Airbnb has become a very popular way of seeing a new city or location affordably, as it allows travellers to book homes from local hosts in other countries and experience a place like they live there. It also has some properties that will dazzle you with their uniqueness, from bubble bedrooms under the stars to gingerbread houses to owl houses. Here are our top ten properties with the wow factor, and while leaving them might break your heart, none of them will break the bank.
Une Bulle Sous Le Étoiles, France
€150 per night
“You stayed in a bubble under the stars?” Well this one will certainly be a sure-fire conversation-starter at dinner parties! Spend a romantic night a deux under the stars surrounded by nature in Dournazac, France, next to a valley and forest. And if you’re an insomniac, you can count stars instead of sheep. See details here
The Gingerbread House, Geyserville, US
$120 per night
There are no witches waiting for you with boiling pots nor, sadly, is it covered in candy, but this gorgeous gingerbread house at the Isis Oasis Retreat Centre is extremely sweet. Decorated with stained glass windows with LED lights inside the glass, it is surrounded by trees and is close to the pool, sauna and hot tub. Tours of the exotic animals on the property are available. See details here.
Casa Dos Chicos, Mexico
$550 per night
Sleeps 8 + 2 people
We were blown away by Casa dos Chicos, a designer 3,000 square foot villa set on a hill in the charming tropical town of Sayulita, overlooking the Pacific coastline of Mexico. This newly-renovated villa on the Riviera Nayarit features four suites, all with king-size bed, private bath and sitting area, and it has a swimming pool and tree-top hot tub with ocean views and is only a short walk to the centre of town. If you’re so inclined, the owners can organise welcome dinners, grocery shopping, private chefs, yoga classes and massages. See full details here.
Container House, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
€140 per night
‘Wood’ you believe it? For a unique experience, why not stay in this Spanish house made from container modules. The light-filled dwelling has a fantastic terrace with a swimming pool and a barbecue and is just ten minutes from the historic centre of Palma. If you fancy cycling around to look at the sights, two bikes come with the house and it is located right next to the bike lane. See details here.
The Guest Room & The Owl House, England
£80 per night
To whit tu whoo! How cute is this? You will sleep in a driftwood bed in this gorgeous guest room in a British bungalow in Sandhills, Hightown. It looks out on the garden, to give you a great view of The Owl House, winner of George Clarke’s Shed of the Year 2015. It is one of two eco houses in the garden that you can use to relax in, and both are made by hand using recycled materials. See details here.
Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho
$98 per night
You won’t be in the doghouse in this beagle-shaped one-unit inn, located at the edge of Cottonwood in rural Idaho. The famed Hells Canyon Gorge of the Snake River is nearby, and can be explored via jet boat tours at certain times of the year. And of course, your four-legged friends need not stay at home as well-behaved pooches are most welcome. See details here.
The Cubehouse, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
€135 per night
It looks like a giant yellow Rubik’s cube so fans of that fiendishly hard puzzle will love The Cubehouse, the perfect place to stay in the centre of Rotterdam. On the top of the floor is a cosy chill room with 360 degree view. There’s a twice-weekly large market in front of the house, and if you want to visit Amsterdam, the house is situated next to the train station and it only takes 50 minutes to get there. See details here.
Train Carriages, New South Wales, Australia
$160 AUD for two
Choo-choo, we’re coming through. Check out these unique themed train carriages, the Royal, the Orient, the Safari, the Victorian, the Chardonnay and the Cottage, which sleep from two to 12 people and are located in New South Wales, Australia. They are situated in the heart of the vineyards and finished with rosewood walls, French antiques and a spa bath. They also have a tennis court, an outdoor spa and a pool. See details here:
Geodesic Dome, Andalusia, Spain
€52 per night
You don’t have to go to Iceland to stay in an igloo. This gorgeous dome is hidden behind trees and bushes and is set on a wooden platform with an adjacent deck. If you’re a fan of outdoor life, and maybe it won’t be for everyone, there’s a risqué outside shower and a Moroccan style toilet where you squat. Sure that’s part of the whole unique experience. See details here.
The Seashell House, Mexico
$269 per night
How fab is this seashell house? We adore this gated property with a private pool on Isla Mujares, Cancun, which faces the rocky north side of the island. The north beach is 15 minutes away by golf cart, and El Garrafon snorkel park is a short distance in the opposite direction. See details here.