One of the best aspects of traveling is staying in accommodations around the world, in cultures that differ from your own. Unique hotels are always on my radar, and lodging should be an experience that sets that destination apart in your memories.
These 9 hotels have proven to be some of the most unique accommodations I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay at, and I highly recommend them for other travelers!
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1 // El Blok, Puerto Rico
Topping the list is El Blok, a boutique hotel in Vieques, Puerto Rico. A short drive from the main ferry terminal on the island, El Blok is a uniquely designed hotel with architecture out of a magazine.
Enjoy your room with Aesop amenities, a balcony facing the ocean, and the downstairs restaurant. It’s also located on the side of the island closest to the bioluminescent bay, so any tour you book will meet up nearby.
Aside from the stunning exterior and décor, the staff at El Blok truly goes above and beyond. The rooftop pool and bar have stunning views of landscapes and cerulean sea. What’s not to love?
2 // Hotel Los Lagos, Costa Rica
When I was just a baby traveler, I went to Costa Rica for a month with a study abroad program. As part of my program, I had the option to visit Arenal Volcano, and our group stayed at Los Lagos.
The hotel is at the base of the volcano, with wonderful views (pending clear skies, of course). I had the opportunity to see it, which is amazing considering I was in Costa Rica during the rainy season.
This hotel has wonderful food, comfortable beds, and rooms that follow a rainforest, eco-friendly style décor. There’s a shuttle that will pick up guests and bring them to the pool area, since the property is spread out.
But, my two favorite parts were the pool and the swim-up bar. Or, I should say, pools. Plural. And most of them were varying degrees from the volcano. My friends and I would go from pool to pool, experiencing the temperatures and volcanic waters. And all with virgin piña coladas in hand from the amazing bartender. Yum!
3 // Amsterdam Hotelboat, Netherlands
I’ve gone on and on about this hotel, and it deserves every word of praise. Staying on a boat was on my Amsterdam bucket list. But, due to the average cost of accommodations, I didn’t know if it would be a possibility.
Enter: Amsterdam Hotelboat.
This place offers free breakfast (including vegan butter for breads!), it’s clean, and the place itself is unique. It’s a stone’s throw from Amsterdam Centraal train station, which made it convenient to reach after taking the train from Brussels.
The rooms are tiny, since it’s a boat, and the bathrooms are shared. I recommend to bring earplugs for the noise. Once you have those, you’re all set! You can’t beat this price for everything that’s included. Also, you’ll get to say you slept on a boat in Amsterdam. How cool is that?
4 // Hôtel Rose Bourbon, France
I. Love. This. Hotel. Hôtel Rose Bourbon is an adorable boutique hotel in Paris. Compared to previous stays, I liked this area better. Some side streets felt a little isolated for my taste, but there’s a lovely main street and shopping area a short walk from the hotel.
The staff here is spectacular, and will do what it takes to make your stay amazing. Not to mention how beautiful the rooms are! I’m a sucker for fresh, chic décor, and this place has it down pat.
I would stay here again in a heartbeat, and recommend it for others as well!
5 // Hotel Casablanca, Puerto Rico
My stay here was one of the best parts of my time in Puerto Rico. This boutique hotel is located in Old San Juan, across the street from my favorite restaurant in the city. The décor of this hotel is modeled after the film Casablanca, which gave it even more character.
The room was beautiful, and the bed very comfortable. The only drawback was the food, which can be forgiven when you consider the rest of the amenities.
The selling point of this hotel is the rooftop lounge, with comfy chairs perfect for writing and relaxing, and bathtubs in place of a pool. With views of the most popular area of San Juan, Hotel Casablanca is hard to beat!
6 // Hôtel Roi Christophe, Haiti
As a college senior, I got to travel to Haiti. As part of my trip, I stayed at the Roi Christophe in Cap Haitien. This property has beautiful architecture and interior design, along with a lovely pool and bar area.
I would definitely stay here again when I return to Haiti, and recommend a visit to the northern coast of the country for all travelers that visit.
Some of the best moments of my college experience happened in Cap Haitien, and staying at this hotel with our group was one of them. From the room décor, to the pool, to the restaurant, to the architecture, our stay here was one to remember.
7 // Hotel The Celestine, Japan
My mom and I stayed at the Celestine on our first-ever trip to Asia, and now, we’re loyal to their brand. We had the pleasure of staying at the Tokyo Shiba location, but the Celestine has properties throughout the country.
At our hotel, there were comfortable beds, beautiful interior design in the lobby, and a zen garden where guests can have tea or a drink from the bar. The only drawback is loving the hotel so much you don’t want to leave!
8 // Island Life Hostel, Dominican Republic
Okay, fine. This is technically a hostel. But, it belongs here, because it’s the only hostel I’ve ever stayed in that has a pool. And a courtyard. What?!?
Each of the rooms is named after a place. So, for example, my room was called Bogotá. It was a single private room with a shared bathroom. If you want A/C, be sure to check if it is included in your room. Some do, some don’t.
I loved the relaxed atmosphere, met super friendly people (and adorable dogs), and had a wonderful stay in the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo!
9 // Hotel Villa Taína, Dominican Republic
This is a beautiful boutique hotel in Cabarete, a sleepy little beach town on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. While I stayed here under unfortunate circumstances, I would stay again on a return trip to Cabarete.
This property has an oceanfront location, with its own equipment for guests to enjoy the beach. The morning breakfast is also delicious for vegans, which is a huge plus in my book!
Aside from all of that, the rooms are lovely. The entire hotel is not too big, and not too small. The décor pays homage to the indigenous roots of the island, hence the word Taína in the title of the hotel.
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Out of all the amazing places I’ve stayed, these 9 hotels stand out as the most unique to date. I can’t wait to explore more of the world and stay in more unique accommodations, like tiny homes, tree houses, and igloos!
What’s your favorite place to stay?
*Cover photo by Jörg Angeli. Thanks, Jörg!
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