As a 20 something backpacker looking for accommodation I would focus on location and price as the major factors driving my choice. These days I like to look for something a little special for our family trips. Who knows when we will return to that part of the world, if at all. I look for quirky accommodation options that will enhance the experience of our trip from a cultural perspective.
Unique accommodation ideas
Here are a few favourite places that we have stayed in. Some of them have been a bit of a splurge but others were very well priced for what they offered – unique accommodation in outstanding locations.
A château in France
I stumbled upon Chateau de Lucy by chance via a messed up google search. Always one to go with serendipity we built a whole trip around this beautiful château in France’s Picardy region.
Chateau de Lucy is a beautiful 18th century property located on the River Oise that is being lovingly restored by an english couple. We stayed in the Gite however there are 3 other accommodation options at the chateau that is a 15 minute drive to the market town of St Quentin.
An eco villa in Bali
I’ve loved Bali since my first visit in the 1980s. There is definitely more traffic and noise these days compared to back then but you can still find a piece of tranquility in the lush tropical island in the hills outside of Ubud.
We stayed in this gorgeous lodge a couple of years ago and loved the pool, garden setting and open kitchen and dining/living area. The owners’ cook was also on hand to make delicious dinners and she was amazing with our babies.
An arty apartment in Brussels
Location, location, location. This AirBnB find was right in the heart of Brussels and a 2 minute walk from the Grand Place, Mannekin Pis and other Brussels attractions. What I loved about the place apart from the location was the references made to Belgian art great Magritte throughout the apartment.
A safari tent in Sri Lanka
We went camping a lot as kids but it was on a much less grand scale than the campsite at Kulu Safaris. Camp is in the Yala National Park where you can spot elephants, buffalo, deer and monkeys and many other species of animals, reptiles and birds.
The tents are set up with proper beds inside and there is even a shower. Dinner is served as the sun is setting and you hear the sounds of the wildlife around you as you eat some truly delicious Sri Lankan curry. It really was a very special experience.
Rainforest treehouses in Australia
In the far north of Australia, most visitors stay close to the coast to visit the spectacular beaches and world renowned Great Barrier Reef. Venture a little inland however and you will find a magical rainforest and ancient creatures that have roamed the earth for thousands of years.
At The Canopy Rain Forest Tree Houses and Wildlife Sanctuary you can immerse yourself in this wilderness and even meet a cassowary, tree kangaroo or green possum.
A house boat in Amsterdam
This Easter we visited Amsterdam for a short break. I knew straight away that I wanted to stay on a houseboat. We chose one that is located close to the main attractions such as the Anne Frank house and the floating flower market. It was an amazing experience and you can read all about it here – Staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam.
How to find and book unique places to stay
You might be surprised to learn that we booked most of these trips via AirBnB or Booking.com. Using these sites opens up a whole new world of exciting accommodation options beyond hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Read my guide on finding the best holiday rentals and learn the how to sift through thousands of listings to find the true gems.
Other quirky accommodation ideas I would love to try
1. Inside a volcano and waterfall in Chile
2. Cappadocia’s fairy chimney hotel is so pretty
3. Traditional Japanese guesthouses or ryokan look so peaceful
4. A glass igloo in Lapland- this is my dream, to lie in a cosy bed and watch the northern lights overhead
I’d love to hear your suggestions of quirky accommodation around the world
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