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UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE HOTELS OF THE WORLD

If there’s one hotel booking website the adventurous travelers need to have at their fingertips, it’s www.uhotw.com, Unusual and Unique Hotels of the World. And I take my hotels seriously.

UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE HOTELS OF THE WORLD WEBSITE

Unusual and Unique Hotels of the World is the best of the unique/boutique hotel booking websites. It’s always the first resource I consult after narrowing down my upcoming trip by countries I intend to visit. The guide classifies properties by 21 different types (from “underground” to “underwater” to “treehouse” and beyond) and rates them on its Wowmeter. You can also sort by destination, view the properties on a map and sort by price. I love this site because it’s so damn fun and user-friendly. Everything a traveler needs to know on a potential destination is presented intuitively and booking a reservation is easy.

When I win the lottery I will be off on a round-the-world tour of Unusual and Unique Hotels of the World places. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with my memories of the places where I’ve already stayed. Three of my favorite properties that I found from the website are hotels with spaces that have been turned into habitable works of art: the Hotel Silken Puerta America, the ART Hotel Atelier sul Mare and the Propeller Isand City Lodge.

HOTEL SILKEN PUERTA AMERICA, MADRID

Hotel Puerta America

The Hotel Silken Puerta America is a must-stay for architecture and design afficionados. Located near the Madrid Airport, it’s a difficult building to miss, what with 14 storeys painted in a rainbow of colors. It gets better. Inside, each floor is wildly different from the next, transformed by a different, famous architect/designer into their futuresque vision. Staying here is a big vertical party at which everyone rides the elevator and trades floor access with their fellow hip guests. Choose your floor in advance of your visit (depending upon availability, obviously).

ART HOTEL ATELIER SUL MARE, SICILY

ART Hotel Atelier sul Mare a unique hotel

Many of the Atelier sul Mare rooms have been designed by a different artist and no two are alike. Most of the rooms are minimal and incorporate a water theme (which makes sense: the property overlooks the sea). Picking your room in advance is almost as much fun as staying here.

PROPELLER ISLAND CITY LODGE, BERLIN

Propeller Island City Lodge

One artist, the owner of the Propeller Island City Lodge, designed each of the hotel’s rooms, which run the gamut from the spiritual to the sexual (if you find coffins, cages and mirrored ceilings sexy). I wasted hours online selecting my room, and finally booked the more tame Tempel Room when I visited Berlin.

Why just visit museums when you travel when you can stay in one? Or maybe I’m preaching to the choir. What’s your favorite Unusual and Unique Hotels of the World property?

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COOLEST HOTEL BOOKING SITES

Did you own a Playskool Holiday Inn playset when you were little?

Do you collect Do Not Disturb signs?

Do you pocket complimentary toiletries?

Do you fritter away hours online in search of the perfect hotel when that report is due first thing in the morning?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may be weir in love with hotels. Fortunately, they make websites for our type.

Ron Arad Floor Hotel Puerta America Madrid

COOLEST HOTEL BOOKING SITES

Chic Retreats: Search for small boutique properties by destination, holiday type (golfing, family, spa, etc.), or theme (beach chic, country chic, city chic, etc.). Love the Budget Chic Retreats option and I like Lulu, too.

Design Hotels: One of the more minimalist hotel booking sites. Find your dream destination by type (sun, snow, spa). Favors progressive architecture and design.

i-escape: A trusted friend that has yet to disappoint me: a comprehensive, visually-pleasing, and straightforward compendium of unique properties. Narrow down your choices by destination, price, activities, setting, etc. Pretty pictures, too.

Kiwi Collection: Stunning photos, although the page is a bit busy. Sort properties by destination or (really expensive) so-called special offers.

Atelier Sul Mare Castel di Tusa Sicily

Mr & Mrs Smith: What a sexy site. There’s food porn and there’s room porn. Offers a wealth of information on not only your hotel, but your destination. Only complaint is that stay dates are required to determine approximate room rates.

Tablet Hotels: Fun, uncluttered, user-friendly tool. Much appreciate the style ratings (contemporary classic, traditional elegance, modern design, etc.). Better to be a global nomad than a noble gonad, Grandma used to say in between whisky sevens.

Unusual Hotels of the World: My favorite. Of all the hotel booking sites, this one deserves its own post. To come.

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