Good luck trying to get Steve Dobson to stay in a Red Roof Inn.
“Chains actually strive to be average,” says Dobson, the cofounder of the Web site, Unusual and Unique Hotels of the World and the author of Unusual Hotels of the World. “They are trying not to fail.”
But that’s not the case, Dobson says, in the world of the quirky hotels.
“An unusual hotel is all about sharing something slightly crazy,” says Dobson, who has been visiting them for 20 years. “They are trying to succeed.”
The U.S. is full of weird and wacky lodging. Dobson says there are literally hundreds of quality hotels in the country that fit in the “unusual” category. Here are some that made his list:
Out’N’About Treehouse Treesort
Rates: $250 a night for four
Sleep 32 feet off the ground. Me Tarzan. You Jane. The owners waged an eight-year battle to get treehouses recognized as real “hotels.”
Dog Bark Park Inn
Rates: Starts at $92 a night/double occupancy
Their motto: “Where sleeping in the dog house is a good thing.” Guests of the Dog Bark stay inside of a wooden dog that the hotel claims is the world’s biggest beagle, at 35 feet tall.
Rates: Starts at $95 a night/double occupancy
The converted silos once held 1.5 million grain bushels. Sleep in the round rooms where your breakfast was once stored.
McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel
Rates: $110 a night/double occupancy
The hotel, with rooms featuring blackboards, is a converted elementary school that originally opened in 1915. You won’t get in trouble for drinking a single-malt in class.
Jules Undersea Lodge
Key Largo, Fla.
Rates: $550 a night/double occupancy
Guests take the plunge — literally. Scuba dive 21 feet to your room in the former underwater laboratory, and sip a glass of wine and look out the window onto the undersea world.