All travellers have their particular preference in lodging. As a tourist, where you stay can have a tremendous impact on your overall experience. Whether you enjoy finding cheap hotels or exploring the luxury options, where you stay matters. Some people prefer simple motels while others seek out pampered stays in pristine five-star establishments. Somewhere in between the two hotel extremes are these seven hotels that represent America’s strangest offerings. These establishments cater to a more eclectic crowd. What they may lack in luxury or convenience, they make up for with shock value or quirky charm. A stay at one of these hotels will prove to you that there truly is something for everyone.
Wag Your Tail: Dog Bark Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho
Perhaps you’ve slept with a dog by your side. You can do that at the Dog Bark Inn, but you can also sleep inside a dog. A giant beagle, that is. The Dog Bark Inn is a beagle-themed bed and breakfast that can host up to four guests. Inside the dog’s head is a loft bedroom complete with a toilet designed to look like a fire hydrant. The quirky retreat claims to be the only one if its kind in the world. The building is designed and built by chain-saw artists who used flaps of carpet to create the giant dog’s ears.
Plunge Into Oddness: Jules Underwater Lodge in Key Largo, Florida
If you’ve ever wanted to sleep underwater and live to tell the story, the Jules Underwater Lodge is your ticket. The hotel rests on stilts on the bottom of a tropical lagoon. To enter the hotel, guests must dive seven metres underwater and enter through a specialized door. Compressed air prevents water from flooding the lodging area. If you want to sleep at the lodge, you’ll have to enroll in a scuba diving course first.
Curl up and Get Cozy: Kokopeli’s Cave Bed and Breakfast in Farmington, New Mexico
This one-bedroom cave-house requires guests to sign a liability waver before entering the premises. Guests must shimmy down a steep ladder to enter the room inside a building that was blasted out of a hillside in 1980 and included just three holes drilled to route fresh air and electricity.
The treesort features 16 unique treehouses on its expansive wooded property. Guests stay in beautiful, architecturally designed treehouse structures where they can sleep safely above the ground. There are treehouses for romantic getaways or family fun, and all are self-contained and feature kitchenettes and restrooms.
Explore the Extremely Eclectic: Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California
This landmark California hotel is extremely unique as well as luxurious. Its claim to fame is the eccentric and imaginative — even fantastical — interior décor. The inn’s 110 rooms feature eccentric but luxurious design features from zebra rugs to exotic stonework and interior waterfalls. The inn is the vision of one couple who sought to create an extremely immersive guest experience based on visual and sensory details.
Sleep Near Lions and Tigers: Turpentine Creek Inn in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This inn is part of a wildlife reserve that rescues and rehabilitates wild cats. Visitors sleep in one of several safari-themed lodges. The actual presence of wild cats on the nearby premises may be enough to scare away even the most adventurous of potential guests, but Turpentine Creek emulates the feeling of an African safari in Arkansas.
Get Wacky: Wigwam Village in Holbrook, Arizona
This teepee-themed motel is an American landmark, famous as a Route 66 lodging spot and frequented by nostalgic history buffs. The Wigwam Village opened its doors in 1950 and still features the original teepee-shaped guest rooms and retro atmosphere. Guests report that staying in the concrete teepees is actually more relaxing than they’d expected.
Dog Bark Inn By Alan Levine from Strawberry, United States (Big Beagles Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons by Nicolas.boullosa
Wigwam Village from Flickr’s Creative Commons by “Caveman Chuck” Coker
About the Author: Cynthea McDermott is a travel writer who also has expertise in personal finance and budget travel.