In a competitive fashion, hoteliers are pulling all sorts of weird and wonderful concepts out of the bag in efforts to be the newest, the bravest and the best. It seems their USP is off-kilter living, and these seven pioneering hotel rooms certainly cater to that brief.

1. Das Park Hotel, Linz, Austria

Fancy staying the night in a sewer pipe? Probably not. Reimagining your worst nightmare into something eco and alluring, Das Park Hotel ups the ante in conceptual stays and sustainable accommodation. The hotel repurposes metropolitan drainage pipes, which would normally be discarded in landfills and scrap-yards into simple, cramped yet cosy rooms. Truly minimalist, expect little more than a bed, shelving and a skylight.

2. Sister City, New York City, U.S.

As Ace Hotel’s stylish younger sibling, Sister City coins itself as an “experiment in essentialism”, providing sleek shelter while encouraging guests to explore the city. The rooms draw upon the functional perfection of Japanese bento boxes and Finnish saunas; no prizes for guessing that the aesthetic here is minimal. Two hundred rooms are created in fine balance of intimacy and utility.

3. The Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

The Giraffe Manor takes the statement “closer to nature” seriously. Here, you’re just as likely to see a giraffe strolling around the garden as a human and mealtimes with these animals are commonplace. Located in Karen, an affluent neighbourhood in Nairobi, this Scottish-esque house is blanketed in ivy, which is pruned daily by the friendly giraffe residents. As home to nine Rothschild’s giraffes – one of the most endangered subspecies of its kind – the manor serves to remind us of the importance of protecting them.


A space “designed to live smarter”, YOTELPAD puts the funk (allow us a little creative licence here please) into functionalism. Borne for the idea that compact, efficient space will be the next big thing, each room is decorated simply yet stylishly. Here, luxury does not necessarily mean exclusivity or OTT, while work and play fuse into one via sleek social spaces. With many YOTELPAD’s still under development, the Park City branch is the first and does well to show the appeal of this new hotel series – a high-tech haven inspired by first-class airline travel.

5. The Kikobo Star Bed at the Loisaba Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya

The Kikobo Star Bed is the cherry on the cake that is the Loisaba Conservancy. At this 22,660 hectare, private yet fenceless property, the starry African night sky is your bedroom ceiling. These impressive grounds stretch across the Laikipia plains to Mount Kenya and back at base, handcrafted beds are the perfect place to snuggle up. Gaze at the glittering heavens and fall into sleep with the wild symphonies of African life in the background.

6. The Upper House, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Upper House contrasts the hectic streets of Hong Kong with its discreet and subtle design. An abundance of Shoji glass, bamboo, ash flooring and natural timber surround in a way that is reminiscent of a quiet countryside retreat. Designed by interior aficionado Andre Fu, every detail is consciously aligned to create an atmosphere of tranquility and calmness. Holding 117 rooms, you’ll leave feeling like you just spent the night(s) in your own personal spa.

7. The Muraka at the Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, Maldives

In the Maldives, exclusivity and luxury are par for the course. It’s a place that induces several pinch-worthy moments – and the Muraka suite at the Conrad Rangali Island only adds to the island’s dream-like status. This two-storey underwater villa lies over 16 feet beneath the Indian Ocean, so you really can live out Ariel fantasies. Expect royalty treatment with daily 90-minute massages, on-call fitness instructors, your own private speedboat and a butler.

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The Best Treehouse Hotels in the World

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