Live like you’re in The Block 2015: Top 20 oddly-shaped hotels

If you think The Block’s octagonal-shaped residence is a unique find, then you need to feast your eyes on these uniquely-shaped hotels. They definitely have the makings of a memorable holiday.

After all, who wouldn’t remember staying in a dog-shaped hotel?

That’s the calibre of "oddly shaped " we’re talking about. If you’re a fan of The Block then you’ll already know the building the contestants have to revamp in the latest season is very unique. If you’re not, here’s the 411.

Previously the site of the seedy 3.5-star Hotel Saville, The Block’s current residence is not one you can miss easily. Built in the 1970s, it is a brown-brick time warp that stands eight storeys high, sports 360 degree views of South Yarra and… is built in the shape of an octagon.

While bookings into the Hotel Saville are very much closed, you can still get your "novelty hotel stay" fix at these funky digs.


1. Hotel Unique, Sao Paulo | The Watermelon

Locally nicknamed “The Watermelon” is Sao Paulo’s Hotel Unique.

This 5-star hotel is a visually stunning piece of architecture by Ruy Ohtake (Hotel Renaissance, Edificio Santa Catarina) that has quickly become an iconic part of the city’s landscape.

Reminiscent of a ship, the half-moon-shaped building features circular porthole-inspired windows and curved walls.

Star rating: 5

Address: Av. Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700, Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, CEP 01402-002, Brazil

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2. Hotel Raffles, Dubai | Pyramid

Dubai is home to some of the most stunning modern architecture in the world, and the Hotel Raffles competes with the best of them.

Topped with a glass capstone, which encompasses three of its 19-storeys, it architecturally, it is inspired by the pyramids of Egypt. On the inside, however, its decor is notably Japanese.

The rooms are plush and brushed in rich reds and deep browns, the cuisine features award-winning Japanese fare, and the amenities include a 10,000-square-foot botanical garden.

Star rating: 5

Address: Sheikh Rashid Road, adjoining Wafi Mall, Oud Metha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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3. Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China | The Horseshoe/Doughnut

Quite possibly the most unique hotel in the Sheraton chain, the horseshoe-shaped Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is in Zhejiang, China.

A stunning addition to the waterfront, if you’ve forgotten to factor a stay into your budget (it happens) you can still experience the spectacle during its evening light show from a vantage point along the lake.

If you have booked a room, you can continue the spectacle by wandering through the underwater tunnel link that connects the two towers.

Star rating: 4.5

Address: No. 5858 Taihu Road, Huzhou, Zhejiang 313000

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4. Hotel Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi

This beauty’s claim to fame isn’t in its shape, but in its nature. It’s the first hotel to be built over a F1 racing track and sits with one of its towers on land and the other on water.

Designed by Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture, its aesthetics were inspired by speed, movement and spectacle as well as the geometrics behind ancient Islamic art and craft traditions. Its “Grid Shell” geometric veil is made of curvilinear glass and steel and features an LED lighting system that makes it visible from afar.

Star rating: 5

Address: Yas Island Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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5. Grand Lisboa, Macau | Pineapple

Two words: giant pineapple. Despite its fruity exterior, it is all pomp and luxury in this 5-star casino hotel.

Opened in 2008, it’s the tallest building in Macau and features over 800 mass-gambling tables, 1000 slot machines and a Michelin 3-star restaurant.

If that wasn’t grand enough, check out these apples: the Grand Lisboa is also home to the Star of Stanley Ho, a 218.08 carat, cushion-shaped internally flawless D-colour diamond. It’s the largest of its kind in the world – much like the pineapple it’s housed in.

Star rating: 5

Address: 2-4 Avenida De Lisboa, Macau, Macau

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6. Hotel Marqués De Riscal, Elciego, Spain | Marques De Riscal wine bottle

Hailed as a masterpiece and looking like something churned out of Alice In Wonderland, the Hotel Marques De Riscal sits amongst the natural landscape of the Marques De Riscal vineyard.

It is the brainchild of Frank Gehry, whose extensive CV includes designing the Guggenheim Museum (Spain), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles) and Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris).

Think tilted walls, zigzag windows, and cathedral-high walls and you’ll be right on the money. Funnily enough the hotel was inspired by the Marques De Riscal wine bottle, whose distinct silver, gold and pink cap can be seen in the rooftop’s 3000 square metres of colourful titanium waves.

Star rating: 5-star

Address: CalleTorrea, 1, Elciego, Alava, 01340, Spain

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7. Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore | Card decks

Practically a world of its own, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel stands out from other ship-shape hotels with its iconic trio of towers, which architect Moshe Safdie says was originally inspired by card decks.

At 55-storeys high the waterfront casino hides entertainment and luxury for young and old in the forms of a SkyPark, infinity pool, observation deck, ArtScience museum, indoor skating rink and more restaurants and shopping outlets than you can shake a stick at.

Star rating: 5

Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

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8. Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing, China | Sun and Scallop

Hailed by as “the world’s coolest hotel”, Sunrise Kempinksi is one of the newest kids on the luxury hotel block.

Opened in November 2014, from the front it resembles the rising sun and from the side, a prized scallop. Whichever way you look at it, it’s definitely prizeworthy.

Close to the Mutianyu Great Wall and overlooking the Yanshan Mountains, it features 306 enviable rooms, 14 restaurants and a private island. Its exterior is made of ten thousand glass panels, each lined with LEDs that light up in the evening.

Star rating: 5

Address: 18, Jia, Yanshui Road, Yanqi Lake, Huairou District, 101407 Beijing

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9. Titanic DeLuxe Beach and Resort Hotel, Antalya | Titanic

We never thought we’d be enthusiastic about swimming into the hull of a ship named Titanic either, but then here she is: a hotel called Titanic DeLuxe made in the likeness of the great liner herself.

The good news? She’s not seaworthy. Or near icebergs.

She is however as luxurious as the original with a Turkish steam bath for the adults and a bowling alley for the kids (and kidults).

Star rating: 5

Address: Kopak Cayi Mevkii, Lara, Lara, Antalya Province, Mediterranean Region, Antalya, Turkey

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10. Kakslauttanen Igloo Hotels, Finland | Igloos

For a room with a spectacular view, there’s nothing more magical than the Igloo Hotels in Finland.

Available from the end of August until April, these igloo-shaped rooms are specially designed with glass rooftops to catch the majesty of the Northern Lights from your abode.

Accommodation is available for two or four people, but the two-people igloos only come with bedroom and toilet, with sauna and shower available in a separate building. Best to book the four-bedder, as it comes with bedroom and shower so you won’t have to make the dastardly cold trip outside.

Star rating: N/A

Address: Kakslauttanen, FI-99830 Saariselka, Finland

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11. Hotel Aire de Bardenas, Spain | Sphere

Spirit away to the middle of the Spanish desert for a truly unique experience inside one of Hotel Aire de Bardenas’ bubble rooms.

Named Base Lunar Bardenas, it’s an out-of-this-world experience that lets you see the dawn, the stars and the Moon from your bed.

Each bubble is equipped with electricity, a shower, sink, dry toilet, minibar and Wi-Fi – because you’re going to want to Instagram your pics straight away.

Star rating: N/A - however you’re guaranteed to see stars during your stay

Address: 31500 Tudela, Navarra, Spain

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12. Luxor Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas | Pyramid of Giza

A landmark of the famous Vegas Strip, the Luxor is the Egyptian-themed casino that bears the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza at its entrance.

It’s the fourth-largest hotel in Vegas and the eighth-largest in the world.

As a whole, the casino sits on 120,000 square feet (11,000 metres squared) of land and features 4,407 rooms, 22-storey ziggurat towers, over 2,000 pokies and a mind-boggling Luxor Sky Beam, which can be seen lighting the sky by night from the pyramid’s pinnacle.

Star rating: 3.5

Address: 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas

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13. The Boot Bed’n’Breakfast, Tasman, New Zealand | The Boot

A constant player on weird and wacky hotel lists is New Zealand’s Boot Bed ’n’ Breakfast or “The Boot” as it is more fondly referred.

Like something out of the nursery rhyme "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe" it’s a quaint cottage in a hazelnut grove.

The big difference is that it’s a special respite for a party of two only. Downstairs you’ll find a cosy lounge and fireplace and up the spiral staircase (like you’d expect anything else) you’ll find the bedroom, complete with Juliet balcony.

Star rating: N/A

Address: The Boot, Jester House, 320 Aporo Road, Tasman, New Zealand

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14. Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Kakadu | Crocodile

Crikey! This is possibly your one and only chance to be in the belly of a croc and live to see another day, chomp to it!

Sadly, if you’re not fond of the idea of staying inside a crocodile you’ve little other choice in the way of luxury digs as Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is the only fully-serviced accommodation in the area.

With 110 air-conditioned rooms available and an outdoor swimming pool, it’s a cool respite from the heat of the NT.

Star rating: 4

Address: Flinders Street, 0886, Jabiru

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15. Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, USA | Dog

Fancy staying in Fido? The Dog Bark Park Inn (try saying that three-times fast) is in the heart of Camas Prairie in Idaho, USA and is the creation of husband and wife artists whose big break came from carving wooden dogs.

Continuing their love of man’s best friend they built the Dog Bark Park Inn, fondly known as the doghouse, which can accommodate up to four guests. While here, you can also buy the couple’s wooden-carved creations or have them create a personalised carving from a photo of your pooch.

Star rating: N/A

Address: 2421 Business Hwy 95 at the Dog, Cottonwood, ID 83522

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16. Tianzi Garden Hotel, Hebei Province, China | Chinese Gods

In 2001 this ode to the Chinese gods of longevity, fortune and prosperity was awarded the Guinness World Record for the “largest image building” in the world.

At 41.6 metres tall and encompassing 10-storeys of hotel rooms, it’s impressive purely by the numbers.

The peach held in the hand of the god of longevity (left) is a single suite.

Star rating: 3

Address: Son of Heaven Garden, Yanjiao Economic-Technological Development Zone, Langfang


17. Can Sleep, Lake Skanderborg, Denmark | Beers Cans

A pop-up hotel worth mentioning is Can Sleep. It appears in the beech forest of Dyrehaven yearly as part of the Skanderborg Music Festival (Smukfest).

Where Glastonbury has its signature teepees available to rent and rest in, Skanderborg takes the concept to the next level and offers 114 two-storey aluminium Royal Unibrew beer cars to rest your danced-out feed in.

In true festival style, the party doesn’t stop when you retreat to your room as each “can” comes with a minibar that’s replenished daily. Drink up.

Star rating: N/A

Address: Birkevej 20, 8660 Skanderborg

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18. Atelier Van Lieshout CasAnus, Belgium | Anus

Coming up the rear of the list of “Oddly-Shaped Hotel” is the butt of all jokes. It’s a hotel in the shape of an anus… and that’s not a joke.

Located in a field in Belgium, this artwork by Joep Van Lieshout was built in 2007 and is a one-bedroom abode you that you can literally plant your butt in (sorry, another bad joke). An overnight stay grants you admission into the anus and the use of its double bed, central heating and shower.

As part of this series of artworks is also BarRectum (AssHole Bar), a bar in the likeness of the digestive system where you can drink your fill in an intestine and emergency exit via the anus.

Unfortunately, it’s a travelling artwork but after having stayed in CasAnus, we’re fairly sure you’re sick of assholes by now.

Star rating: 3-star

Address: Westakker, 9190 Kemzeke, Belgium

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Oddly-shaped hotels of the future

These hotels might not be complete yet, but we think their eccentric shapes are worthy of a mention. An enviable mention..


19. Full Moon Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan | Full Moon/Death Star

Joining the league of modern glass wonders in Eastern Europe/Asia is Azerbaijan’s Full Moon Hotel.

Likened to a glass Death Star, it’s currently under construction but once complete will house 35 floors of luxury hotel rooms and feature hexagonal honeycomb-shaped windows.

Star rating: 5 star deluxe

Address: Baku, Azerbaijan overlooking the Caspian Sea

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20. The Apeiron, Dubai | Rollmap / Pringle / Funnel

Drawing its name from the Greek word “apeiron” which means infinite or unlimited, is the UAE’s next luxurious hotel.

It’s already penned to be an unofficial 7-star hotel that will feature a crescent lagoon that will be lit up at night for snorkelling holidaymakers, a butterfly jungle, sculpture and art gallery and a helipad. Jealous?

Star rating: 5 star deluxe

Address: Off the coast of Dubai

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Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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