Carrying on our theme of the last few weeks of where we have looked at unusual places to stay in both England, Scotland, Ireland, and some of Europe, we have decided to keep it within the continent and visit Holland, Switzerland and Sweden. So take a look at some of the weird and wonderful accommodation this continent has to offer, whether you are looking to stay for a week, a weekend or even just one night away.
Controversy Tram-Inn, Hoogwoud, Holland
In the grounds of a farm in the little village of Hoogwoud you will find a restored a 4-berth train carriage and 4 wonderfully themed tram bedrooms in either end of 2 city centre tram railcars, that actually used to run on the streets of Amsterdam and Germany.
The compartments come with all the mod cons, and can be heated individually.
They have also been subdivided in three themes (Italian, French and English-American) with each its own type of breakfast. The Italian and French trams can be occupied by 2 people, the English-American (little family tram) tram is suitable for 4 people.
The little family-tram has been opened up specially for parents with young kids. The dividing wall has been removed between the compartments. This allows the parents to watch over their kids while they sleep in their own compartment.
New at the Controversy B&B, for those on a higher budget, is the luxurious train, a compartment with 21 metres length and 2.60 metres wide with a boat as the bed (1.65 X 2.15 metres), also the living room has a large screen TV. There is heating and air-conditioning, and the whole train is insulated and has double plated glass. Last but not least it has a jacuzzi with whirlpool and jet stream built in a Mexican sombrero.
Oh and there isn't actually controversial about the place – the name Controversy was chosen as the owners loved the Prince album of the same name!
Inntel Hotel, Zaandam, Holland
The city of Zaandam isn’t just famous for having the first McDonalds in the whole of Europe, but also for having one of the most stunning hotels. Belonging to the hotel chain Inntel this unique hotel is built up from a varied stacking of almost seventy individual little houses, executed in four shades of the traditional green colour of the Zaan region.
The hotel connects the past to the present and makes tradition trendy again. In the hotel’s façade, five distinct types of Zaan houses can be found, from labourers’ cottages to town houses.
A striking exception is the blue corner piece, a reference to the blue house, which was the subject of a beautiful painting by the French artist Claude Monnet (1840-1926) during his stay in the Zaan region.
It has 160 stylish rooms, meeting and party facilities up to 350 persons and a brasserie-restaurant with a terrace on the water. To relax during your stay the hotel also offers a wellness centre with swimming pool, fitness, sauna and steam bath.
It is handily placed as it is situated next to the train station Zaandam, where the train will take you to the centre of Amsterdam within 12 minutes.
It has its own atmospheric restaurant serving seasonal meals, as well as a bar, and the rooms are themed with the area’s history, and come with free Wi-Fi.
Faralda Crane Hotel, Amsterdam, Holland
If you look across the horizon of most major cities in the world you are almost sure to see a crane as a new build is in progress. However in Amsterdam the Crane itself is the new build, in one of the most unusual pieces of accommodation we have ever featured.
The Faralda Crane is located at the top of a former industrial monumental crane in one of the city’s most creative neighbourhoods. Located directly on the water in the heart of Amsterdam, the surrounding area is vibrant.
This unique hotel has 3 luxury designer suites, each with its own style. Each suite offers a double bed and original design and feel with views across the city. The range of vibrant colours and unique furniture will add to your Amsterdam experience. There is also a superb spa pool for the guests to use (although this does cost extra), which is located on top of the crane out in the open.
The hotel also features a rope jump off the 50 metre high crane with a mega swing of at least 90 meters and a free fall of tens of metres.
There is a free ferry service that runs between Central Station or the Tasmanstraat to the NDSM shipyard.
The Whitepod Resort, Les Cerniers, Switzerland
Nestled in the charming village of Les Cerniers, surrounded by a blanket of glistening white snow and panoramic mountain views, Whitepod offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Swiss Alps.
Whitepod is a unique concept designed to be in harmony with the surrounding environment whilst still benefitting from a luxurious and comfortable habitat.
Located at 1700 m of altitude, the resort comprises of 7 km of ski slopes with private ski lifts, a mountain lodge on site which can accommodate guests in dormitories and has a traditional Swiss restaurant, and a wooden chalet also offering a restaurant, plus the 15 geodesic-dome pods.
With the use of the pods (dome shaped tents), pitched on wooden platforms, Whitepod offers low impact accommodation in an untouched and pristine alpine environment. Isolated from all urban pollution, the mountain region lends itself beautifully to such an eco-tourism development. All pods are equipped with wood-burning stoves, organic luxury bedding and full services bathrooms.
At the centre of the 15 pods, stands a charming early 1800s wooden chalet where guests meet for breakfast in the morning or gather in the evening around its central fireplace for evening drinks and socializing.
The recently built spa guarantees complete relaxation after an active day in the forest or on the ski slopes.
And there are a range of mountain activities that are possible from the resort.
Jailhotel, Lucerne, Switzerland
This historical building was built in 1862, and was used as a prison until the autumn of 1998. Whereas prisoners attempted to escape from the building for more than 135 years, today tourists and residents are paying for the privilege.
The jail is found right in the heart of the historical old town of Lucerne, only 5 - 10 minutes walking distance to the railway station and the top tourist attractions such as the Kapellbrücke and Bucherer Watch Shop.
The hotel is open 24 hours, offers breakfast and features an Alcatraz Bar. There is parking available a short distance from the hotel.
Choose the standard of accommodation to meet your budget, as the rates range depending on the room category.
All the rooms are equipped with toilet, washbasin and shower. Luxurious suites have been created in the former visitor's room, jail warden's office and library. Former cells are known as the Most Wanted rooms, but for the authentic experience choose the Unplugged cells which have been renovated to be as close as you can get to the original cells which feature bunk beds. These rooms have a shower next door.
Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
The benchmark for what could be classed as an unusual hotel was set in 1990 when the Ice Hotel opened it’s doors for the very first time. Since then the amount of ice hotels has now reached double figures, but you can’t beat the original.
The entire hotel is made out of snow and ice blocks taken from the Torne River. The beds and chairs and even the glasses in the bar are made of ice. In addition to the entrance hall, the hotel has a chapel and an ice bar named Absolut Icebar.
The iconic venue boasts 80 rooms and suites of which singles, doubles, triples, and quads are available, and all of them come with breakfast buffet, morning sauna, and towels.
The ice suites do not have any bathroom facilities but bathrooms for guests are found in a warm building close by.
During your stay you can visit the Ice factory and even try sculpting ice. Excursions include dog sledding, moose and reindeer treks on snowmobile or horse, or the chance to experience the Sami culture.
Ooops Hotel, Vasteras, Sweden
At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking that this house had sunk into the lake, however, this is exactly the illusion that the Oops Hotel in Sweden aims to achieve.
Although the house appears to be semi-submerged in the Vasteras archipelago, it is indeed only its foundations, cleverly disguised to look like the ground floor of the house, that are underwater.
With idyllic views of the surrounding islands and resident wildlife, the house provides luxury accommodation in an scenically beautiful setting. The wooden deck, which surrounds the hotel on three sides, is ideal for relaxing among the waterside vistas.
There is one spacious room, which sleeps two, and it comes with its own sauna, kitchen facilities and toilet. And as the Ooops Hotel was designed with the environment in mind, its cosy woodburner and solar power provide eco-friendly fuel for the heating and lighting.
That's all for now, but be sure to check back next week when we will have the second part of unusual places to stay in Europe, and if any of these have now got you in that holiday spirit be sure to check out our Men's and Women's Holiday Shops here at Cruise Fashion.