Matador motel: Quinta Real
Don’t worry if the doorman waves a red flag to lure you into the Quinta Real hotel in Zacatecas, Mexico. Unlike the bovines who visited when this was a bullfighting ring, it won’t be your final shot at glory.
Many of the hotel’s 47 Colonial-style suites overlook the actual ring, now a tasteful open-air cobblestone courtyard with fountains. Stone-arched hallways lace through the building’s interior, preserving the 19th-century architecture. And when you make it to the restaurant, your duty will be clear: Order a steak, and make it rare. quintareal.com/zacatecas
Bunker Down: Null Stern
Not only is the Null Stern Hotel the bomb, but it’s where you want to go when one drops. The former underground nuclear bunker in St. Gallen, Switzerland, guarantees you’ll sleep safe, whatever the weather or global terror threat.
Guests enter through two-foot-thick blast doors, and try to get comfy in a setting that lives up to the hotel’s name, which translates as “no star.” The post-apocalyptic lodging doesn’t include privacy. Its 14 guests share two open rooms. null-stern-hotel.ch
Up in the air: The Jumbo Stay
Finally, here’s a chance to sleep on a plane without having to wrap a geeky half-donut pillow around your neck.
The Jumbo Stay Hotel, a tricked-out Boeing 747-200, once seated up to 450 passengers. Now it’s permanently parked outside Stockholm’s airport, and split into 33 rooms, including a sweet cockpit suite with private shower and toilet.
Other rooms sleep from one to four, and everyone has access to a lounge with snacks and drinks. Then, when it’s time to hit the sack, you’re guaranteed no one’s going to recline their seat and squash your knees. jumbostay.com
Fit for a king: Cappadocia Cave Suites
When you make it to Cappadocia, Turkey, the question isn’t will you sleep in a cave hotel, it’s which one will you pick. This crazy Middle Earth landscape is pocked with primeval homes that have been dug out of soft tufa rock, creating rooms both underground and inside fairy castle geologic formations.
Cappadocia Cave Suites gets our nod. The 33 restored folk art-furnished rooms have showers, kitchens and WiFi. Many even sport Jacuzzis, and offer views through windows that sun-loving ancients knocked out of the rock. cappadociacavesuites.com
Cold Front: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
OK, let’s be clear right now. Don’t throw rocks when you spend the night at the Kakslauttanen Arctic resort. After all, you know what they say about staying in a glass house. It just happens yours will be shaped like an igloo.
The rooms come glass-topped to offer views of the northern lights and an endless blanket of stars, all from the comfort of a double bed. The staff even rings a bell to let you know when the aurora arrives. And the thrills don’t stop there. Located on the edge of a Finnish national park, amenities include the world’s largest smoke-heated sauna, seating a toasty 100 at a time. kakslauttanen.fi/en/
Chill Out: Propeller Island City Lodge
When you feel yourself about to snap at a clueless Uber driver, or the dude that just cut in front of you at the airport check-in, maybe it’s time to find your way to Berlin’s Propeller Island Hotel. Reserve the inn’s padded cell, and then take some time to chill.
Green leather upholstery covers the walls and surrounds the bed, so feel free to bang your head all night long. Once the visions stop, check out the other theme rooms at this art hotel, like the crypt where you sleep in coffins, and the Two Lions room, with beds set in cages. propeller-island.de