From a hotel in a cool old 19th century chapel to a cave hotel in Cappadocia, we’ve visited some amazing destinations and accommodations. Here are some of the most interesting and surprising. These hotels are worth traveling to visit in their own right!
Kirkit Pension in Avanos, Turkey
In Cappadocia, Turkey, it’s common for homes and hotels to be built out of the area’s rock and traditional cave hotels are cool places to stay. We loved the welcoming feel of Kirkit Hotel in Avanos, where breakfasts of bountiful cheese, pekmez, a local type of earthy jam, and fresh baked bread are served up in the sunny courtyard, which at night buzzes with live traditional music and travelers drinking local raki and wine.
Step inside a literally cool cave for dinner at this small hotel with just 15 rooms. From this hotel, you can walk out of the door and right around town, where markets, carpet stores and history abound. Kirkit also offers riding vacation packages for those looking to saddle up in Turkey.
21C in Bentonville, Arkansas
Combine modern art with award-winning Arkansas eats and cool decor at bike friendly, 21c Museum Hotel in Northwest Arkansas. This unique hotel has an onsite art gallery with rotating exhibitions and a great restaurant, The Hive at 21c. James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for Best Chef South Matthew McClure cooks up “High South” cuisine with tasty dishes like Smoked Pork Belly, Seared Diver Scallops with charred scallions, chanterelles, dill and lemon and hominy grits with mascarpone and parsley.
While we stayed at the Bentonville outpost, where you can valet your bicycle after cruising great area trails, there are also 21C hotels Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Gladstones Library in Hawarden, Wales
Travelers visiting Gladstone’s Library may find themselves on vacation in a quiet nook with a good book or perhaps lounging by a fireplace reading. At Gladstone’s Library, you can stay onsite in simple, modern accommodations, taking a literary vacation at Great Britain’s only Prime Ministerial library.
The library’s main reading room is reminiscent of a Harry Potter set with beautiful wood beamed ceilings and paneling. Its ongoing program of writers in residence and speakers brings life to this cultural center of the region. There are about 250,000 books at Gladstone’s Library, of which, about 30,000 were Gladstone’s original books, and he read a staggering 22,000 of them. On site, in addition to the library and reading rooms, there’s also a cozy living room with a fireplace, a cafeteria style restaurant and, of course, the guest rooms. On our visit, American travelers were sitting by the fireplace drinking wine and… reading, with no shortage of books from which to choose.
Casapueblo in Punta Ballena, Uruguay
It’s been called Uruguay’s most eccentric hotel. Part art gallery, hotel and museum, Casapueblo stood out on our trip to Punta del Este. It was once the summer house and workshop of artist Carlos Paez Vilaro and took 36 years to complete!
Guests can enjoy the pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, learn about the artist in the museum and workshop or dine on battered prawns in the restaurant. The views are great anywhere you roam. Located in Punta Ballena, Punta del Este is right nearby, but you may not want to leave!
Hotel Dream in Mons, Belgium
One of my favorite hotels from my Belgium travels is in Mons, Hotel Dream. Located in the historic center, you can walk right from the hotel to Grand Place–– key since parking can be hard to come by in Mons.
Housed in a former convent and chapel, stained glass windows and high ceilings are sprinkled in amid modern designs and graffiti art. This 4-star hotel has 57 rooms, many with stunning views of Mons’ skyline. There’s a restaurant and bar onsite, as well as a spa.
It’s hotels like these that get your creative juices flowing while traveling and if you love interesting architecture and design, make sure to check these out on your next adventure.