Travel Germany: Unusual Accommodations

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Travel Germany: Unusual Accommodations

From igloos to corn fields, from buses to tree houses, from inhabitable art to inhabitable prison cells—we've put together a list of Germany's weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful hotels.
by Nicolette Stewart

Click on the word "image" above to view a slideshow of some of Germany's most unusual and eye-catching hotels.

Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin

The 31 unique rooms inside Propeller Island are some of the most original on this list—from coffin beds to an upside-down room to a room with a flying bed.  Named after a Jules Verne novel, Propeller Island was created by artist Lars Strorschen in 1997 as a way to supplement his income by renting out themed rooms in his own home.  As the hotel website proclaims, Propeller Island City Lodge is “a habitable work of art.”

Price: On average 115 euro per night

Website: www.propeller-island.de

Alcatraz Hotel, Kaiserslautern

You have probably never wished you could find out what it was like to spend a night in a cell but hey, if it comes with room service and wifi, why not give it a try? The Alcatraz Hotel—former prison located next to Kaiserslautern’s Japanese Garden—offers just such an experience.  Both cell rooms and “comfort” rooms are decorated in a starkly minimalistic but attractive style, and a cell room comes with a pair of striped pajamas in case you’d like to be appropriately costumed for your stay.

Price: From 49 to 79 for a cell room, from 69 to 159 for “comfort” rooms and suites

Website: www.alcatraz-hotel.com

The Igloo Village, Zugspitze

Because weather conditions play a key role in the very existence of the Zugspitze’s Igloo Village, it is only open from December 25th to mid-April. Sheepskins and special sleeping bags make the experience a warm one despite the ice, as well as the sauna, whirlpool, and culinary options on offer in these icy accommodations.  From the igloo site, guests have a view of four countries.

Price: 109 to 359 (with specials for children and higher prices for a New Year’s Eve stay)

Website: www.iglu-dorf.com

Bett im Kornfeld – The Open-Air Hotel, Bad Kissingen

The least you will ever pay for a hotel with this many stars is at the Bett im Kornfeld “hotel,” a place where guests can spend a night under the open sky in a corn field.  Guests bring their own bedding, and the hotel provides food, hay, a playground, and emergency accommodations in the case of rain.

Price: Adults 7 euro, children 3 euro

Website: www.bett-im-kornfeld.de

nhow Hotel, Berlin

This “lifestyle hotel” on the Spree is dedicated to the celebration and enjoyment of music.  The Music Lounge contains an “integrated music experience area” made for music creation, listening, interviews, and presentations for up to 100 people; through room services guests can order food, drinks, keyboards, or guitars (and the keyboards and guitars are free); and every first Saturday of the month, an open mic night takes place in the hotel’s Envy Bar. The hotel is also home to a full-fledged music studio run by René Rennefeld and Daniel Schmuck.

Price: Starting at 120/night

Website: www.nhow-hotels.com

The Tree House Hotel, Kultur Insel, Görlitz

While the market has since expanded (see list below), Germany’s very first tree house hotel is located on Kultur Insel, a location that includes an amusement park and dinner theater.  The nine tree houses each come with a mythological back story explaining their decorative style, while an Erdhaus can house up to 35 guests for a group sleepover.  If none of that is your style, the Kultur Insel also offers a standard camping area for tents and RVs.  

Price: From 120 to 250 euro per house, plus a small fee per adult or child staying

Website: www.kulturinsel.com

Other treehouse hotels in Germany: Tree Inn, Baumgefluester, and baumraum

V8 HOTEL – Motorworld Region Stuttgart, Stuttgart

This four-star hotel has one obsession: the automobile.  With car beds and couches, they have created theme rooms set up to look like gas stations, garages, and a car wash and drive-in movie theater.   The hotel is located just 10 minutes from MOTORWORLD, a must-see for classic-car enthusiasts traveling in Germany.

Price: Between 135 and 350

Website: www.v8hotel.de

Rotel Tours: The Hotel Bus, World-Wide

While not actually located in Germany, the Rotel (short for “rolling hotel”) is a German company that uniquely combines transportation with accommodation.  Tiny shelf “rooms” located inside a large red travel bus accompany travelers on their adventure.  Travelers can explore Africa, America, Ireland, and many other destinations alongside the bus, and bicycle trips with the Rotel allow travelers to bike and sleep in complete comfort.

Price: 590 euros for 7-10 days and upwards depending on length of trip and destination

Website: www.rotel.de

Arte Luise Kunsthotel, Berlin

“A place of refuge for art-oriented urban nomads,” writes 500 VERY SPECIAL HOTELS of the Arte Luise Kunsthotel. Inside, no two rooms are alike in this project that began as an artists’ collective in 1995.  The historical building is located on the Spree with a view of the Reichstag—and is within walking distance of many of Berlin’s major attractions in Berlin-Mitte.  The Philosopher’s Stairwell is adorned with the words of Professor Dr. Wilhelm Schmid, while the Mansarde rooms provide an elegant yet more affordable experience for those on a budget.  Over 50 artists have added their own concepts to the hotel’s rooms 50 rooms.

Price: From 35 (for a single in the Mansarde) to 199 for a double room with a private shower and bathroom

Website: www.luise-berlin.com

Inselpension, Hamburg

More a collection of unique rooms than a traditional single-building accommodation, Hamburg’s Inselpension includes accommodation in a tree house, a gallery, on a ship, a garden hut, and coming soon, in a crane.  The six locations are colorful, stylish, and spread out across the city of Hamburg to bring you close to the areas you’d like to explore.
 
Price: From 20 (for the garden hut) to 290 (for the ship) per night

Website: www.die-inselpension.de

Lighthouse Hotel Lotsenturm, Usedom

Be a light house keeper for a night in this one-of-a-kind, one-suite hotel on the Ostsee.  The high-ceilings, round rooms, and gorgeous view are yours alone when you book the lighthouse hotel—it is a one-suite hotel.

Price: For two people between 250 and 290 euro per night, 400 on New Year’s Eve

Website: www.lotsenturm-usedom.de

Michelberger Hotel, Berlin

Hotel, graphic design studio, collective project conceived by a group of friends who were looking to change the world.  This hip hotel began with the hope a few friends had of creating a space for them to live together.  As they worked, the project grew into a hotel that feels like a homey WG with simple but attractive rooms.  Their website is as unique as their accommodations.  Book ahead, weekends at the Michelberger are booked months in advance.

Price: Between 60 and 320 euro

Website: www.michelbergerhotel.com

Ostel, Hostel, Berlin

In German they call it Ostalgie, that is to say “nostalgia for East Germany.”  The Ostel—a reasonably priced hostel in Berlin—transports its guests to an East Berlin of the 70s and 80s through meticulous decorating style.  At Germany’s first GDR-theme hotel, even the wallpaper is original.

Price: From 30 (for a single room) to 80 (for a “holiday apartment”)

Website: www.ostel.eu
 

by Nicolette Stewart