Hotels That Aren’t Really Hotels
Ever bored with the common youth hostel or the 5-star hotel (you never know)? Do you aspire to something uncommon, something different? Then this book is definitely for you! Indeed, sometimes it’s not the country that counts, but the hotel you are in. That’s the message Steve Dobson (the author) wants to pass on with his book Unusual Hotels – Europe. Indeed, tourism does not always have to go about the country you’re travelling to. It can also be the location and the facilities in which you will journey.
Truly, before having this book in your hands, you can’t possibly know all the types of accommodation that exists across Europe. Did you know that you can spend a night on a boat – frozen in the sea – under the northern lights? That to get there you are protected by a guard from eventual polar bear attacks? Or that you can spend a few days isolated on an island in a lighthouse – to which you will arrive by helicopter? Trees, bunkers, prisons, igloos, pipes, pyramids, breweries, palaces, hamster cages, mines, or even under the stars… All are apparently valid locations to sleep and get an unforgettable experience.
More than a tourist guide, Steve Dobson want to make you dream, laugh and surprise you with his selection of unusual hotels. Hotels which were chosen by him. Indeed, no fee was paid by the properties included in the book. And dreaming you will, because who are we kidding, not a lot of us can spend the money some of those places ask. Nevertheless, other places included are quite affordable (starting at 20 €/night).
Typically, each place has approximately one or two pages with nice pictures and some comments about the place. On the left side, you will find some useful information (address, e-mail, phone number) in order to expand your curiosity. But also a rooms and rates section, and sometimes (but not always) information about the location in a sentence or two. While the book is well constructed and quite original, there are some points that definitely could be improved. The most important one is related to some inconsistencies throughout the book that makes you wonder if the book is written by one and the same person (there is only one name on the cover). On a more futile detail, the prices in the rooms and rates section are in local currency (for example NOK for the currency in Norway) – and while some of the amounts are followed by the conversion in euro – this is not always the case. Having to check the conversion myself on Google (well, actually Ecosia – check it out!) took some of the fun out of it.
Another point that should be underlined is that while the book cover announces 250 unusual properties, we soon discover in the introduction that there are only 150 (and even here, we count less than that). In this perspective, if you bought this book only based on its cover, you could be disappointed. Typo or not, this should be fixed in a next print and/or edition.
To cut a long story short…
Besides those minor remarks, I have to admit I had a nice time reading this unusual book and would recommend this reading – even if you plan no vacation at all. You will find yourself amazed, and will have something to talk about at the next dinner with friends or family. Keep the book somewhere around, in the bathroom or on your night table, and read some pages when you have some time to kill;
Unusual hotels by Steve Dobson cost a little less than 20€ and is published by Jonglez Editions.