Why stay in an identikit hotel when you could stay somewhere truly extraordinary on your next trip? A metallic barn balancing in mid-air? A wooden sphere suspended amongst the trees? A crazy Dali-esque tree-like structure? Or perhaps a house without walls, only screens and stained glass windows? You travel the world to discover new, exciting and exotic places – why shouldn’t you stay in one too? Book your flights, order some international travel insurance and jet off to one of these incredible holiday rentals…
The Balancing Barn – Suffolk, England
The multi-award-winning Balancing Barn, located a few miles inland from the beautiful Suffolk coast, dramatically cantilevers over a descending slope so that half of the building is in mid-air. This not only results in an exciting piece of architecture but fabulous views over the neighbouring nature reserve, lake and surrounding garden, helped by the huge full-height sliding picture windows. Roof lights and glass floor sections add to the feeling that you are part of the surrounding countryside and the reflective steel tiles on the exterior provide a mirror image of the outside space. A magnificent building in beautiful surroundings.
“The Balancing Barn – Suffolk, England”
The Onion House – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
How can you have a house without walls? When it’s enclosed by screens and stained glass and located in the warm but breezy climate of Hawaii. Even the roof panels are translucent. Designed to make the most of its lush surroundings, the Onion House, so called because its two arching domes with overlapping panels are said to look like the layers of an onion, is nestled within a tropical paradise. Pools, fishponds and gorgeous gardens surround the unusual house and its high terrace enjoys spectacular views of the sea.
“The Onion House – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii”
Hang Nga Guesthouse – Da Lat, Vietnam
It’s not hard to see why this utterly unique guesthouse is popularly known as the ‘Crazy House’. Within a town populated by French colonial villas and modern concrete buildings, the Crazy House really does stand out. Described by many as a ‘fairy tale house’, it is like the love child of Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. Resembling a giant, warped old banyan tree, its complex, organic structure is dotted with sculptured aspects of nature, such as spider webs, animals, mushrooms, and caves. Each room has its own animal theme, including an ant room, kangaroo room, and tiger room and much of the furniture is handcrafted and built into the rooms. If you don’t fancy staying in the Crazy House, you could visit the museum instead.
“Hang Nga Guesthouse – Da Lat, Vietnam”
Free Spirit Spheres – Vancouver Island, Canada
Billed as ‘tree houses for adults’, Free Spirit Spheres are handcrafted wooden spheres suspended from a web of rope within five acres of Vancouver Island’s coastal rainforest. Each sphere is tethered to three trees and accessed by a spiral stairway and suspension bridge so you are truly suspended up in the treetops. The rooms are small but perfectly formed, with a double bed, sofa, microwave, fridge and sink and you get to be rocked to sleep each night as the sphere gently sways in the breeze. Bliss.