One of the many reasons so many travelers prefer short-term rentals to classic hotel rooms is the unique experience they offer. While hotel rooms are fairly standard across the board, each vacation rental property provides something new and different.
It’s fair to say, though, that some rentals stray a lot farther from traditional than others. Guests looking for an accommodation they’ll never find anywhere else should definitely consider staying in one of these!
Here they are, 11 of the most unique short-term rentals:
1. The Lucky Ranch Snow Igloo
For the small fee of 100 Euros, you can live like a pampered eskimo. Nestled into the picturesque scenery of snowy Pyhätunturi, Finland, is the one and only Lucky Ranch.
The ranch offers a wide array of adventures, from horseback riding, canoeing and skiing, to spending the night in a private igloo! Guests are provided with warm sleeping bags, but are advised to bring plenty of their own winter gear as well, as temperatures inside the igloo dip well below zero. The dazzling northern lights are often visible from outside the rental, and heated accommodations are just a few feet away should any of the travelers get a case of cold feet!
2. The Geodesic Dome
Grab 24 of your closest friends and head to the Catskills in upstate New York for a one-of-a-kind guest experience inside a 30-foot geodesic dome!
Located on the tranquil grounds of a secluded farm, this rental takes “getting away from it all” to a new level! When not enjoying the serene interior of the dome, guests can stroll along the nearby lake, get to know the farm’s many four-legged residents and make use of the grill, firepit and full outdoor kitchen!
The dome is also commonly used for health and wellness retreats, corporate events and even weddings. Its unique acoustics make it an unexpectedly popular recording space for bands!
3. Old Smock Mill
You’ll see a lot of short-term rental ads throwing around words like “modern” and “updated,” but a contemporary vibe is definitely not what lures guests to this unusual property in England’s beautiful countryside.
Originally built in the the early 1800’s, the Old Smock Windmill was recently restored to its former glory by its current owners. The mill is comprised of three floors, which, like any other rental, include a kitchen, living area, bedroom and even present-day luxuries like a washer, dryer, heating and indoor plumbing. Complete with stunning spiral staircases and unparalleled views of the magnificent surrounding scenery, the mill provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway.
As if their enchanting property isn’t enough to draw travelers, the Old Smock hosts offer unparalleled hospitality:
“My thought is always treat others how you yourself would like to be treated,” explains Clare Winchester, who was responsible for the restoration of the mill.To uphold this ideal, Clare makes sure to personally welcome all guests and to provide them with “a special welcome basket to enjoy along with personal touches like freshly baked bread, fruit and vegetables from the garden and freshly picked flowers to decorate the rooms.”
4. Casa Caracol – The Seashell House
It’s hard not to feel like you’re on vacation when you’re living inside a giant seashell. Casa Caracol of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, is a beach lover’s paradise.
Offering a spectacular view of the Caribbean, the house is brimming with seashell inspired decor, much of which is made from actual seashells, and includes a private shell-shaped swimming pool. The property is the ideal vacation home for anyone craving a tropical experience and doubles as a wedding and reception venue that attendees won’t soon forget.
5. The Treehouse
This is the place to rent for anyone longing to become one with nature. How much closer can you get than sleeping in a tree?
The secluded and rural feel of this Georgia-based property makes it hard to believe that it’s just minutes from the action of downtown Atlanta. What’s easy to believe is that the treehouse is the most wish-listed on Airbnb!
The supremely popular getaway is comprised of three “wings”, titled Mind, Body and Spirit and connected to one another by rope bridges.
Mind, the living area, features unique, rustic furnishings and a balcony that offers scenic views of the surrounding forest. Body, the bedroom, can accommodate two guests, who can choose to leave their bed inside the structure or wheel it onto a terrace that overlooks a soothing stream. Spirit is an outdoor veranda where travelers can lounge in hammocks and take it all in.
6. The Dog Bark Park Inn
These days, lots of vacation rentals are dog friendly. But none of them are quite as dog friendly as Idaho’s Dog Bark Park Inn.
Home to the artistic canine-inspired chainsaw creations of Dennis Sullivan and his wife, Frances Conklin, Dog Bark Park welcomes travelers and their four-legged friends to stay in…well, a dog.
“When we first decided to build the big dog inn, nearly twenty years ago, we hoped a few people would be interested in staying there,” say Sullivan and Conklin. “Since then, we have learned of the tremendous world-wide interest in memorable one-of-a-kind travel experiences such as staying in a tree-house or dog-house! We’re honored and delighted to be part of the tradition of such attractions.”
The inn’s exterior is modeled after a Beagle and the interior is basically a shrine to man’s best friend, with doggy art, books, pillows and games adorning every surface.
The 8200 square foot home can host up to 52 guests and the property spans five full acres, but the size of the place isn’t what earned this rental a spot on our list. No, what’s drawing travelers from across the world is the super fun theme running through the entirety of the house: all things sweet!
From a Milky Way Galaxy Bar Bedroom to a Bubble Gum Livingroom to a 30,000 gallon ice cream cone shaped pool, this one-of-a-kind vacation home has everything you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.
With a private movie theater and arcade room as well as tetherball, volleyball, mini golf and a human candyland game, the Sweet Escape House allows guests to enjoy the vacation of a lifetime without ever having to leave the premises. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask us.
8. The Bus Stop
We’re betting you never thought your final stop would be a bus stop, but this unusually charming rental in East Lothian, Scotland, may have you wondering, “Hey, why not?”
Parked on a scenic farm that offers stellar views of the breathtaking Lammermuir Hills, these busses aren’t like anything you’ll ever ride to work. For one, they have king-sized beds, functioning kitchens and bathrooms and outdoor decks complete with lounge chairs, firepits and hot tubs.
Though there are two busses available for short-term rent, the farm is home to a whole collection of restored vintage busses, so visitors are free to roam the grounds and have a look. They can also enjoy an intimate picnic, a relaxing boat ride around a small pond and a trek along one of the area’s many pictorial paths.
To top it all off, guests can take in the night sky from the comfort of their beds, as the roof in the “bedroom” has been replaced with glass to allow for the ultimate stargazing experience.
Busses were built to take you places, right? Well, owner Sandy Stewart says this bus was made to take passengers away from “the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”
9. The 727 Fuselage Home
Speaking of transportation vehicles doubling as glamorous vacation homes, this short-term rental is just about the only plane that never hits turbulence.
Now called The Phoenix, the rental is a refurbished vintage Boeing 727 from 1965 that has retired from the skies and now rests just 50 feet above the ground, atop a canopy in the magical jungles of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
The Phoenix features two bedrooms, three queen-sized beds, two private bathrooms, a kitchenette, dining space, and a terrace upon the plane’s right wing that offers panoramic views of ocean and jungle. Talk about First Class!
10. Caher Castle
If you want to feel like royalty on your next vacation, look no further than this one-of-a-kind rental located in beautiful Galway, Ireland.
For less than $200 a night, you can live like a king in an actual castle, which was built in the late 1400s and recently restored to its former glory.
Though it now boasts modern amenities, like heating, indoor plumbing and even WiFi, the owners are committed to maintaining the castle’s medieval character. Its stone walls, arched doorways and winding staircases and will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a real-life fairytale.
Perhaps the most interesting part of your stay will be bathing, as the tub is stationed right in the middle of the living room, beneath the floorboards. But hey, vacation is all having about new experiences, right?
11. The Boot
Speaking of fairy tales, remember the old lady who lived in a shoe? Well, that could be you…at least for a night or two!
The Boot is the perfect short-term rental if you’re looking to kick off your own shoes and just relax. Resting in a hazelnut grove among the unparalleled sights of Tasmond, New Zealand, the lodging offers guests a quiet, simple and bizarre way to escape from everyday life.
Surrounded by nothing but fine art, a vibrant garden, and clean, fresh air, guests may not have to leave their boots at the door, but they’ll certainly leave their stress behind!
Add ‘em to your Bucket List
Your future vacation plans probably don’t involve lounging around in a tree, waking up in the belly of a giant beagle or bathing in a medieval castle living room, but if it’s a new and unforgettable experience you’re after, any of these rentals are sure to deliver.
Get booking and leave the standard villas, lofts and studios to the less adventurous travelers of the world!
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