So, you think you've seen it all? The weirdest and wackiest places you could possibly find? Just you wait. Isn't a hotel simply a place to lay your head, perhaps a place to grab a meal or two? Or is staying in a hotel supposed to be an experience? A weird, wonderful, makes-you-wonder-why-you-didn't-think-of-it-first sort of experience? For those feeling adventurous and looking for something a little more cutting-edge in their China hotel, let us present to you China's Top 10 quirkiest hotels....
10. Xiang Xiang Xiang Prayer House
This new hotel in Shanxi is set in the beautiful countryside of Nandazhang village (Nándàzhǎng Cūn, 南大掌村), where guestrooms are set in 2.59 meter-high (8.5 ft) shipping containers. What's that? You heard me. Shipping containers. Village governor and creator of the project Meng Qingdong said he thought of the idea after he saw rescue workers using shipping containers as temporary shelters for survivors of the Japan Tsunami Earthquake in 2011. Rooms come in two sizes (15 sq m/161.5 sq ft or 30 sq m/333 sq ft), and are said to be designed to meet five-star standards. And don't worry there won't be light, as there are windows in both the roof and the walls of the containers, along with plenty of decoration and incense sticks. This crazy hotel also has a lobby (lobby-container, perhaps?) and a restaurant.
Xiang Xiang Xiang Prayer House (Xiāngxiāng Xiāng Qífú Suǒ, 香箱乡祈福所) Nan Dazhan Village, Changzhi County, Shanxi Province(山西省长治县南大掌村)More quirky hotels after the jump....
9. Homa Chateau
Surrounded by Guilin's karst mountains and cave formations lies Homa Chateau, a get-away resort known for its quirky and innovative rooms and architecture. Here, you are greeted by smoky glass windows, grass-covered roofs and a lobby-come-Zen garden, complete with a "raining ceiling." The nature enthusiast who created this resort, Tsao Rhy-Chang, was reportedly adamant about building the hotel around the natural surroundings—to the extent that in your room, you may find a tree growing in the middle of your staircase. Each guestroom showcases a personal collection of artistic treasures, from paintings to doorknobs to sculptures, furniture and mini statuettes; it's your own little museum of art. It doesn't stop there. Each room has its own theme, including the particularly interesting cave-themed rooms, inspired by the local scenery.
Check out the Homa Chateau
8. Fuyulou Inn
These UNESCO-listed Hakka tulou are big circular communities, home to hundreds of local farmers and families, with rooms or dorms to rent out to outgoing travelers wishing to try something just that little bit different. Built over 100 years ago, the tulou of the Hakka people. These clay buildings really are something, and nestled away in such a remote and beautiful location, it's the perfect place experience China's fascinating traditional village life. Surrounded by all this history and rustic charm, these circular taverns actually offer free Wi-Fi! Technology these days....
Check out the Fuyulou Changdi Inn
7. Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort and Beach Club
For all those kids-at-heart, this is your paradise. Real life, fully-furnished, towering tree houses amongst tamarind trees, looking out over the empty beach and botanical gardens. The treehouses were built by a Hawaiian company which also has similar properties in Maui. Visitors climb across suspension bridges to reach their houses, and sit just a two minutes walk from the South China Sea. Tree houses sleep from two to twenty guests, and while they do have electricity, hot showers are a 10 m (11 yd) walk away. Who needs a shower when you've got the sea though, right?
Near Sanya, Hainan Province (American contact number: +1 808 248 7241; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
6. Anyway Boutique Themed Hotel
Nicknamed "the love hotel", this kinky hotel gives its guests a personal fantasy room for the night. The hotel offers 13 individually-themed rooms, including the ever-so-popular "prison room," complete with a height chart, handcuffs and metal bars. Whether you're up for playing some cops and robbers or hoping for a romantic evening on a waterbed, this hotel is bound to offer a fun night.
Check out the Anyway Boutique Hotel
5. Mausoleum Inn
Ever wondered what it feels like to die? Want to experience it whilst living? No, I didn't think so. Although Jiao Meige, owner and creator, said that she wanted to offer the "death experience" to others (and charge them for it). Having bought this piece of land originally to create a farm, Jiao was unable to find workers who would want to work in a graveyard. So, the next best option was—obviously—to turn it into a hotel. Guests sleep in coffin-shaped beds, but beyond this morbid novelty there isn't much else offered to do, as the outside expanse is simply a giant graveyard. Sounds like you should bring some cards for entertainment, unless sitting in silence amidst gravestones and pondering the meaning of death sounds like your kind of vacation.
(Língmù Kèzhàn, 陵墓客栈) Lishui, Jiangsu Province (江苏丽水)
4. Commune by the Great Wall
Nestled in the Shuiguan Mountains, this collection of 42 villas was designed by 12 Asian architects with a flare for contemporary design. The wonderfully wacky and beautiful architectural compound opens up its gates to visitors who wish to see the grounds without staying there. With private access to an untouched and non-restored section of the Great Wall, no one can deny that this is luxury living... but this is luxury with a twist. The Suitcase House features beds that are hidden underneath the floorboards, while the furniture is portable and room partitions are at the mercy of the guest—your very own custom room. With villas seeming to literally hover above the ground and the Great Wall at your doorstep, this is not a place where you can get bored.
Check out Commune by the Great Wall
3. Binhai Aircraft Hotel
All aboard! As part of a military theme park built on and around a retired Kiev-class Soviet aircraft carrier, Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park (Bīnhǎi Hángmǔ Zhǔtí Gōngyuán, 滨海航母主题公园), this hotel features as the world's first former Soviet aircraft carrier hotel. Once open, this hotel will offer suites featuring silver cushions and gold trimmings, swanky beds and white leather furniture. Guests can wander up on deck, view weapons in the bow or attend one of the many parties aboard the carrier, with snacks, Russian songs, laser shows, fireworks and the Hollywood battle show "Retaliation."
Binhai Aircraft, Tianjin (天津市汉沽区营城镇八卦滩滨海航母) (+86 22 6715 5588)
2. Schoolhouse Homes
House owners share their country homes in Mutianyu Village to travelers looking for retreats in the open air. This old primary school has 11 private homes with relaxing gardens and stunning views of the Great Wall. The weathered exterior of these homes should not put you off; the interiors are comfy and comfortable, while the staff are all local and friendly. The Brickyard offers only fresh food, and it really is impossible not to respect the whole philosophy of the Schoolhouse: sustainable tourism to support the local community. If you're looking for somewhere quirky, quiet and beautiful you've found your ideal spot here.
12 Mutianyu Village, Beijing (北京市慕田峪村 ) (+86 10 6162 6506)
1. Ping Pong Paddle HotelHuainan reportedly has plans to build a massive sports complex, featuring a hotel in the shape of a ping pong paddle. Rooms will have bubble-shaped windows, to mimic the texture on a paddle, and the handle will apparently become a viewing deck for looking out over the city. The 150 m (500 ft) ping pong paddle standing on its end is, according to Huainan's Director of Municipal Bureau of Sports, the perfect architectural shape for a hotel. Guests will have views of the rest of the sports park, which will also include an American football-shaped stadium and a leisure center in the shape of a volleyball, while two smaller stadiums and facilities will take the shapes of a basketball and soccer ball.
Huainan, Anhui Province