Top 10 Unusual Places to Stay
Our holidays often feature quirky or unusual places to stay.
They range from converted abbeys and buildings hewn from the rock to tiny hotels in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains. Here, we list some of the most curious hotels here in our Top 10 Unusual Places to Stay.
GjÁargarÐur guesthouse, GjÓgv, Faroe Isalnds
Blending in perfectly with the landscapes, the grass-roofed Gjáargarður guesthouse sits almost unnoticed in the beautiful coastal village of Gjógv. Run by Eirik Suni Danielsen and his family, this is widely regarded as the finest guesthouse in The Faroes Islands
: a true home-from-home, offering excellent Faroese cuisine and magnificent views from its panoramic dining room. Here, gazing across at the dramatic outline of neighbouring Kalsoy, with majestic peaks rising up behind you, you get to enjoy tasty meals after a day walking amid spellbinding scenery.
Lofoten Cottages, Lofoten Islands, Norway
These converted fishermen’s cottages – painted in traditional 'Englsh red' – make a great base from which to explore the enchanting Lofoten Islands. Fortunately, they now have central heating and fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms, things the original occupiers had to manage without! Several are constructed on stilts over the seashore offering some of the most remarkable views from any hotel you'll ever see. Spend a week here on a self-catering break
or on your onward Journey to A
Douar Samra, Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Located in an appropriately secluded mountain hamlet and built with the help of the villagers, this inn on our Beneath Djebel Toubkal
walk is as authentic a taste of Berber life as you are likely to get. Like the other village houses, the main house has no electricity – the small but comfortable standard bedrooms are warmed by open fires and lit by candles which create a cosy glow.
Palacio del Bailío, Andalucia, Spain
Dating from the 16th to 18th centuries, this luxurious 5-star hotel on our Splendours of Al Andalus
rail journey is listed as a Cultural Heritage monument. It is built on the site of a Roman villa, the ruins of which can be seen through the glass floor in the lounge and courtyard. Carved Moorish gates, Tuscan-inspired frescoes, marble corridors, citrus trees, a spa built around the old Roman baths and a garden of rare plants create an unusual hotel with a very special feel.
Casas de Pedralva, Algarve, Portugal
Were you to pass by, you’d think it a pretty hamlet. And it is, in a sense, as the ‘hotel’ is
the hamlet – all but a handful of the cottages of once-abandoned Pedralva in the Algarve
have been lovingly converted to provide charming accommodation. The fact that you have a cottage rather than just a room, and that the cottages are spread over three cobbled streets means that there’s a feeling of space. It took a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication to restore the houses (traditional materials were used throughout), but all the years of hard work have certainly paid off.
Abbazia di San Pietro in Valle, Umbria, Italy
As its name suggests, this hotel has been tastefully converted from part of an 8th-century Benedictine abbey boasting a 12th-century campanile and frescoes. The bedrooms are set around the two-storey cloisters, and are appropriately decorated in a simple style. Guests say that it is a real privilege to stay at such an atmospheric place, and it is one of the highlights of our Olive Groves, Vineyards & Abbeys
walk in Italy.
Hotel Kybele, Istanbul, Turkey
This is another fascinating boutique hotel famed as much for its colourful décor and staggering array of lights and lampshades that adorn every inch of space on every ceiling. It's quirky but very welcoming and the preponderance of deep red colours give it a warm atmosphere all year. It's also perfectly located to visit Istanbul's 'big three' : Agia Sofia, Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. Don't miss the chance to explore this vibrant city as an add-on to either of our walking holidays in Turkey
Village Guesthouses, Binsar and Saryu, India
Run by the villagers, the guesthouses on our walking holidays in India
are not that unusual in themselves – it's being at the heart of the local communities that makes them special. You may be invited to pick fruit at a farm, join in a game with the local children or listen to legends over a cup of chai
(tea made with buffalo milk and ginger) at one of the villagers’ houses. Dinner is another great experience as you watch your hosts cook wholesome vegetarian dishes made from home-grown produce.
Nomad-Style Tents, Sub-Sahara, Morocco
Spacious and carpeted, these tents are a far cry from the ones you typically see on a European campsite. Nor is the pitch that of your average campsite. There can be few more romantic places to spend a night under the stars than the sub-Saharan dunes, the colour of which changes constantly from red to orange to burnished gold. Rise early and you can watch the sunrise, a real highlight on our Moroccan Adventure
Sultan Cave Suites, Cappadocia, Turkey
In a region of such strange landscapes – the area is characterised by extraordinary rock formations – it is fitting that the hotels are a little bit unusual too. Along with the first hotel on the Two Faces of Cappadocia walk, the Sultan Cave Suites (as the name suggests) makes full use of the numerous caves on its site. The result is a labyrinth of individually sized and shaped bedrooms – many of them with only one or two man-made stone walls – linked by terraces and staircases and furnished with beautiful carved wooden beds and hand-painted furniture
If our Top 10 Unusual Places to Stay has inspired you, please contact our friendly reservations team.