STRANGER THAN FICTION
World's Weirdest Hotels, Part Deux
On your next trip, you could be checking into a wine cask, a salvaged 727 airplane, or a room where the furniture defies the law of gravity.
On the road again
Imagine how much ground you could cover if you took your bed with you. That's the idea behind Exploranter Overland Hotel, a converted 25-ton truck that's a true hotel on wheels. An awning extends out from the truck's side to provide some al fresco shade at lunchtime. The "kitchen" comes tricked out with fridges, freezers, and a large convection oven—on this trip, the restaurant comes with you too, and sometimes nearby cooks are brought in to give guests a taste of the local cuisine. Your luggage and sleeping quarters are towed behind you, in a trailer that sleeps up to 24. With so much flexibility, guests can see Brazil's back country, far from crowds and sometimes any other people at all. The tours, which last from three days up to three months or more, have included horseback riding, vineyard tours, bird watching, and rodeos. 011-55/11-99-38-00-58, exploranter.com.
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Where the penthouse is a trailer park
Cape Town's sleek Grand Daddy hotel has a surprise on its roof: a fleet of seven Airstream trailers, six of which were imported from the U.S. The aluminum-clad "rooms," which sleep two people, have been done in playful themes that incorporate icons like "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (a blonde wig and a bear suit are available for dress-up), and John Lennon and Yoko Ono (the room's white-on-white furnishings include an enormous bed, natch). If you don't want to stray as far from the trailers' original looks, there's the Pleasantville model, an Eisenhower-era fantasia with chintz, harvest-gold curtains, and flower-covered throw pillows. 011-27/21-424-7247, www.granddaddy.co.za.
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STILL WEIRD! Meet the giraffes (from the 2008 edition)
Without sacrificing its estate-in-the-country dignity—or all of it, anyway—Giraffe Manor in Langata, Kenya, is arranged so that roaming giraffes can poke their heads into any open window or doorway with impunity and lather guests with their sticky, prehensile tongues. Your guesthouse is their guesthouse, so the silly creatures pop up everywhere, including over the breakfast table, in the lobby, and through the curtains of the five guest rooms for adults. 011-254/20-890-948, off-hours 011-254/20-891-078, giraffemanor.com.
• Photos of Giraffe Manor 1 of 2