What do you travel overseas for? Some people travel to shop, others travel to satisfy their wanderlust, and then there are those who just want to wake up in an unfamiliar (but cushy) bed.

As Singapore opens up to the world, going on a holiday is going to be much easier! Other than looking for great places to visit, choosing an accommodation can be just as fun. Though you’d often expect to fork out a pretty penny for a fancier stay, here’s a list of unique yet affordable hotels that only goes to show that sometimes a getaway can just be about the place of stay.

1. Malaysia — Time Capsule Retreat Pahang

Malaysia’s filled with lush green rainforests. Considering how we city dwellers are in desperate need of some nature, a retreat into the heart of Pahang sounds pretty fabulous.

The Time Capsule Retreat, located near the town of Sungai Lembing, is essentially a series of oversized and air-conditioned concrete piping with windows fitted for lush views. Its novel approach is pretty much the closest thing you can get to sleeping in the rainforest itself without having to bring a tent. A big step up from glamping!

If you’d like, there’s nothing stopping you from snuggling up in bed with a good book to enjoy the view. Otherwise, strap on your hiking boots and venture out to explore the nearby Bukit Panorama (great for sunrise) or the famed Rainbow Waterfall.

Address: Sungai Lembing, 26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang, Malaysia

Prices: Starts from S$38 per night.

2. Australia — Notel Melbourne

This hotel is essentially six upcycled 1970s Airstream caravans perched on a rooftop in Flinders Lane in Melbourne. 

Getting there requires some leg work – you’ll first have to climb three flights of stairs by the fire exit of the building. But, once the doors open, you’re immediately greeted by the sight of shiny caravans, complete with their own individual terrace.

You’d be surprised by the amount of space within the caravans. Despite how small they look from the outside, there’s plenty of room for two and luggage as well as an ensuite toilet with a full-sized shower. Oh, and there’s even a minibar with free Australian wine included!

Notel’s prime position makes it convenient for guests to venture around the heart of Melbourne’s CBD — perhaps swing by the Melbourne Aquarium or knock back shots at Arbory Bar. But if you’re more of a homebody, you could always book either their hot tub room or the private outdoor spa.

Address:​​388 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Prices: Starts from S$323 per night

3. Malaysia — Tubotel Langkawi

Costing less than S$50 a night, Tubotel Langkawi is the most affordable hotel on this list, but trust us when we say you’re still getting a million-dollar view.

It’s a simple, no-frills hotel that – like our first entry – offers accommodation within elegant concrete piping. The seafront tube rooms offer the unique experience of waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the rocks right outside your room, and going to bed with a gorgeous sunset view.

The hotel provides everything you’d need to spend the day. Cocktails, water sports, fishing — you name it, they’ve got it. You can even take boat trips to nearby islands in exchange for helping to pick up litter from the beaches!

Address: Kuala Cenang, 07000 Pantai Cenang, Malaysi

Prices: Starts from S$29 per night

4. South Korea — Sun Cruise Resort

Is it a cruise? Is it a resort? It’s… a cruise ship perched on top of a cliff. Kinda like Noah’s Ark, to be honest. Sun Cruise Resort is the world’s first on-land cruise, combining everything you love about being lounging on land and on a cruise ship.

As it’s located on Jeongdongjin beach’s cliff front – famed for its unmarred horizon – guests are treated to what’s considered the most beautiful sunrise in the world.

Complete with swimming pools, an observation deck with glass floors overlooking the waves below, and private beach access, Sun Cruise Resort is the perfect place to be for ultimate relaxation. Don’t forget to pack all your swimming essentials!

Address: 950-39, Heonhwa-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

Prices: Starts from S$130 per night

5. Switzerland — Hotel Ruedi

Regardless of wherever you’ve travelled to, you’d have to agree that Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In terms of unique experiences, would you consider adding “sleeping inside a Swiss barrel” to the bucket list?

The idea definitely sounds a little odd, but hear us out: its rooms are shaped (and lined up) to resemble wine barrels in a wine cellar. They’re located right in the middle of a vineyard where they grow, well, grapes.

Hotel Ruedi offers hiking, biking and discovery tours around the vineyard. But if you’d prefer to relax, you could always just sit in the garden and take in that fresh countryside air. Oh, breakfast is complimentary too, and there’s a wine bar with a garden terrace if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Address: Zinggen 1, 8219 Trasadingen, Switzerland

Prices: Starts from S$250 per night


6. Sweden — Ice Hotel 365

Ice Hotel 365 might as well be considered luxury travel instead. But for the once-in-a-lifetime getaway experience that you’re getting here, it’s worth the entry fee.

True to its name, Ice Hotel 365 is a hotel made from ice, located 200km north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Swedish Lapland, the northernmost province of the country. Apart from sleeping in the freezing cold surrounded by ice, Ice Hotel also features an Absolut Vodka ice bar, an ice cinema, an ice chapel, and many more icy variants of regular hotel amenities. So, feel free to sit back and enjoy the views in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

Of course, it’s not all about the ice here. Activities like dog sledding and observing the aurora borealis await, as well as dipping into hot saunas to warm you up at the end of the day.

Address: Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Prices: Starts from S$350 per night

7. Sweden — Treehotel

Here’s one for the daydreamers. Have you ever fantasised about sleeping in a UFO, a bird’s nest, or a giant mirror cube? Here at Treehotel, you can!

Considered one of the most unique hotels in the world, Treehotel is where nature meets modern design in the form of some seriously spectacular treehouses. All seven rooms are suspended about four to six metres from the ground, giving guests a 360-degree forest view from their bed.

In addition to the unusual accommodation, the hotel also offers a breakfast buffet over at Britta’s Guesthouse (the reception building), as well as an open-air jacuzzi as part of its forest-spa package.

Address: Edeforsvägen 2A, 960 24 Harads, Sweden

Prices: Starts from S$144 per night

8. Germany — V8 Hotel Motorworld Region Stuttgart

Travelling to Germany? Be sure to include V8 Hotel in your stay!

If the name wasn’t enough of a hint, V8 Hotel is a sleek car-themed hotel that’s sure to set your heart racing. Almost everything is made from a car part, or at least made to look like one.

The building’s interiors are modelled to look like the interiors of a sports car – its lighting fixtures are even made from hubcaps. The beds look like a classic race car bed every kid has dreamt of having at least once in their lives. There’s even a drive-in theatre and an automobile showcase to complete the whole look.

While here, don’t forget to check out the Porsche and Mercedes museums, which are located just half an hour away!

Address: Charles-Lindbergh-Platz 1, 71034 Böblingen, Germany

Prices: Starts from S$174 per night

9. Canada — Fantasyland Hotel

If you’ve ever wanted a reason to travel to Canada that doesn’t involve sightseeing and Niagara Falls, let Fantasyland Hotel be it.

Fantasyland Hotel is a one-of-a-kind hotel that features 355 superior suites, many of them designed with the whimsy of fantasy or sci-fi films. Every room presents different themes — pirates, space, the underwater world — and the adventure extends beyond the hotel to West Edmonton Mall below, which houses an artificial lake with giant boats.

Address: ​​17700 87 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5T 4V4, Canada

Prices: Starts from S$195 per night

Travel overseas for a getaway to these unique hotels

Well, there you have it, nine affordably unique hotels around the world perfect for your next travel out of Singapore. Whether you’d like to suspend reality in an adventurous space-themed hotel room or pamper your inner introvert by lounging in a treehouse, there’s always a hotel to cater to your niche interests!

Don’t forget to check out some of our travel tips for the best overseas travel experience as well.


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