The Ultimate Guide to Booking Quirky Accommodations​

The Ultimate Guide to Booking Quirky Accommodations

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

I don’t know about you, but for me traveling is not just about the sights you see, but also about the experiences you have—and where you stay plays a big part in that. By choosing quirky accommodations, I can inject an extra dose of fun and novelty into my trips.


I’ve found that whether I’m sleeping in a treehouse or resting in a restored train car, these unique stays can transform a run-of-the-mill vacation into an unforgettable journey.


When I’m planning my travels, I always look for places that can offer more than just a comfortable bed. Quirky accommodations often come with a story, or an experience that can’t be replicated in a conventional hotel room. They invite me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the character of the location I’m visiting. 

Key Takeaways

  • Quirky accommodations enhance travel by offering unique experiences.
  • These special stays require attention to detail during the booking process.
  • Adequate preparation for a stay at unusual lodgings ensures a smooth experience.
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Discovering Unique Stays

When I book a trip, I’m not just looking for a place to sleep—I’m after an experience that’s as special as the destination itself.


Why Go Quirky?

I choose quirky accommodations because they infuse my travel with an added layer of excitement and distinctiveness. Staying in a place that’s out of the ordinary—like a treehouse or a converted train car—offers more than just a bed for the night; it provides stories to share and memories that last far beyond the vacation itself.


Types of Quirky Lodgings

Treehouses: Nothing says adventure like sleeping among the treetops, surrounded by the rustling leaves and chirping birds. It’s a childhood fantasy turned into reality.

Underwater Hotels: For those of us enamored by the ocean’s depths, an underwater hotel room gives a literal window into the aquatic world.

Converted Train Cars: With the allure of a bygone era, these offer a night’s stay imbued with history and nostalgia. A mix of old-world charm and modern amenities makes for a luxurious yet quirky retreat.

Caves: Staying in a cave dwelling lets me connect with the earth in the most literal sense, all while enjoying the comforts of home carved right into the rock.

Glamping Yurts and Tents: Combining the sense of nature when camping with the luxury of a hotel, glamping lets me enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort.


There are definitely more. New types are coming out every day, but these are the most common that I’ve found during my travels.

Booking Process

When I’m planning a trip full of character, I need a process that’s both thorough and efficient. Here’s what I do to book the quirkiest stays out there.


Research and Resources

First things first: research. I’m all about digging up the coolest spots that’ll make my trip unforgettable. It’s not very easy and that’s the whole point of this website. Helping you to find those cool spots easier. 


I normally rely on a variety of resources like travel blogs and, most importantly, platforms specializing in unique accommodations. or Expedia are good places because it gives me a huge array of options, but you need to filter a LOT to find some cool places. It really takes a lot of time to find something truly special.


I also make a checklist of what I’m looking for in a quirky spot:

  • Theme: What’s the vibe? Vintage, futuristic, rustic?
  • Location: Where’s this place at? Do I want to be downtown or off the beaten track?
  • Price: Does it fit my budget? Are there hidden fees?
  • Amenities: Wi-Fi? Breakfast? A hot tub shaped like a teacup?
  • Ratings & Reviews: What are others saying? Any deal-breakers mentioned?

Securing Your Spot

Once I’ve found the perfect spot, I move fast—a quirky place can get booked up quicker than a cat video goes viral. Booking directly through the accommodation’s website or through a trusted platform like Little Hotelier often gives me the autonomy to pick my exact dates and the room with the giant bird’s nest bed. I usually look for:

  1. Flexibility: Can I cancel if my plans change?
  2. Payment options: Can I pay with credit card? Some remote places will only take cash on arrival.
  3. Confirmation: I always ensure I get a clear confirmation email—no confirmation can lead to major headaches later!

Remember to print or save that confirmation. Some places are tucked away in spots where cell service is a mere myth, so having a hard copy can be a lifesaver.

The Ultimate Guide to Booking Quirky Accommodations​

Preparation for Your Stay

When I book a quirky accommodation, I make a checklist to ensure I’m bringing everything I need and I’m fully aware of the unique aspects of where I’m staying.


What to Pack

  • Essentials: Depending on the location, the basics might not be provided. If I’m staying in a treehouse, I’d bring my own toiletries and a flashlight.
  • Suitable Clothing: If it’s an ice hotel, I pack extra warm layers. Conversely, a stay in the desert calls for light, breathable fabrics. Although at night it will get cold, so I will also need to pack warm clothes.

Understanding Accommodation Etiquette

  • Respect the Space: With unique stays such as a castle, I ensure I’m familiar with any rules specific to the historical property.
  • Local Customs: I learn if there are cultural norms to observe, particularly if the accommodation is in a remote area.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Every time I share my travel pictures with friends and family, I get bombarded with questions on how to find the best spots and deals. So, I’ve compiled this list of FAQs to help fellow travelers.


What are some tips for finding truly unique places to stay?

For those seeking accommodations beyond the typical hotel room, exploring options like treehouses in Oregon or over-the-water bungalows in French Polynesia adds an unforgettable twis to your travels. I recommend using specialized travel websites and forums to discover these hidden gems. I hope as I build Unique Places, the website will become THE place to find truly unique places from around the world. 


How do I spot a good deal on unconventional lodgings?

Keep an eye out for price alerts on booking platforms as prices for unique lodgings can fluctuate. Also, consider timing your stay during off-peak seasons for budget-friendly lodging tips.


Can you explain the process for securing a boutique accommodation?

Once I find a boutique accommodation that catches my eye, I contact them directly to discuss availability. Often, boutique spots prefer direct communication for personal touches, and sometimes I even get a better rate.


What should I look for in a rental to ensure a memorable experience?

In my experience, rentals that provide immersive local experiences or have eccentric amenities contribute greatly to a memorable stay. Check for the presence of unique design elements or activities that can’t be found anywhere else.


Are there any red flags to be aware of when booking a non-traditional hotel?

Absolutely. If I come across scant reviews or lack of transparency in pricing, it’s a no-go. I also steer clear of places that don’t offer clear communication channels or detailed descriptions of their offerings.


How does flexible booking work for niche overnight stays?

Flexible booking for niche stays often depends on the property owner’s policies. Many unique accommodations offer free cancellation within a certain timeframe before the stay, which is a feature I always look for to avoid unexpected charges.


Got more questions? Feel free to reach out. I am always happy to help with whatever I can. 

Antonio Cala

Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries.

They cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions.

Today, they’re currently working their way to visit every state and National Park in the USA traveling with an RV.

Together they run the popular newsletter Adventure Fix, the travel community Summit, the resource-based portal Adventure Travel Hub, and their latest venture, Unique Places, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

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