Weird and wonderful places to sleep with your family


Have you ever wanted to sleep somewhere a bit different?.

The most unusual sleeping arrangement we’ve found ourselves in, was in a Welsh shepherd’s hut. We slept in a stack, with the children perched on top of me and D, on beds that were like little ledges. Everyone managed to get a decent night’s sleep, though. Once we’d all nodded off, there was no way to tell the difference between the little ledge-beds and regular bunk beds.

Scamper Holidays

Our shepherd’s hut was tame in comparison with some places to sleep. Just check out this weird and wonderful lot.

La Balade des Gnômes, Durbuy, Belgium

La Balade des Gnômes roughly translates as ‘walk of the gnomes’. Guests can sleep in rooms designed to look a troll’s forest, or a gnome’s cabin. But it’s not just wee folk that you’ll find in this charismatic hotel. Weary travelling families can lay their heads down in rooms decked out as a wacky Andalusian-style village, a Gaudi-esque chamber or even in a full-size wooden Trojan horse. There seems to be little rhyme nor reason to the themes behind the different rooms, but they all look fabulous.

Nearest airport: Liège

Dog Bark Park Inn, in Cottonwood, Idaho USA

Dog Bark Park

Image from wikimedia commons

If you’re a family of dog-lovers, then a night or two inside the world’s biggest beagle might be for you. Dog Bark Park Inn, in Cottonwood, Idaho, is a bed and breakfast that overlooks prairie grain fields. A strong canine theme runs through the two-bedroom unit, with everything from pillows to board games to wall decor sporting doggie motifs.

Nearest airport: Lewiston

Cave houses in Andalucia, Spain

In Guadix, in Andalucia, Spain, locals have lived in caves for hundreds of years. The Barrio de Cuevas (Neighbourhood of Caves) is peppered with the white tips of underground dwellings, jutting out from the landscape. The caves are a cool place to escape the fierce summer sunshine, and many of them are available for travellers to stay in.

Nearest airport: Granada

Cages and coffins in Propellor Island City Lodge, Berlin, Germany

Propellor Island City Lodge is currently closed for repairs and a new concept, but it sounds like the most weird and wonderful hotel imaginable. Artist Lars Stroschen created a series of rooms that double up as art installations. A tubular shaped room features three beds, stacked on terraces. A completely blue room is lined with sails made from steel. And families can either sleep in the Nosferatus room, in coffins or in the labyrinth underneath; or in a room with a double bed and two cages suspended from the ceiling – both perfectly child-sized, and lockable. Kirsty from Family Adventure Project decided against the coffins, but did choose the cages. You can read about her stay in this blog post.

Nearest airport: Berlin

An Iglu in Switzerland, Germany or Andorra


Image from Pixabay

Iglu Dorf run iglu resorts in eight different locations across Switzerland, Germany and Andorra. Emma from Bavarian Sojourn found herself on top of the Zugspitze (Germany’s tallest mountain), waiting to watch the sun go down before spending the night in a hand-carved ice chamber. She says “Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this experience for really young children, ours enjoyed every minute (apart from perhaps the trip to the ice loo in the middle of the night). ” Emma’s evening included night sledging, a foundue dinner and star gazing, and you can read about her experience in this blog post.

Nearest airport (to Zugspitze): Innsbruck

An old bus in Carmarthenshire, Wales

Weache Bus is a converted double-decker, set in a 22 acre nature reserve. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wood stove and kitchen area, she’s positively luxurious. But there’s no escaping her ancestry as a Lothian Regional Transport bus, servicing Edinburgh. Weache Bus opens for bookings in March 2018.

Nearest airport: Cardiff


Have you stayed anywhere weird or wonderful?

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This is a collaborative post. All views are my own.

Suitcases and Sandcastles


  • Annabel
    February 21, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Yikes, not sure I’d like to sleep in a coffin! The shepherd’s hut looks a lot more agreeable and I’m sure my boys would love the bus. We spent a few nights in a little biodome tent in Chile (pre-kids). We could star gaze from our bed as the roof unfolded. I’d like to take my kids there some time.

  • Megan - TMK
    February 22, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Oh my! My son would LOVE to stay in the dog! What a wonderful list! #farawayfiles

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      They do look like fun places, don’t they.

  • Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels
    February 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    dog house seems great! and an igloo:) #farawayfiles

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Don’t they just??

  • Plutonium Sox
    February 22, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    This is brilliant, I love the dog one! I think I would probably choose the igloo though if I was pushed!

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Mine would be the troll’s forest. I do love a good mythical creature!

  • California Globetrotter
    February 22, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    These are amazing!! We have been wanting to stay in the Igloo at the Zugspitze! Some day! #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      It does sound amazing, doesn’t it.

  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    February 23, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    What a fabulous selection, Nell. Love the look of your shepherd’s hut. The weirdest place we’ve ever slept was a horse box last year. I don’t like the sound of sleeping in a coffin though, I have to say! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      The horse box sounded pretty exciting!

  • Hilary
    February 23, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Wow, I’m just happy if the pillow is decent when I stay in a hotel! I’m not sure about the coffins, or cages, but I might like to try staying somewhere different at some point. I was leaning more toward a house boat though… #farawayfiles

    • Nell
      February 27, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Ooh, now that would be fun!

  • Cages or coffins? Nej tak! No thank you. But the walk of gnomes or an igloo sound incredible. I do love a quirky and unique stay as long as the bed is comfy and the bathroom works! Ha! Great list – thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Nell
      March 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      I’d be a little freaked out by the coffins, too! I wonder if you’re able to get a good night’s sleep in such confined quarters…..

  • Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays
    March 1, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I want to stay at the Dog Bark Inn!

  • Kel
    March 1, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I’ve never really stayed anywhere particularly unusual, but I love the sound of all of these! I’m definitely eyeing up the Propeller Island City Lodge for a future visit! Your Shepherds Hut looks just so lovely and snug though!

    • Nell
      March 5, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      They’re a pretty cool bunch of places to stay, aren’t they?


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