No Man's Fort in Portsmouth, England
No Man's Fort, Portsmouth, England

Top 10: World’s Best Un-hotels

By Kellie Davenport

Why stay at a hotel when you can rest your head in an “un-hotel”? Because some nights you just want to bunk in a teepee, tree house or Tudor castle!

While its name sounds foreboding, No Man’s Fort provides an inviting and luxurious getaway. Moored off the coast of Portsmouth in the U.K., the 19th-century fort was constructed to protect the British coast from maritime attacks. It now has 22 ultra-modern rooms, a landscaped park and a Zen-inspiring spa.

Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire, England is the real deal: It was once owned by King Henry VIII. The lusty monarch even honey-mooned here in 1533 with his doomed queen, Anne Boleyn. Today, the royal abode has been transformed into a modern hotel with a dungeon dining room and grand ballroom for feasts.

It’s a childhood dream come true: Camping out in a teepee! And you can do so right here in Alberta. Book one of five teepees in Waterton Lakes National Park’s Crandell Mountain Campground. Kick back around a crackling fire, roast marshmallows and gaze at the stars before retiring to your cozy tent.

No need to travel the globe to lay your head in a quirky spot: At West Edmonton Mall’s Fantasyland Hotel, get some shut-eye in an ornately decorated replica of a 19th-century carriage. It’s just one of the 120 fantasy-themed suites at the over-the-top hotel.

The name says it all: Off Paris Seine is moored just off Paris in the Seine river on the Left Bank. Rooms range from ship-chic cabins to full-on French luxury. Even if you don’t stay at the city’s first floating hotel, it’s worth a visit to the bar for a cocktail.

A night in a cave may not sound alluring, but you’ll reconsider when it’s one of 18 well-appointed cave suites at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. The grottos, carved into a hillside in Italy’s southern Basilicata region, have been inhabited since prehistoric times.

Big Sur’s tricked-out tree house

Big Sur, California is famous for its towering redwoods and frothy surf swells. You can get a bird’s-eye view of both in a tree house suite at the Post Ranch Inn. But these aren’t your typical backyard playhouses—here, you can curl up by a fireplace, lounge on your private balcony and kick back in a king-size bed while stargazing out the skylight.

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in the clink (minus the criminal record), check into Stockholm’s Långholmen Hotel. Nestled on its own island, the former jail housed inmates from the 18th century until its closure in 1975. Today’s guests bunk in cozy rooms and dine in the prison-yard café.

Make like a maharajah at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. Built in 1949, the grandiose estate has housed generations of Jodhpur’s royal family—many of whom still live in part of the palace. In the hotel wing, guests can expect over-the-top luxury for a royally refined stay.

The Maldives is made up of more than a thousand white-sand islands, surrounded by pristine turquoise water. In this water world, check into an overwater bungalow at the Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon for your own private-island experience. Fish from your balcony, snorkel under your room or dive into the water for a refreshing wake-up call.

Reserve stays at these irreverent rooms today! Click here or call 1-844-771-1522 for more information.