Bay Area Spot Makes List of America’s Quirkiest Hotels

August 2, 2012 10:54 AM
Big Sur is home to one of the United States’ Top 10 Quirky Hotels, according to popular travel site TripAdvisor. If you’re looking for a fun hotel stay, from New York to New Mexico to our own back yard just down the coast, this is the Top 10 list for you! Whether it’s waking up in jail, cozying up in a train car, or sleeping in a shack, these unique properties offer travelers outlandish accommodations and extraordinary experiences.

Treebones Resort
Big Sur, California
Average Nightly Rate: $189

Atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, travelers can enjoy the sound of waves crashing on the shore during a stay in one of 16 yurts. Inspired by Mongolian architecture, the tent-like structures offer travelers a luxurious alternative to traditional camping. Each domed-dwelling is furnished with polished pine wood floors, French doors, electric lighting, and a waterfront porch where guests can enjoy spectacular seaside sunsets. A TripAdvisor traveler said, “Overall, this place is truly unique and so amazing! It is a great place to escape the business of your life and will allow you to truly relax.”

Related list: Upscale And Unique Campsites Around The Bay Area

Jailer’s Inn Bed and Breakfast
Bardstown, Kentucky
Average Nightly Rate: $105

For nearly 200 years, this establishment served as the Old Nelson County Jail but now offers a more enjoyable way of “doing time”. Travelers can stay in one of seven guest rooms in this sturdy structure composed of limestone walls 30 inches thick. Each guest room boasts fashionable antiques and heirlooms, while one room still resembles an actual cell and includes two of the original bunk beds. One TripAdvisor traveler noted, “Just spent two nights in the jail cell room and loved it. This really is a jail cell, don’t think it isn’t!”

Earthship Biotecture
Taos, New Mexico
Average Nightly Rate: $120

Part accommodation, piece of art and science project, these unique desert dwellings are made from recycled and sustainable materials and utilize natural elements to provide a comfortable experience for guests. Although each pod is powered solely by the sun, wind, and rain, guests still have access to modern amenities including Wi-Fi, television, and on-demand movies in their rented pod. A TripAdvisor traveler said, “The structure itself is just beautiful, the creativity combined with science is truly amazing.”

Out ‘n’ About Treesort
Cave Junction, Oregon
Average Nightly Rate: $90

Travelers can branch out during their stay in one of 14 tree houses located among southwestern Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains. With some of the structures soaring to heights nearly 40 feet off the ground, a sense of adventure is required to sleep among the woodland canopy. Travelers can enjoy al fresco adventures, as they can traipse across swinging bridges and zip line courses and later cool off in the property’s freshwater swimming pool. One TripAdvisor traveler commented, “This is something you must experience for yourself, keep in mind that these are real and true tree houses.”

Saugerties Lighthouse
Saugerties, New York
Average Nightly Rate: $132

Located on a serene shoal along the Hudson River, this lighthouse once served as a landmark and home for the building’s keeper until its closure in 1954. Decades later, the lighthouse reopened as an inn with the purpose of hosting travelers passing through the Catskill Mountains. Open Thursday-Sunday year-round, travelers are able to enjoy the lighthouse’s two rustic guestrooms and stunning views of the river and surrounding mountains. One TripAdvisor traveler commented, “Had a wonderful weekend staying in the lighthouse. Breathtaking views and great hosts.”

Shack Up Inn
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Average Nightly Rate: $65

Boasting the slogan “The Ritz we ain’t,” the Shack Up Inn provides a laid-back and rustic setting. Each shack offers a touch of comfort while maintaining the authenticity of the former Hopson plantation, located near the Mississippi Delta – and travelers can soak up the site’s history as they walk among sharecropper shacks, the original cotton gin and seed houses located on the property. “The rooms may not have a high-def TV, but they do have vintage musical instruments and more character than I could accumulate in a lifetime,” said one TripAdvisor traveler.

Northern Rail Traincar B&B
Two Harbors, Minnesota
Average Nightly Rate: $87

Seated on 160 acres on the North Shore of Lake Superior, this B&B offers travelers the opportunity to stay off the beaten track in one of 17 train cars outfitted in diverse décor. Upon arrival, travelers collect their room key at the depot-style check-in, before making their way to their train car suite equipped with central air, television, and in some rooms, even a fireplace. One TripAdvisor traveler commented, “The rail cars create such a unique atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.”

Palm Springs Rendezvous
Palm Springs, California
Average Nightly Rate: $139

Travelers yearning for a retro stay can step back in time at this Californian retreat. Each of the ten guest rooms features mid-century décor, with themes ranging from Pretty in Pink, to Route 66, to Hawaiian Surf. Throughout the day, travelers can splash in the pool surrounded by blue artificial turf and pink lawn flamingos, or even borrow one of the property’s vintage bikes and go for a desert ride. At sunset, complimentary cocktails and savory appetizers are served by the vinyl lounge. One TripAdvisor traveler remarked, “Kitschy, cool, quaint, comfy – this is where you want to stay in Palm Springs.”

The Peabody Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Average Nightly Rate: $240

This opulent hotel located in the heart of “Blues City” is known for more than its southern hospitality and lavish guest rooms. Since the 1930s, the marble fountain located in the hotel lobby has hosted flocks of feathered travelers. Staying for three months at a time, the resident ducks certainly earn their keep; at 11 a.m. daily, “The Peabody Ducks” march along a red carpet from their rooftop Royal Duck Palace to the fountain in the Grand Lobby, where they splash and play until 5 p.m. “The marching of the ducks was so fun and the hype matched the actual show,” commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel
Mount Tremper, New York
Average Nightly Rate: $200

Located on nine magnificent acres in the Catskill Mountains, travelers can stay among nine cozy cabins adorned with dazzlingly retro décor. With each one boasting a multi-colored kitchen equipped with a Frigidaire, stove and restored cabinets, together with an array of vintage finds from across America, guests may feel like they stepped back into the 1950s. A TripAdvisor traveler said, “The room was so cozy and comfortable, with great furnishings.”

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