Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world, but it doesn't have to involve sunburn and sangria and an all-inclusive hotel on the costas.
If you fancy something a little bit different, why not stay in one of the country’s most unusual hotels? The Local gives you a sneak peek.
If you fancy getting back to nature but can’t quite face camping, why not spend a few nights in the forest canopy, nestled in your own private tree house? Cabanes als Arbres, in the Sierra de Montseny, 84 kilometres (around 50 miles) from Barcelona, has ten tree houses to choose from, each named after a bird. One TripAdvisor commenter summed the experience up by saying: “I’ve just had the most incredible holiday here, truly unique.”
If you’ve ever dreamed of running away to join the circus, you could live out your fantasy on holiday by staying in a real life working circus. Guests stay in an authentic circus carriage, dating back to 1939, which has been lovingly restored. Visitors also get free entry to the circus and even get the chance to participate in some of the activities. The hotel moves around with the circus, so check Raluy Circus’ website to see where they are heading.
Never mind going to see a bullfight while you’re in Spain, why not actually stay in a bullring? While it might not be up everyone’s street, the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Plaza de Toros Hotel in Almadén, Ciudad Real includes 24 bedrooms and four star luxury, all surrounding the town’s impressive bullring.
Vagon Rural (Rural Carriage) renovates 1950s train carriages into up-to-the-minute, stylish holiday apartments in the heart of Murcia. So all aboard for a holiday experience of a lifetime.
Each room in the Astoria 7, in San Sebastian, is dedicated to a famous Hollyood star. The hotel is built on the site of the famous Astoria cinema and in the most cinematic city in Spain, home to the annual San Sebastian Film Festival, this hotel is surely the most star studded. Don’t forget to say hello to the lifesize statue of Alfred Hitchcock at reception!
Only five minutes by boat from Ibiza, the private island of Tagomago is the most exclusive in the Mediterranean and could be all yours if you can stretch to the €100,000 per week ($111,000) price tag. The mainly rocky island, 600 metres off the Ibizan coast, has its own lighthouse — built in 1906 — as well as an exclusive villa, complete with swimming pool, steam room and sauna.
If you love Bilbao’s Guggenheim and have always wanted to stay in an architectural masterpiece, why not spend a few nights in the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, in the beautiful town of Elciego in the Basque Country. If architecture is your thing, sleeping in a building designed by “the most important architect of our age” is surely not to be missed.
Step back hundreds of years to Moorish Spain – and add a little bit of glamour – by staying in a luxurious Bedouin tent, all the way from the King of Moroccco’s tent-maker in Casablanca. The tent, in Refugio Marnes in Alicante, comes complete with its own kitchen and bathroom and best of all – no annoying nearby campers – it is the only tent on their property.
Sleep in a bubble on the island of Formentera and enjoy a romantic night of star gazing. Not too romantic though, unless you are an exhibitionist, as this transparent bubble tent off playa de Mitjorn on the west of the island comes with a double bed but offers zero privacy. It will also set you back a whopping €280 a night in peak season.
Private ocean liner (in the woods, 500m above sea level)
Always fancied being captain of your own ship, but too much of a land lubber to brave the ocean waves? Well, Silva Navis (It means Ship of the Forest) might well be just the place for you. Located in the pine forests of La Lacuna, agood 30 minutes drive from the bustling Valencian coastal resorts of Oliva and Gandia, this unique B& B is a transformed vintage ocean liner from the 1960s with a Captain's Suite and private deck providing accomodation for two people.