We’ve stayed at some pretty unusual hotels in our time – everything from treehouses to tents, all with the spoiling touches you’d expect from our collection. Below are some of our most memorable, so why not take a break from the norm and follow in our footsteps?

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Bambu Indah

 

i-escape blog / Michael CullenLe Grotte della Civita, Italy
Mike, Head of Hotel Partnerships

Le Grotte della Civita is a truly unique and utterly authentic cave hotel in the hill town of Matera. We arrived on a foggy midnight, unlocked the wooden door with a vast iron key, and stepped into a 6m-high stone vault filled with flickering candles, like a private cathedral, and extending deep into the bowels of the cliff. There’s no visible trace of modern technology but you slowly discover concealed halogen lights, underfloor heating, drench showers, even a Starck egg-shaped bathtub lurking in the depths.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Le Grotte della Civita

 

i-escape blog / Liz SimpsonWilderness Camp, Rajasthan
Liz, Editor

“The name doesn’t exactly evoke luxury, but that’s exactly what we found at this exotic tented hotel in the remote Thar Desert. The 7 tents are more like mini-marquees, with linen-draped kingsize beds, hot-water showers and writing desks! Forget roughing it; in this wilderness you even get dressing gowns and a turndown service. Come for magical starry nights, absolute peace, and horse or camel rides through glorious scenery.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels

 

i-escape blog / Emily PreeceWater Home, Amsterdam
Emily, Bookings Consultant

“Staying on a houseboat moored right on the canal in such a vibrant city feels very special, and waking up to the sound of ducks is wonderful. The setting is incredibly tranquil, and you feel like you’re living as a local would.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Water Home

 

i-escape blog / Nadine MellorEl Encanto de Cabo Pulmo, Baja California, Mexico
Nadine, New Hotels Editor

“This quirky Mexican villa is one of my all-time favourites. My list of reasons why is endless: fabulous colour-blocking, adobe bathrooms, hummingbirds and sculptures in flowering gardens, a cute little fishing village, untamed countryside, unspoiled beaches, snorkelling on the reef… I could go on and on!”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / El Encanto de Cabo Pulmo

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / El Encanto de Cabo Pulmo

 

i-escape blog / Melissa BurfittBambu Indah, Bali
Melissa, Assistant Editor

Bambu Indah is a unique exploration of eco living. Every detail has been carefully considered, from the beautifully restored antique Javanese houses to the natural pool-river, where we shared the freshest of swims with tiny fish. The beautiful open-air bamboo restaurant was another highlight. We enjoyed a tasty Balinese fish curry with just-harvested rice and organic vegetables. All of this overlooking the tumbling rice paddies of Ubud – otherworldly.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Bambu Indah

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Bambu Indah

 

i-escape blog / Emylou RichardsCasas da Levada, Madeira
Emylou, Bookings Consultant

“Everything about this collection of rustic self-catering houses is small but perfectly formed, and the whole place is charming. It’s set in the wild western corner of the island, and there are natural touches everywhere: grass roofs, raised-earth benches around a firepit, tiny irrigation canals criss-crossing the grounds… It feels like something out of a story book.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Casas da Levada

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Casas da Levada

 

i-escape blog / Kate ParsonsThe Boathouse at Knotts End, Lake District
Kate, Head of Reservations

“This cosy waterside bolthole for 2 has just a few sheep for neighbours. It’s the ideal place to switch off and escape: there’s no TV, no phone and no WiFi – just back-to-basics entertainment. We loved admiring the ever-changing views across Ullswater, reading books and playing scrabble, enjoying a glass of wine and a BBQ in the sunshine, taking the rowboat out on the lake, and just soaking up the peace and quiet.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / The Boathouse at Knotts End

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / The Boathouse at Knotts End

 

i-escape blog / Emily PreeceTemple Tree, Malayasia
Emily, Bookings Consultant

“This unique ‘resort’ is made up of traditional Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian houses which have been painstakingly moved and rebuilt in this gloriously peaceful setting. The character of each one is different and very special. We stayed in Chinese 1, which has opulent red and black decoration paired with beautiful antiques. The pool and nearby beach are blissful, too.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Temple Tree

 

i-escape blog / Liz SimpsonSher Bagh, Rajasthan
Liz, Editor

“This authentic jungle camp is designed to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, to the colonial safaris of the 1920s. White linen tents are filled with character – old-style lanterns, elegant copper bathrooms – and there’s an open-air bar serving Bloody Marys before lunch and cigars after. But unlike the old days, the only shooting you’ll be doing is with a camera: Ranthambhore National Park is one of the best places in India to spot tigers in the wild.”

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels

i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels

Browse our full list of quirky hotels.

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i-escape blog / Our favourite unusual hotels / Bambu Indah

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