Ten of the world’s craziest hotel suites
You can sleep in an aquarium, a lighthouse, an igloo, and even a bowling alley.
If you travel enough, every hotel room starts to look the same — unless you head to one of these 10 properties featuring unusual rooms that are as unforgettable as they are unusual. From sleeping with the fishes in a giant aquarium to playing Neil Armstrong in an out-of-this-world space suite, these are the craziest luxury accommodations we've ever seen.
Sleep in an igloo
Are you cool enough to sleep on a block of ice? Sweden's Icehotel (above) is set at a constant chilly -5 degrees Celsius, and features 11 ice art suites, nine deluxe ice suites (with private saunas and bathrooms), an ice gallery, and an ice bar.
Of course, you don't have to weather all that ice on your own. The hotel dresses ice beds in heavy furs — and there's always the warming effects of vodka, which IceHotel keeps in copious amounts at the bar.
Sleep in space
OK, the Space Suite isn't really in space — it's in Switzerland. But from the inside, you'd never know it. Located on the fifth floor of Zurich's Kameha Grand hotel, the spacious accommodation is the work of German artist Michael Naijar, who created an otherworldly experience with a floating bed, pictures of galaxies, models of rockets, and live-steaming video of the International Space Station.
There are luxuries, too, of course — a rain shower and library, among them. But, in keeping with his theme, Naijar insisted on the omission of one rather important hotel-room amenity: a window.
Sleep in a lighthouse
The Cuckolds lighthouse was constructed in 1907, safely guiding the many ships that past through the two rocky islands of the same name for decades. Now it's the coolest hotel in all of Maine, offering just two suites — the East Suite and the West Suite — both of which feature marble bathrooms, Frette linens, and, of course, unobstructed ocean views.
Guests arrive at the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse in the most appropriate of ways: via a 26-foot (8-metre) Navy whaleboat, which ferries travellers the half-mile distance from the shores of Southport. To feel like a true lighthouse keeper, you can also book the entire property for exclusive use.
Sleep in a sculpture
In 2014, London-based artist Antony Gormley unveiled his stainless-steel sculpture of a giant crouching man not in a gallery or public space, but in a luxury hotel. Room, as the sculpture is called, sits on the southwest corner of London's Beaumont hotel; inside, the 30-square-metre accommodation features a marble bathroom, a sparsely-decorated bedroom, and sitting area with fumed German oak, original Gormley drawings.
Intending to create a relaxing yet psychologically stimulating reprieve from the modern world, Gormley outfitted the Room with only a small rectangular window at the base of the statue, which is covered at night with heavy wooden shutters that deliver enveloping darkness and privacy. It's all worth it for an artful night's rest, right?
Sleep in an aquarium
Sleeping with the fishes never sounded so good. At the Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, the Neptune and Poseidon Underwater Suites offer totally submerged views of the Ambassador Lagoon, a 3-million-gallon aquarium filled with more than 65,000 marine animals.
The three-story suites aren't just about the views though, offering guests over-the-top Emirati-style amenities like custom D. Porthault bathrobes, 24-hour butler service, and soap embedded with 24-carat gold flakes. For the ultimate aquarium experience, explore the other side of that giant glass wall with the hotel's Ultimate Dive experience, which takes adventurers swimming in the shark- and stingray-filled lagoon.
Sleep in a bowling alley
There are plenty of hideaways for Vegas's high rollers but only one comes with a bowling alley. The Palms Casino Resort's 418-square-metre Kingpin Suite is built around two regulation-size bowling lanes, and features a pool table, a bar, and a home theatre.
Guests will also find more conventional Sin City amenities, including a hot tub, butler service, and, for the rare guest who actually wants to leave the suite, VIP access to the Palms Casino's Ghostbar and Moon nightclubs.
Sleep in a recording studio
The name says it all. Villa Rockstar isn't just for the musically inclined — it's for the truly gifted and totally famous. The 150-square-metre, two-story residence at St. Barths's iconic Eden Rock resort comes with a state-of-the-art recording studio for the pros. (Kenny Chesney even recorded an entire album here).
But it's also decked out for the kind of luxuries a spoiled rock star would demand: a circular master bathroom with 14-karat-white-gold tiles covering the ceiling, walls, and floors; a 12-seat dining room; a home theatre; a gym; and a swimming pool and hot tub. The villa, which is attended by a dedicated butler and surrounded by 3-metre-high walls for privacy, also includes a garage with two cars for guests' use.
Sleep in a treehouse
Relais & Chateaux's Chewton Glen, a 58-room country hotel in Hampshire, England, brings guests closer to nature with its six Treehouses lining New Forest National Park. Each of the elevated eight-person accommodations is divided into two suites with a kitchenette, fireplace, balcony, and hot tub overlooking the forest.
The tree houses are completely secluded: Guests have breakfast delivered to their doors each morning, and may opt to have all other meals delivered as well. A unique selection of spa treatments is also available to tree-house guests in-suite.
Sleep in a jewel box
Why go to the jewellery boutique when the jewellery boutique can come to you? Lotte New York Palace's 465-square-metre duplex Jewel Suite is a living showcase of the latest masterpieces by the New York–based jewellery designer Martin Katz, featuring a private rooftop deck and garden, a 6-metre "Waterfall of Diamonds" chandelier, a grand piano, and, of course, a consultation room for private showings of Katz's finest creations. The best part? The $US25,000-per-night (about $A32,900) suite even comes with a diamond microband ring.
Sleep in a tent
There are plenty of ways to stay in a tent: go on safari, go camping, go in your backyard. But at Clayoquat Wilderness Resort in British Columbia's UNESCO-designated Clayoquot Sound Biosphere, you'll find multi-course meals, soothing spa treatments, and plush quarters all under canvas.
The resort sits among a million acres of ancient-growth rainforest and offers "campers" such activities as horseback riding, hiking, and fishing. This definitely isn't the summer camp of your childhood.