World's Quirkiest Hotels
The Madonna Inn; San Luis Obispo, CA
Since opening in 1958, this hotel has gained a reputation for its many themed rooms. A Cave Man den is chiseled from stone and filled with animal prints, and the Heaven room is adorned with golden cherubs. Covered in pink roses, the Madonna Suite is named for Phyllis Madonna—the widow of the founder, not the Material Girl (rooms from $179 per night; madonnainn.com).
V8 Hotel; Stuttgart, Germany
Stuttgart, home of Mercedes-Benz, is considered the birthplace of the gas-powered automobile. In the Car Wash room at the V8, visitors sleep in a converted 1973 Mercedes and simulate the car-wash experience with a full-body dryer in the bathroom (rooms from $180 per night; v8hotel.de).
Cove Haven Pocono Palace; East Stroudsburg, PA
In the four-level Cleopatra suite at this East Coast honeymoon spot, there's a seven-foot-high hot tub shaped like a Champagne glass, a mini heart-shaped pool and an in-room massage table. Even the hotel's most basic rooms have the Poconos' iconic heart-shaped tubs (suites from $235 per night; covepoconoresorts.com).
The Shady Dell; Bisbee, AZ
Guests of the Shady Dell sleep in restored midcentury trailers, each filled with 1950s artifacts like vintage issues of Life magazine and old radios that play era-appropriate programs. The property's de facto canteen, Dot's Diner, was built in Kansas in the '50s, moved to Los Angeles and finally transported to the Shady Dell by flatbed truck (trailers from $87 per night; theshadydell.com).
Wigwam Motel; Holbrook, AZ
This Arizona motel's rooms look like Native American tepees with a few upgrades. Since the structures are made out of concrete, each wigwam has lockable doors, air conditioning and indoor plumbing (teepess from $54 per night; sleepinawigwam.com).
Adventure Suites; North Conway, MA
This hotel prides itself on being like a theme park with sleepovers. Many rooms have funky custom beds: In one room, a giant oyster frame closes around those sleeping within; the Dragon's Lair features a round pendulum mattress that hangs from the ceiling (adventure suites from $109 per night; adventuresuites.com).
Excalibur; Las Vegas, NV
Even on the Vegas Strip, this castle-shaped, King Arthur-themed resort stands out. During the Excalibur's Tournament of Kings, guests watch a joust reenactment and eat whole Cornish hens and potatoes with their hands (standard rooms from $32 per night; excalibur.com).
The Palms; Las Vegas, NV
The Palms equipped its Hugh Hefner suite with a rotating bed and an indoor pool emblazoned with the Playboy logo. Opposite of a bachelor pad: Barbie's 50th Birthday room, which is painted hot pink and decorated with retrospective portraits of the famous doll in her many outfits (specialty suites from $1,000 per night; palms.com).
Pavilion Hotel; London, England
This central London town house takes inspiration from pop culture in rooms like Three's Company, which references the American sitcom with three beds and a 1970s color palette of yellow and green. In Casablanca Nights, kitschy accents like a hanging lantern and leopard-print comforters loosely recall Morocco (doubles from $164 per night; pavilionhoteluk.com).
The Inn at Christmas Place; Pigeon Forge, TN
With red and green furniture, wreaths in every room and the Partridge & Pear Restaurant as the main dining option, every day is Christmas in Tennessee. A "Singing Santa" roams the grounds to encourage caroling (rooms from $159 per night; innatchristmasplace.com).
Circus, Circus; Las Vegas, NV
The largest permanent big top in the world is on the Vegas Strip. Circus, Circus has a roller coaster, a snack bar on a functioning carousel—featured in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—and a trapeze (rooms from $56 per night; circuscircus.com).
Hotel Colosseo; Rust, Germany
A Colosseum-themed hotel within Germany's largest theme park, Europa Park, features a towering replica of the Roman landmark. Unlike the original, this faux crumbling wall surrounds a pool (rooms from $230 per night; resort.europapark.de).
Hotel Sidi Driss; Matmâta, Tunisia
Star Wars buffs will recognize this otherworldly sandstone hotel as Luke Skywalker's troglodyte family home in Episode IV: A New Hope. Guests sleep on cots in the subterranean caves (rooms from $10 per night; atlasobscura.com).
Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren; Stavoren, Netherlands
Four massive Swiss wine casks here were transformed into double bedrooms—each with a little windowed door and two narrow beds. The unusual sleeping area is connected to a larger room, where the bathroom is equipped with a shower (wine cask rooms from $172 per night; hotel-vrouwevanstavoren.nl).
Chelsea Star; New York City, NY
This budget Manhattan option commissioned local artists to paint a handful of New York-themed rooms, like the Graffiti Room and the Coney Island Room, where a mural depicts the famed Wonder Wheel (rooms from $149 per night; starhotelny.com).