Looking for some creative ideas for fun hotels and resorts around the world? After creating my round-up of best New England hotels and resorts, I figured — why should Boston and its neighbors get all the fun? So… here’s a (sometimes surprising) list of 20 places I loved staying at and spending time in. See if your favorites made the cut!
Why trust this list? This round-up of hotels and resorts exclusively features places where I have personally stayed overnight, and experienced fist-hand — from Hawaii, to Ireland, to Dubai, to the ABC Islands. A small number of places on this list (such as a certain 3 billion dollar hotel), I didn’t stay the full night, but took extensive day tours of, and ate at. Burp!
I’m sharing this backgoround because it’s always somewhat infuriating when a blogger recommends a place they haven’t even seen. These places, I promise I HAVE set foot in — lots of feet! Sometimes I was stayed over with the full family, including kids, sometimes for a romantic getaway, and sometimes solo for a relaxing “Momcation.” This list covers places for all desires.
What Makes a “Fun Hotel?”
Why do I call these “fun hotels?” Well, every hotel on this list — whether it’s an extravagant luxury resort or a budget inn by the sea — features something unique and exciting. For example, the Renaissance Curacao in the Caribbean has an infinity BEACH! Meanwhile, the Campfire Hotel in Bend, Oregon has a communal campfire! See? Fun hotels. Let’s dive into the list!
Looking for cool, fun hotels around the world? Here's a growing list of my favorite beautiful, unique places to stay for a vacation travel getaway: from resorts to inns.
Ever heard of an infinity pool? Turns out that this resort in the Caribbean island of Curaçao has an "Infinity Beach" two stories ABOVE the ocean! I loved staying in this hotel -- especially its central location in Willemstad.
Seeking luxury cabins? Look no farther than these forest-embraced ones at Oak Lodge near Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania. Oh, and there's an old-fashioned village there, too.
Might an adults-only luxury all-inclusive resort in Mexico be for you? I never thought it would be my thing... until coming face to face with the amazing food and wonderful staff at Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun.
This luxury resort on the Big Island of Hawaii was voted the #1 Hotel in the World one year -- and for good reason! I had a phenomenal Babymoon here, and will never forget that one of the pools had tropical fish in it (!) and that all meals can be eaten by the oceanside.
What does a hotel that cost 3 BILLION dollars look like??? Check it out in my photos here. Yes, there is a gold bar vending machine. And yes, you can tour the stunning atrium for free if you don't want to purchase a room.
Talk about unique -- the Campfire Hotel was an absolutely delightful place to stay in the welcoming, outdoorsy town of Bend, Oregon. True to their name, they have plenty of community events around the campfire, too.
Though it wasn't wildly fancy, I loved staying at Bali Hai in AMI, Florida because it's comfortable, and is RIGHT on the beach.
So what do you think? Which of the cool, fun hotels on this list most stands out to you? I tend to think that the experiences we have and the people we meet along the way have as much of an influence on our perception of resort quality as the amenities, so my list may look very different than yours! Some people like a luxury all-inclusive resort in Cancun (I learned to love them), and others don’t.
For example, the conversations I had with staff at Harbour Village Bonaire Resort, or the tours I took and sunsets I saw at the Tides Hotel in Folly Beach, SC will stay with me forever, giving a smile and warmth, even on rainy days, far away from that sun. A huge thank you to all those who make the hospitality industry so joy-giving.
Fun Hotels, in Sum
Obviously, this list has truly only scratched the very surface of the edge of the fabulous places to stay that are out there… So, what are YOUR favorite cool, fun hotels and resorts around the world? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!