Get your motor running: V8 Hotel
It’s usually not a good thing when you’re forced to spend the night in a car. (Think: A soon-to-be ex-girlfriend locking you out of your apartment.) But at the V8 hotel at Stuttgart, Germany’s former airport, you’ll find full-size beds cleverly placed in the bodies of a Volkswagen Bug, Cadillac Coupe de Ville and classic Morris Minor. It’s the perfect spot for folks visiting Motorworld, a vintage-car destination with autos on display and for sale.
And if you’re really feeling like a Grand Prix night, rent the Mercedes Suite, which is set in the former air-traffic control tower. It’s much more comfortable than a Hyundai. v8hotel.de
Yurt on the range: El Cosmico
Outer Mongolia and West Texas now have something in common — the chance to sleep in a yurt. But trust us, you’ll want to pick the Lone Star State’s. The 22-foot model at El Cosmico has electric lights and outlets, a wood floor and a roomy queen-size bed.
And there’s plenty more to do in this quirky compound located in the state’s remote artist colony of Marfa. A hammock grove and wood-fired Dutch hot tubs both welcome lounging. And if you want to mix things up, you can spend the next night in a teepee or vintage trailer. elcosmico.com
Cocoon Life: Free Spirit Spheres
Hanging out in the woods takes on a whole new meaning when you check into Free Spirit Spheres, a British Columbia eco-resort where giant sleeping pods dangle from trees.
After climbing a staircase or crossing a swinging bridge, guests arrive in the lap of luxury with heating, fridge and wired iPod speakers. One sphere even has a private outhouse. But you might want to check out the forecast before checking in. These rooms sway in the wind, which could make your room feel like a yo-yo in a storm. freespiritspheres.com
Park your caboose: Featherbed Railroad B&B
If you ever had a thing for Thomas the Tank Engine, make tracks for the Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast, which keeps its train cars permanently parked.
The themed cabooses show what Amtrak could do if it had a little imagination. They come with themes like Mardi Gras and Casablanca, and kitted out with Jacuzzis, bars and, in the Easy Rider room, a full-sized mirror over the bed. Remember, if the caboose is a-rocking, don’t come a-knocking. featherbedrailroad.com
Barrels of fun: Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren
A free bottle of wine is usually a welcome gift, but it feels a little stingy when your room is a wine barrel bigger than a truck. Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren rents out four converted casks, which each held 14,500 liters of booze. The containers, imported to northwest Holland from Switzerland, now have a bed, sitting room, bathroom and shower.
And the nice thing is that even if you over-indulge at dinner, when you wake up in a room that once held a lagoon of alcohol, it will seem like you hardly drank a drop. hotel-vrouwevanstavoren.nl/
Out to sea: Solent Forts
Pack everything you need before checking in to No Man’s Fort. The Victorian-era garrison, located more than a mile off the Isle of Wight, England, can only be reached by boat or helicopter, so there’s no stepping out to pick up a phone charger or toothbrush.
The remote site, now equipped with nightclub, laser-tag arena and lighthouse penthouse, was built to defend a French invasion. But since you were probably looking at YouTube during history class, you may know it from a classic Dr. Who episode involving an attack from some seriously cheesy Sea Devils. solentforts.com