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The Six Most Unusual Hotels in the World

Yesterday Dubai Drydocks unveiled plans to build the World Discus Hotel– a discus-shaped underwater hotel. Kipp takes a look at some of the other unusual hotel accommodations from around the world…

May 3, 2012 4:14 by

  • The debt days are over-uh-huh, for Dubai Drydocks. Well maybe not over, after all Dubai Drydocks filed for insolvency protection only last month—but it seems like the company is in for happier times. Earlier this week, Drydocks announced rather ambitious plans to build an underwater hotel with Swiss water technology experts, BIG InvestConsult. Though it is not clear when and where Water Discus Hotel will be built, it is going to be an expensive affair. Estimates peg the construction costs at anything from $50 million to $120 million. In this module, we take a look at the other hotels that will keep the Water Discus Hotel company by providing guests with a special and unusual experience.

  • Location:  Key Largo, Florida, USA

    Price: USD $500 per night per person

    What’s unusual about it?

    This underwater clubhouse is 21 feet beneath the sea surface and its guests actually have to scuba dive to enter the lodge.

    The lodge features a 2 bedroom 1 bath retreat that can be rented for a night. The hotel also offers a scuba diving school.

    Luggage and meals are brought down to the lodge in waterproof suitcases.

    Special underwater chefs called “mer-chef,” serve dinner and breakfast to the guests.

    Many celebrities have enjoyed a stay including Steve Tyler of Aerosmith, and former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.

  • Location: Harlingen, the Netherlands

    Price: Starting at USD $419.55 per night

    Why? The Crane Hotel was a functioning harbor crane used to unload timber until 12 years ago when a bigger industrial harbor was built nearby. Now the crane plays home to paying guests. The hotel includes a bedroom with a flatscreen TV and DVD player, an outdoor balcony and offers complimentary breakfasts on warm days. Guests can head up to the control room and swing the cabin around—how cool is that? If this sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to book in advance. Since the hotel can accommodate only two guests at a time, it is usually booked eight months in advance.

  • Location: Liepāja, Latvia

    Price: USD $15 per night per person and extreme nights cost $18.70 per person

    Why? Since 1990 Karosta Prison was a working prison used by both Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union during their control of Latvia. It has been described as hell on earth; in fact the cast of “Ghosthunters International” called it the site with the most paranormal activity in the world. Now this creepy prison serves as a museum, attraction, and hotel.

    In keeping with its Latvian-prison theme, this hotel is comprised of cell-like rooms and staff members dressed in military uniforms acting as prison guards. First, guests are given prisoner garbs to wear, and then they are interrogated and harassed by the guards.

    Guards offer prison meal and even lock tourists into their cells with bunks for the night.

    Special programmes require visitors to sign an agreement before participating, making sure that they respect the property of the prison and follow the grueling and equally insulting instruction without objection.

    Special programmes include an interactive show based on the real lives of prisoner, “an extreme night,” and a full 24 hours at the prison.

    Disobedient prisoners are punished by guards with physical exercises; cleaning the toilets, and even possible exclusion from the show.

    Kipp can’t imagine who would pay for such an experience, but each to their own.

  • Location: Quebec, Canada

    Price: Around USD $732.75 for a regular room and USD $782.75 for a themed suite

    Construction cost: USD $350,000 to build, including $125,000 from the Quebec government

    What’s unusual about it?

    Every year, 60 workers use about 15,000 tons of snow and 500,000 tons of ice to make this hotel. Yes, all the furniture and interior décor in the hotel is made solely of ice.

    There are up to 36 rooms, which are made from ice bases. The bed is pure ice but topped with mattresses, deer pelts and Arctic sleeping bags to keep guests warm. The Ice Bar serves up cocktails in their very own glasses and the Ice Café can easily be converted into a 150 person chapel for weddings. Kipp has to stretch our imagination to even think of tying the knot in a blazer, but apparently the Ice Hotel has been described as one of the "10 dream wedding locations.”

  • Location: Västmanland, Sweden

    Price: USD $590 for two people

    What’s unusual about it?

    At 155 metres underground, this underground suite, is not only one of the world’s best preserved mine but also a hotel.  There were times when the mine was rich in silver and lead, but now, it is a hotel. Of course, guests are provided with an intercom radio to maintain communication as mobile phones do not work under ground.

  • Location: Tokyo, Japan

    Price: USD $ 25–50 per person per night

    This is an old one, but Kipp is still captivated as ever with it. The capsule hotel offers small capsule like sleeping units that are bigger than a coffin and include all the conveniences one could need, like TV, radio, alarm clock, adjustable lighting. There are two major sections in the capsule hotel: a public lounge space (bathrooms and utility) and a private space (capsules).The capsule is made of reinforced plastic and designed in the form of an airplane’s cockpit.


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