfire where they can swap game viewing stories with other guests at the communal tent. 

14. Stay in a tented suite in the Congo forests in Tanzania

Greystoke Mahala offers an unhurried nature retreat tucked within the Congo forests of the Mahale Mountains. There are six thatched bandas set on the edge of a rural golden beach, each with a private chill-out deck where you can sip your morning coffee and absorb the sound of birdsong. Guests staying here can look forward to sunset boat rides on a dhow and exciting chimpanzee trekking in the forests. 

Unique hotels in the Caribbean  

Make your next holiday truly special with a trip to the Caribbean and choose one of these unique hotels for memories that will last a lifetime. Dine in caves, sleep in cocoa fields or pretend your James Bond for the day with our selection of bucket list worthy hotels.                                                                                                                                                    

15. Visit the house that Fleming built in Jamaica

GoldenEye is the former home of Bond creator, Ian Fleming, and it’s also the location where he wrote most of the famous James Bond novels. The resort is now open to the public where guests can relax alongside a 500 foot stretch of white sand in Jamaica and enjoy water sports, sunset yoga, and glass-bottomed boat trips in the lagoon. Stay in the Ian Fleming Villa and bask in the added luxury of your own private beach, swimming pool, manicured gardens and staff. Bliss! 

16. Have a drink in a cave bar in this unusual hotel in Jamaica

The Caves is a charming hotel nestled along the cliff tops in Negril, Jamaica. Situated near the stunning sands of Seven Mile Beach, this adult-only hotel also boasts a romantic cliff top jacuzzi and a mysterious cave bar. Why not choose to dine privately in your own candlelit cave with homemade cuisine and jerk barbeque on the menu or simply relax with a cocktail at the Blackwell Rum Bar – a fantastic nightlife spot nestled within a secret cave overlooking the ocean. If you’re into cave bars, Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels also offers its very own bar set within a cave. 

17. Sleep overnight amongst cocoa fields in St Lucia

Boucan by Hotel Chocolat lies in one of the oldest remaining cocoa plantations in St Lucia and offers panoramic views over the plantations and the brilliant blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Guests staying here can look forward to special chocolate-related activities, from cocoa-infused spa treatments to tree to bar experiences to learn about how this tasty treat is created from start to finish. 

Unique hotels in Asia 

There are no hostels here! Whether you're taking your time in Thailand or exploring the wonders of Malaysia, there's a quirky hotel to rest your head, within our selection, that you can choose for your next holiday. 

18. Stay in a jungle treehouse in Malaysia

Japamala Tioman Island is a luxury resort that has been built seamlessly into the trees. Choose from secluded Treetop Chalets to Jungle Luxe Sarangs, each with its very own private plunge pool and an open-air bath tucked amidst the foliage. Treat yourself to spa treatments at the Samadhi Spa which offers luxury treatments in a natural open-air environment. 

19. Sleep in a treehouse in Thailand

Tucked away in a forest on the west coast of Phuket, Keemala offers the chance to overnight in a treehouse or birdcage inspired by an ancient tribe. Each villa has the luxury of its own private plunge pool overlooking the lush green forests below. Linked by elevated jungle walkways beneath a canopy of trees, the main area has beautiful views of the rainforest and a luxury spa that will surely tempt.

Unique hotels in the USA

The USA is always bigger and bolder and its hotels don't disappoint. From volcanic settings to childhood wonder, there's something for everyone in the States. Take a look at our selection below. 

20. Enjoy the Disney experience in Orlando

Relive your childhood at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort with your favourite Walt Disney and Disney Pixar characters. Each room has its own colourful and creative theme, from the Little Mermaid to the Lion King. Plus, kids will love the chance to swim in the Nemo themed swimming pool which even has underwater speakers! Enjoy some memorable family bonding time at the Landscape of Flavours where you can build your own burgers for dinner. 

21. Stay at a hotel overlooking a volcano in Hawaii

Do you dare to stay at Hawaii’s epic Volcano House Hotel, overlooking the active crater of the mighty Kilauea volcano – the site of the longest known eruption on earth? This truly unique hotel is located within the borders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, guests can take dinner at The Rim with locally sourced cuisine and excellent views of the crater.  Spend your days exploring the sulphur banks and Thurston lava tube during your stay. 

Unique hotels in Central and South America 

A stay in one of these hotels is something you'll never forget as you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Americas and the Amazon. These hotels offer you the chance to get back to nature, with simple but elegant accommodation in rustic settings for a unique experience.

22. Stay in an eco-hut, Colombia

The Ecohabs lies within the exceptional Tayrona National Park in Colombia. Each rustic hut is spread across the hillside and has a private deck with a hammock and an extraordinary view of the ocean. Guests can enjoy a real back-to-nature retreat at this minimalistic resort with a safe swimming beach, a number of hiking trails and two beach restaurants serving excellent seafood. Or you can spend your days relaxing in the Jacuzzi at the small spa. 

23. Stay in the Amazon jungle in this unusual hotel in Brazil

Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is an exclusive lodge in the middle of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest. This All Inclusive lodge offers the ideal escape with all meals, transfers and excursions included. Each thatched bungalow is tucked away within the trees and offers a balcony with hammock and a spectacular view of the forest. Guests can look forward to serene canoe trips down the river and admiring the forest from a 13-metre high canopy tower during their stay. 

24. Stay in a yurt in Chile

Experience the beauty of Torres del Paine National Park from the unique sanctuary of the 4-star Patagonia Camp. Accommodation is available in a series of luxury yurts spread about the hillside or on the peaceful shores of Lake Toro. Each yurt is centrally heated and has a twin or king bed, a private bathroom and a terrace with views over Lake Toro and the Paine Massif. Don’t miss the chance to stay at this fantastic All Inclusive camp. 

Want to stay in one of these truly unique and unusual hotels? Whether you prefer to sleep in the trees on a reserve in Africa or indulge in decadent palace-style accommodation in the Middle East, we have something for you. Speak to our travel experts today and find a unique hotel that's 'bucket list worthy', for a holiday you'll never forget.

Share this Article: