If you’re bored of staying at Super 8’s, Red Roof Inns, Holiday Inn Expresses, and every other cookie-cutter hotel along the interstate, then this is the article for you.  These hotels are destinations in and of themselves.  Rather than trying to decide between the Economy Suits and the Travel Lodge (Economy Suites has free wifi, but the Travel Lodge is closer to the McDonalds) you’ll be trying to decide whether you want to stay in an ice fortress that serves as a space station or a secluded luxury jungle tree house that would make the entire Swiss family Robinson look like the Beverly Hillbillies.  Check out these best theme hotels on the planet.

Madonna Inn

The Madonna Inn has little to do with the chanteuse or the matriarchal archetype. We suppose that is a big gaudy like the former, and a bit comforting like the latter, but mostly, it’s just a kooked-out collection of 110, individually-themed rooms, an excellent steakhouse, and the largest convention center on the West Coast. It’s about 20 minutes outside of downtown San Luis Obispo, and the price range is mid $100 to mid $200s depending on the season and the room. Also on sit is a fitness center and spa, but the real attraction of the Madonna is in its rooms such as the Safari, the Oriental Fantasy, or the Swiss Rock.


It’s a given that the ice hotel is on the list – it’s known the world over as one of the must unique hospitatlity experiences in the planet. But, what you might not know, is that the Ice Hotel will soon offer unique hospitality experiences off the planet also.

In the year 2012, ordinary people will get the opportunity to try out the life of an astronaut when the first commercial space flight in Sweden takes off. Together with Spaceport Sweden and Virgin Galactic, ICEHOTEL offers you the possibility to journey 130-140 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

Costa Rican Jet Hotel

This lofty tree [sic] house is in Costa Rica, and is based on a 1965 Boeing 727 shell. Luxuriant though America’s airways were in the 60s, this revamped liner has been refined from tip to tail in wood paneling. It looks out over the water, 50 feet above the beach, and includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchenette, flat screen TVs, and an outdoor patio for, well, wing walking, we guess. It goes for $500 a night, $400 a night in the off season.

Fantasyland Hotel

This is the Canadian version of the Madonna Inn – a luxury hotel with many (though, less than 110) themed rooms as well as a bevy of ‘normie’ rooms. Our favorites, and the most ostentatious displays of ridiculous thematic decorations, are the Polynesian and African rooms. Almost all of the suites – themed or not – include a whirlpool. And, depending on the fantasy you’re after, the hotel will include appropriately-themed activities to accompany your room such as the Wet and Wild package for the waterpark room including themed breakfast, passes to the aquarium, and two West Edmonton Mall attraction passes.

Le Monde

The idea behind Le Monde (French for ‘The World’) is that you can travel around the world not only without leaving Edinburgh, Scotland, but without even leaving the hotel itself. One of the taglines on their site is “Imagine dining in Paris, clubbing in Shanghai, and waking up in LA…” But without all the jet lag, we presume. At the hotel is a Vienna-themed restaurant, a Paris-themed restaurant, and a Milan-themed restaurant. Each also has a bar, with an additional Shanghai-themed bar/club. There are also themed rooms for the cities of Paris, Reykjavik, London, Dublin, Milan and (wait for it) Atlantis.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

This one feels like a little of a cop-out, we know. But after reading Chuck Klosterman’s essay about Disney and the unique brand of escapism they can offer, you won’t be able to help but think about taking a trip to the Magic Kingdom in a whole new way. And, in Orlando, the newest and most fantastic of the parks – the deepest escape from the real world – is in the Animal Kingdom park. It’s around $240 a night, and the hotel amenities include a “survival of the fittest” fitness center, the “Zahanati” massage and fitness center, baby sitting and child services, an outood movie theater for movies under the stars, and a African restaurant called Boma.

Ngong House tree houses

The Ngong House is a set of tree houses in Kenay set up 15 feet off the ground in order for you to enjoy “uninterrupted views” of the bushland. Though it looks a little rugged at first blush, rest assured that all of the accommodations are first class at this resort. The tree houses are appointed with full-sized beds, mosquito netting, and there is a clothing boutique on-site featuring clothing created by a designer trined at the Royal Shakespear Company and the English National Opera. Also offered through Ngong house are wildlife safaris though the brush and two actual museums.

Tree House Lodge

The Costa Rican Tree House Lodge is exactly what it sounds like, only nicer. The Tree House Lodge actually consist of 4 separate units – a tree house, two beach houses, and a bamboo house further inland. Each feels like the Swiss Family Robinson if they had access to the cast of Flip This House. While, indeed, you are in a bungalow-style room on the coast – far removed from civil society – you won’t be far removed from many of the creature comforts it offers. We suggest getting a package that includes daily adventures such as iguana conservation tours, massages, and white water rafting.