Some people like the familiar “brand name” hotel, when they travel. Myself, I don’t really want to stay at the big name, brand name chain hotel everywhere I go. I like to try new, interesting and different properties. I am an EXPLORER!
I think my favorite unique hotel in the US is the Madonna Inn. One year on a trip down the California Coast, we had planned a stop at the magnificent Hearst Castle. And a friend told me, “You HAVE TO stay at the Madonna Inn one night! It’s close by!”
Madonna Inn is a landmark resort hotel on California’s Central Coast, that began with 12 rooms, in 1958. Imaginative interior design and architecture make this inn a unique….One hundred ten unique rooms now exist, each decorated differently to suit many individual tastes…rock rooms, waterfall showers, rock fireplaces, fun and funky decor, European fixtures, and fine furnishings to name a few.
An employee told me that sometimes guests are compelled to complain about their room just so they can take a look at another!
The kitschy charm (some say it tacky and dated) of the Madonna Inn has been one of California’s most unique landmark attractions and today it is a very sought after spot for lodging, meeting and conventions. The Madonna Inn offers an unforgettable experience with fine dining & entertainment, unique overnight lodging, banquet rooms for intimate weddings & receptions, exclusive clothing, gift & wine shops and limo service.
The leaded glass work throughout Madonna Inn and the large etched glass windows in the coffee shop, almost things of the past, were custom made for the Inn. The leaded glass inserts in the windowed area facing the large fireplace are of particular interest, since each insert illustrates one of the various Madonna enterprizes: construction, lumber and cattle.
The hand-carved marble balustrade in the Gold Rush dining room (which is OVER THE TOP!) came from the Hearst Castle. All copper and brass items were etched and/or shaped from original designs and fabricated right on the premises. The 28-foot gold tree fixture in the main dining room was made from electrical conduit left over from building projects as well as from left over remnants of copper.
Several wood carvers were brought in for the specialty work of hand carving the doors, beams, railings and the many other carved adornments you see here at the Madonna Inn.
The Madonna Inn sits on approximately 2,200 acres and the large rocks used in the construction came from these surrounding acres. Some of the larger rocks weigh in excess of 200 tons each.
There’s a wine cellar, bakery, coffee shop, dining room, the cocktail lounge, banquet rooms, ladies’ boutique, men’s gift shop, and the gourmet shop. If you are ever doinig a California coastal trip, or somewhere near Hearst Castle, you must spend a night here! $150-$300/night.
Another really unique property is the Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin, Germany. CITY LODGE, is a habitable work of art in the heart of berlin, whose wealth of ideas never fails to attract everyone into its gravitational field and to continue inspiring guests long afterwards.
The CITY LODGE is a – truly – VERY extraordinary location. All rooms and objects were created by the German artist Lars Stroschen. Much more appropriate than “hotel” is the designation “living in a work of art”.
30 rooms with an absolutely unique and personal ambience. “Unique” is meant literally, for the entirety of all furnishings and other objects you will discover here are custom-made, individual handiwork.
None can be found anywhere else on this planet – one could consider the CITY LODGE to be a MUSEUM with guest accomodations or a stay-in work of SCULPTURE.
Padded Cell is top to bottom and all around the bed, everything is upholstered with tufted green leather. A kingly or queenly room where one can hear his own heart beat when the spirit grows weary. Small but exquisite, and undeniably noble on top of that!
Mirrored Room isDefinitely one of City Lodge’s highlights. The diamand-shaped room is completely(!) laid out with mirrors and gives you the impression of living in a kaleidoscope. Caution: Very sexy!
What About His and His coffins? In Gruft, you get 2 coffins and you can even slumber beneath closed lids! Exclusively connoisseur room for all those “Nosferatus” who cannot wait for that which awaits us all. Whosoever has second thoughts can creep to the bedplace below, safe within the labyrinth. Not only a unique experience for Gothic die-hards…an exquisite location on top of that!
All of the rooms are designed and constructed without compromise (!), varying from the tame to the extreme, and are well able to more or less alter your perspective of reality – according to your taste and sense of adventure.
Other strange place…..Jail! In Australia! If you’ve ever spent a night in jail you probably don’t want to go back. However, for the do-gooders that may never get there – The Jail in Australia is just the place to get locked up for the night, sans the legal fees and court appearance. This old prison in Mount Gambier has been transformed into a lodging aimed at budget travelers. Considering guests will have to eat in the mess hall and sleep next to a toilet, it’s pretty safe to say that anyone with more than budget needs should steer clear of The Jail.
So step out of your comfort zone and experience something new and different!
After, isn’t that with life is all about!
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