The travel and tourist industry is big business, ever on the lookout for bigger and better ideas to lure prospective customers.
The customers too, are much more well travelled and sophisticated these days, ever demanding of higher standards and service.
Gone are the days when we booked into some nasty, little side street B+B with it's control freak of a landlady dictating meal times and what time to be back at night.
Because of this, certain hotel chains have sprung up in recent years offering customers ever more interesting, unusual and even bizarre places to stay.
Below I have listed some of the world's most weird and wonderful hotels that are all ready and waiting in order to give their customers that added ' wow factor ' to their dream holiday.
CAPSULE HOTEL, JAPAN.
Capsule hotels can be found all over Japan. Originaly designed as a cheap overnight location for travelling businesmen, these hotels have become an overnight success for the tourist as well.
The hotel building looks like any other hotel in the world, but what makes these unique enterprises different, are their rooms, or lack of them I should say.
What you get instead of a room is a fibreglass capsule some 2 metres by 1 metre, just big enough for a bed, with a wall console for T.V, radio and internet connection.
Washing facilities are communal and these hotels offer all the usual type of amenities such as restaurants,bars and entertainment.
DOG BARK PARK INN, IDAHO, U.S.A.
Now, most of us have been in the doghouse at some point in our lives, and most of us would not really want to take our holidays there, but that is exactly what you can do at this quirky B+B in Cottonwood, Idaho in the U.S.
This dog friendly establishment run by owners,chainsaw artists Dennis and Frances, offer an overnight stay with a difference in the body of their giant, wood cut beagle which has two levels inside, with the main bedroom up in the head of the dog and a cosy den situated within it's muzzle.
EUROMAST T.V TOWER, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS.
Definately not one for the acoraphobics amongst us or those of you with a touch of vertigo, but if you want the best view in Rotterdam this 100 metre high former T.V tower,allows for panoramic views across this Netherlands' North Sea port city.
ICE HOTEL, JAKKASJARVI, SWEDEN.
Ice hotels have been popping up all over the colder holiday locations around the world in recent years, and are proving to be very popular.
This particular one in the unpronouncable Swedish town of Jakkasjarvi , is the original Ice Hotel that started the trend.
The entire building is one vast ice sculpture, that is re - created every winter.
The sculptures include everything, from the bar area to the bedrooms, although there is a heated, wooden lodge built behind the main hotel for those of you that find the cold all a bit too much to bare.
LA CLAUSTRA, AIROLO SWITZERLAND
Well it was good enough for our ancestors, should be good enough for us.
This vast cave hotel located in Airolo in Switzerland is the very height of luxury and elegance, something our cavemen ancestors would have been proud to call home.
Other than the rock face interior walls you would think you were staying at any normal, luxury hotel.
Situated in a beautiful mountain area, this is a must for winter sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.
TREE HOUSES, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.
Every school boys dream, this up market tree house is bound to stir the best of your childhood memories.
Set in a beautiful, forested Wildlife Reserve area at the Wild Canopy Reserve in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, this is a must for nature lovers and those of you with a yen for sleeping under the stars.
It will certainly put a whole new meaning to the term, things that go bump in the night, which in this case could be anything from man eating tigers to ten ton elephants. ( only kidding ).
UNDERWATER HOTEL, ISTANBUL, TURKEY.
There are several of these underwater hotels around the world today, but this amzing new hotel in Istanbul is the newest to date,supplied complete with submarine taxi to enable it's customers to get out and about.
Inside, the whole hotel offers stunning views of the surrounding waters and it's fishy inhabitants.
If you are bothered by the fact that you are seven leagues below the sea, the tranquil marine views from it's state of the art safety glassed walls will certainly soothe any worries away.
The hotel's services are just like any other hotel, complete with all the amenities you would expect to find in any five star establishment.
THE BURJ AL ARAB, DUBAI.
The world's only self appointed seven star hotel can not be classified as weird, but it most definately comes under the heading of wonderful.
As most of you reading this will probably never experience a night in this hotel, I thought you might like to take a peep at how the other half holiday.
Owned by the mighty Jumeirah chain of hotels ( who also own the stunning Wave Hotel next door), this jewel in their corporate crown is situated on reclaimed land from the Arabian Sea that is accessed by way of a private walkway.
This architectural masterpiece, built to look like a billowing sail, is classified as the world's most luxurious hotel, complete with a heli - pad on it's roof for those of you that don't want to slum it from the airport in a regular bus or taxi.
However if the hotel's helicopter isn't to your liking they can offer you alternative travel by way of one of their fleet of 12 rollers parked in the basement.
Once inside a veritable wonderland awaits you as you step inside it's gold plated foyer, which sports an indoor fountain and a 182 metre high atrium.
in the lobby area there is nothing so vulgar as a reception area, as each upper floor has it's own, but there are an array of themed restaurants on offer for your post flight dinner, or you may prefer to dine in the glass walled, underwater restaurant downstairs, The Al Mahara, or if you prefer a room with a view, The Al Muntaha restaurant situated 200 metres above sea level awaits you.
Your room can be anything from a luxury studio apartment, to a luxurious regal style, pent - house suite complete with four poster bed.
Each suite also comes complete with private butler, chef and Rolls Royce chauffeur.
There are 202 rooms in the hotel, 28 of which are double storey, luxury suites all of which sport commanding views out across the Arabian Sea.
MORE HOTEL ARTICLES BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
© D.B. July 2010.
images courtesy of wikimedia commons. Burj al Arab pictures courtesy of Pasqual Devereux.