Hotels with the Wow! factor

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These unusual places have the Wow! factor by the bucket load.

Picking where to stay isn’t just about the obvious concerns of comfort, security and cleanliness. Set up base in a place with a real Wow! factor and you’ll instantly add a little intrigue and adventure to your next trip. These unusual places have the Wow! factor by the bucket load.

(Our featured image is by Lauri Väin)

One of the rooms in Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin, Germany
One of the rooms in Propeller Island City Lodge. Photo by bluemoon197511

Propeller Island City LodgeBerlin, Germany
This extraordinary place is the vision and creation of German artist Lars Stroschen. We say place because he doesn’t like to describe Propeller Island Lodge as a hotel. He prefers to see it as a living work of art, a sculpture that can be lived in.

Each of the 30 rooms are absolutely unique, literally. Every furnishing and every object in every room was custom made. Some of the rooms are pretty far out – disorienting, in fact. For some, the pot-luck approach to picking a room might bring an added level of excitement, but if you find extreme bizarreness disconcerting, you might want to take a good look at the pictures before booking.

Grand Canyon Caverns, Arizona, USA
The largest, oldest, deepest, darkest, quietest motel room in the world! Photo by Piedmont Fossil
Inside Grand Canyon Caverns on Route 66, USA
Inside Grand Canyon Caverns on Route 66. Photo by Lauri Väin

The Cavern Suite – Grand Canyon National Park, USA
The Grand Canyon Caverns are way out in the middle of nowhere on Route 66. Well, somewhere in the middle of three million acres on unspoiled Arizona plateau, anyway. It takes two-and-a-half hours to reach them driving north of Phoenix or east from Las Vegas.

Once there, the motel isn’t much to write home about. Nor are the dry caverns. Well, except for one, which has been turned into the world’s deepest motel suite! Take the elevator the equivalent of 22 stories down and you’re met by a vast, artificially lit cavern that’s 200 feet wide, 400 feet long and 70 feet high. The sight of a fully furnished hotel room in the middle of it, completely open to the rest of the cavern, is astonishing.

La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
La Balade des Gnomes. Photo by daynoir
La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
La Balade des Gnomes. Photo courtesy of UnusualHotelsOfTheWorld.com
La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
La Balade des Gnomes. Photo courtesy of UnusualHotelsOfTheWorld.com
La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
La Balade des Gnomes. Photo courtesy of UnusualHotelsOfTheWorld.com
La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium
La Balade des Gnomes. Photo courtesy of UnusualHotelsOfTheWorld.com


La Balade des Gnomes – Durbuy, Belgium

Fairytales of forest-dwelling people are brought to life at this beautifully imagined and expertly crafted, for a lack of a better word, hotel. In fact, the word hotel just doesn’t seem to do this fantastical place justice. Inside and out, there isn’t a single straight line in sight of the 10 wood-carved and stone rooms.

Stairways, beds, tables, chairs, walls, you name it – all cut the whimsical look of a magic world of yore. Picture the homes of the regular people of Shrek’s world, but with an extra sprinkling of fairy-tale dust.

The standout suite has to be the Trojan horse, which is exactly that – a giant towering Trojan horse carved of hundreds of pieces of wood that’s as tall as the trees it’s nestled next to. Watch the video.

Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile. Photo by Ben Bowes
Inside the Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
Inside the Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile. Photo by Ben Bowes
The kids' club at Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
The kids’ club at Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile. Photo by www.huilohuilo.com

Magic Mountain Hotel – Panguipulli, Chile
The Magic Mountain Lodge in Chile’s Hulio Hulio Biological Reserve is another one with a fairytale look about it. Actually, it has a dark edge to it, especially when covered in snow, so maybe it’s better to say it looks like something from the Lord of the Rings. Either way, it looks otherworldly.

The earthly outer appearance – aside from the windows dotted throughout the dark stone, cone-shaped structure – continues into the bedrooms, which have rustic, rough-cut wood panelling and tree-stumps for bedside tables.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Hotels with the Wow! factor was last modified: October 23rd, 2015 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (1167 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.