World's Weirdest Hotels
The digs at these hotels are every bit as strange as the dreams you'll have when you lay your head on their pillows. (Word to the wise: They can be costly to visit, but our slide show is free.)
Take this hotel for a spin
Those of us who miss the Carter administration-era craze for revolving rooftop cocktail lounges will no doubt be pleased to learn that in certain parts of Turkey, it's still 1977. In sunny Antalya, Turkey's version of Miami Beach, you'll find the world's first hotel that has a rotating annex: the Marmara Antalya. Two dozen of the hotel's rooms are built atop a foundation that spins, completing a full rotation every seven hours; guests are rewarded with shifting views of the Mediterranean Sea. 011-90/242-249-3600, themarmarahotels.com.
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Hobbit habitats for humanity
If you queued up for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, you'd probably feel right at home in the Hobbit Motel, in Otorohanga, New Zealand. The motel's two hillside burrows are faithful replicas of the fictional hobbit dwellings—right down to the circular windows and doorways, red-and-beige walls, and camouflaged exteriors. The real-life rooms are scaled to human proportions, though, so actual hobbits might find them disagreeable.
The Hobbit Motel is only one part of Woodlyn Park, a bizarre collection of lodgings that includes a 1950s railway car, a dry-docked patrol boat, and a grounded airplane from the Vietnam War. As if that weren't eccentric enough, the complex caters to visitors of the nearby Waitomo Caves, where the star attraction is a colony of glowworms. 011-64/7-878-6666, woodlynpark.co.nz.
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Up a tree
Human beings spent millions of years evolving to the point where they wouldn't have to sleep in the trees. That job done, there's just one direction for them to go: back up. The owners of Out 'n' About Treesort & Treehouse Institute just outside of Cave Junction, Ore., fought nervous zoning authorities to permit the construction of their 18 unorthodox treehouses—some enclosed, some open to the bugs, and some perched in oaks and Douglas firs more than 35 feet above the ground. The Swiss Family unit, for instance, is connected by a suspension bridge to a special kids' area. The Treeloon unit looks like an Old West saloon, complete with swinging doors. And the Cavaltree, a duplex in the branches, feels like a pioneer fort.
Most of the rooms are equipped with modern conveniences, like sinks and refrigerators, but bathrooms are in a cabin on the ground. Given all the spiral staircases at the 36-acre complex, you have to pity the chambermaids. 541/592-2208, treehouses.com.
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Pioneer wagons get an upgrade
In Christchurch, New Zealand, the two-year-old Wagon Stays company has come up with a marketing slogan for its tricked-out, ecofriendly, mock Conestogas: "Where luxury meets history." The settlers of New Zealand would have considered themselves lucky to bunk down in these bad boys, which feature queen-size beds, computer-controlled showers, flush toilets, fully equipped kitchens, and satellite TV. The carriages also have glass doors that open onto balconies, which are perfect for kicking back with a pint of ale after a long day of going absolutely nowhere. 011-64/3-322-8277, wagonstays.co.nz.
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