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The world’s strangest hotels

Hotels are fascinating places. Around the world, many hotel owners aspire to do things differently in order to surprise and delight their guests. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes not…from the strange to the sublime, here are the weirdest places to stay around the world.

Icehotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Northern Sweden is cold…very cold. Chilly enough for the Icehotel in the Arctic Circle, which is constructed from scratch every winter. A different architect designs every room, and absolutely everything is made from ice: the beds, the light fixtures and even the drinking glasses. Best wrap up warm then.

Thick sleeping bags are provided. There’s no mention of toilet seat warmers, but there is a hot tub and sauna outside. Dead plants and ice sculptures decorate the rooms. In April, the hotel apparently melts away into a nearby river, only to be rebuilt in December.

Crane Hotel – Harlingen, The Netherlands

Which piece of construction equipment would you most like to spend the night in? Visitors to this Dutch hotel sleep 56 feet (17m) up in the cabin of a crane, which has been converted into a surprisingly large double bedroom. The platform next to the cabin serves as a terrace and viewing platform.

The best part is that the rotational mechanism is still in place, so when you get tired of the dockside view you can rotate the room a full 360° and see what else is out there. We’re now looking forward to the world’s first cement mixer hotel.

Propeller Island City Lodge – Berlin, Germany

Part hotel, part art installation, this bizarre accommodation is more like an artist’s studio than a traditional hotel. Guests can choose from over 30 intriguing themes, including Padded Cell, Upside Down, Chicken Curry, Space Cube and Blue. There’s no TV, but you do get a handy manual telling you how to take care of the ‘exhibit’ (ie, the room) so as not to damage its artistic appeal.

Grande Hotel de Calogero – Sicily, Italy

The Italian island of Sicily is a wonderfully scenic part of the world, and the hotels here are great too. Except the Grande Hotel, which despite having amazing views over a thermal spring, has never had a single guest.

Building work began in 1954 and took thirty years to complete. Despite two opening ceremonies, this hotel near Sciacca has never actually opened for business due to a series of architectural hiccups, not to mention that nobody’s really sure who is meant to be managing it. For now, the hotel stands empty and in disrepair.

Hotel Costa Verde – Costa Rica

What if you could combine the luxury of a hotel with that of a private jet? A Boeing 727 destined for the scrapyard was instead converted and fixed to the edge of a cliff for guests to enjoy.

A night in the jet-cum-hotel suite costs the same as a room at the Ritz but offers a lovely sea view (visible from the cockpit), a kitchenette, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There’s also a terrace over the wings.

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