Eat Breakfast with a Giraffe (and Other Unusual Hotels)

Spring is officially here (according to the calendar, if not the temperature), and with the new season comes thoughts of warmer weather, fresh air and, of course, vacations. It’s never too early to start planning your ultimate summer trip, and after I’ve picked the destination, the next item I like to check off my list is deciding where I’m going to hang my hat on my holiday.

A great hotel can make or break your vacation. And sometimes, the hotel can be the centerpiece of the trip itself. Book a room in one of these amazing hotels, and you might forget to go out on the town at all.

ICEHOTEL, Sweden: This hotel, made completely of snow and ice, also houses the original icebar and offers the perfect place to view the magical Northern Lights. And no trip to the ICEHOTEL is ever the same, since the hotel is rebuilt every year, with rooms designed by different artists. But if you’re interested in getting away this year, you’ll have to act quickly. The hotel is only open from December to mid-April.

Library Hotel, New York City: For a book lover like me, this NYC hotel is my idea of heaven. The Dewey Decimal System is the star here, with each floor assigned a major category (sign me up for the eighth floor: Literature) and each room is decorated with books and art related to the category. There’s also a reading room, writer’s den and poetry garden.

V8 Hotel, Stuttgart: If you always dreamed about having one of those racecar beds when you were little, here’s your chance to live that dream as an adult. In Stuttgart, Germany, you’ll find the V8 Hotel. In addition to their standard guest rooms, they also offer 10 themed rooms. You can choose to spend the night in the “gas station” room with a Herbie-replica bed, or sleep in a Cadillac in the “drive-in cinema” room.

TreeHouse Point, Seattle: Just outside of Seattle, Washington, nestled in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, is TreeHouse Point. This bed and breakfast offers overnight accommodation in 6 tree houses, with whimsical names like “Temple of the Blue Moon.” I can’t think of a more perfect way to escape from the stress of everyday life than to climb into the trees and fall asleep under the stars.

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi: This English manor home/hotel, located in Nairobi, Kenya, boasts that it’s “the only hotel in the world where you can eat breakfast with giraffes.” Definitely; sign me up. Besides sharing food with them, you can also visit the AFEW Giraffe Center and sanctuary. And if you can’t get enough of the wildlife, you can arrange to visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Giraffes and elephants and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, oh my!

These hotels are definitely on my must-visit list, and they’ve made me think beyond the usual big city, big chain hotels. Because seriously, who wouldn’t want to sleep in a tree house or share their breakfast with a giraffe? It goes to show that sometimes you don’t need to leave your hotel to have the trip of a lifetime.

Have you ever stayed in an unusual hotel?

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