Alternative Lodging Options Around the World

by Dorothy Limm / Jun 06, 2012 / 0 comments

Accommodation easily takes up a major proportion of your travel budget. Whether you are tired of ordinary 5-star hotels or youth hostels, every now and then you want something different - something with a character which will make an experience in itself. Here are 7 unusual accommodations options, around the world:



1. Courthouse

Yes, It is a youth hostel. But Clink78 was also a real courthouse--one of London’s first police courts. While the English Heritage prison cells may not be cheap, a bed in the basic dorm rooms can cost as little as £9/night. Paul at TravMonkey gives a perspective on the unique Clink78 Hostel.


Clink78 hostel, London. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:

Clink78 hostel, London. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:



2. Lighthouse

If you want to stay away from the crowds, lodging in a lighthouse may be your thing. Living in an isolated lighthouse, you will get an unbeatable sea view. Peter Greenberg has compiled a list of unusual hotels that brings you from the mine in Australia underground to drainpipes in Austria He also mentions that the “keeper programme” at the lighthouse at Brown's Point, on Commencement Bay in Tacoma, Washington, would make a great educational trip for families.


Brown's Point Lighthouse

Brown's Point Lighthouse. Photo courtesy of



3. Mountain Huts

Looking and admiring the beauty of the nature may not be enough for you. You may want to get into nature. Mountain huts, or Alpine refuges, is a must if you are planning to do a bit of climbing. They connect like-minded mountaineers and provide food and shelter with welcoming arms. Arnab shares 7 unusual mountain huts at Green Diary, including the Monte Rosa-Huette, an award-winning solar-supported refuge. At the frontier in sustainable energy development, the refuge also holds different exhibitions and events throughout the year.


Monte Rosa-Huette. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:

Monte Rosa-Huette. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:



4. Wooden Tents

Hiking always goes with camping. But camping in the snow can be very challenging. The POD Hotel in Flims, Switzerland is essentially a village of easily-assembled wooden tents. They encourage you to bring a sleeping bag, although the PODs are furnished with beds. Check out amazing pictures of the POD Hotel by Daniel at Let Me Be Inspired. These wooden tents blend so well into the snowy landscape, both aesthetically and ecologically.


5. Straw

How about in the summer? If you are visiting the Alps in Switzerland in summertime, Schlaf im Stroh (Sleeping on Straw) will be your best bet. It is cheap (15 euros/night) and unique. Many even say it is the most comfortable bed you will ever sleep in. Jill at Jack And Jill Travel The World shares their very unique experience sleeping on a bed of straw in Gimmelwald. She didn’t say it was all pleasant, but would definitely do it again.


6. Plane

If you haven’t been traveling enough, or you are trying to minimise your carbon footprint by avoiding planes, try sleeping in Jumbo Stay in Stockholm, Sweden. As its name suggests, it is a aerodynamic-themed hostel in a real jumbo jet manufactured in 1976. Apart from the jumbo jet, Leigh’s list of unusual hotels at Hike Bike Travel also covers hotels from caves to walled villages. It is worth a look, even if you’re not planning on a trip there.


7. Houseboat

In contrast to the clouds, you may still prefer the waters more. Perhaps you should hop onto a houseboat for a change. As its name suggests, a houseboat is just a fully facilitated house on a boat. In the boat, you will find bathtubs, a dining room, and even TV sets. Bethany at Beers & Beans has a detailed review of the Houseboats in Amsterdam, the “Venice of the North.” Houseboats are great if you are with a large group of people.


Do you have any favourite lodging alternatives? Share your creative ideas with us!



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Dorothy Limm is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.