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The Wonderfully Unusual Hotels of China

Skip the chain hotels, skip the rowdy hostels, and yes, skip the good ‘ole guesthouse. For once, treat yourself to a hotel that’s a destination in itself, an experience to remember, whether luxurious or just downright wacky. China’s share of strange, quirky and downright unusual hotels will add that little jazz back to your usual holiday accommodation choices. It goes without saying that you should book early to avoid disappointment!

Tulou Fuyulou Chandgi Inn, Fujian


Image Credit: amazingfujiantulou

That’s a mouthful of a name but remember it well, if you want to experience living in a unique and historic building. The inn is located inside the Fujian Earth Building Cultural Village, and is a great representative of the Earth Building in Fujian Province. 

Constructed in 1870, the rustic accommodation certainly isn’t for the ones looking for luxury, but a Hakka experience. There’s an excellent restaurant on site, and the architecture of the inn is charming.  Rooms are basic, ranging from twins to doubles and triples with the option of shared or private bathrooms.  As atmospheric and cultural it may be, it’s still 2016 after all, so there’s free WIFI, air-conditioning, and a tourist information. 

You can get a room starting from USD 15 a night, proving that unique accommodation doesn’t always require deep pockets.  

Homa Chateau, Guilin


Image Credit: Kiwicollection

If Guilin is paradise on Earth, then Homa Chateau is the exact location where the gods and deities spend their leisurely off-duty time. You may want to travel here just to spend a few nights in retreat at HOMA Chateau. A living contemporary art park and a tribute to nature, HOMA Chateau is an epitome of understated elegance and luxury. 

Live midst lakes, rice fields, and karst mountains. Rooms and facilities are practically art galleries themselves. Enjoy a traditional massage, express yourself with pottery and calligraphy lessons with resident artists, or regain a sense of well-being with Taichi lessons. Visually stunning and creative, no two rooms are alike. You’d hate to leave after days of dining alfresco and long contemplative strolls in the forest.

Perhaps the most precious experience is dining in a hidden cave that’s 10-metre high. Host your dinner with up to 200 guests here, and relish the rare luxury of fine dining in a thousand- year- old cave. 

Prices are steep, as you can imagine. Expect to shell out an average of USD 600 a night.

Aiwei Boutique Themed Hotel, Hefei


Image Credit: Sino US

Put the spice back in your relationship or wow your new lover right here in the Aiwei Boutique Themed Hotel in Hefei. Yes yes, different people have different fetishes, so an actual love hotel like Aiwei would obviously have rooms in various themes. Waterbeds? Of course. Sexy (and freaky) red lights? Check. The prison room is the highlight if you want to take things a notch higher than 50 shades of gray. With handcuffs, a cage, and chains, you probably won’t get much done in your days there.

How much does a naughty night cost here? Less than USD 50 gets you the standard room. 

Commune by The Great Wall, Beijing


Image Credit: Commune by The Great Wall

Once in a while, you stumble upon hotels that just seem so otherworldly, you’d do a trip just to stay there and do nothing else. Commune by The Great Wall seems just like one of those hotels. 

This collection of contemporary architecture by 12 renowned Asian architects have been hailed as a New Architectural Wonder of China by Business Week, and it’s certainly not every day that a hotel gets bestowed such a mighty title. If that’s not enough, the fact that it was exhibited in 2002 at the Biennale di Venezia might just pique your artistic interest.

Another major key feature about Commune is that you get private access to an unrestored portion of The Great Wall of China. How’s that for mystique, remoteness, and privilege? You can’t put a price tag on taking a morning stroll to the Great Wall without another person in sight.

A standard double room costs about USD 250 a night, which is what you’d pay for a forgettable chain hotel room in downtown Beijing anyway.

Tai Tai Mountain Park, Shanxi


Image Credit: CNN

This one is for the kids and the kid in you. For your next holiday, check into abandoned buses converted into adorable mini-hotels designed with themes like Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse, and Doraemon.

It’s probably not for everyone, but just think about how excited the kids will be. You may just feel inspired to go on a full-on road trip in a caravan after a night here. 

One night in a cartoon bus costs just about 50 USD, so it’s certainly a pocket-friendly holiday. 

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About the author

Tilda is a happy sufferer of chronic wanderlust. When she isn't spending a disproportionate amount of time Googling about places and cultures, she's writing, dancing, and navigating a massive career change. She shares stories and photography on Wanderful People, and shares her coffee with no one.


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