From potatoes to prison, Kate Ford explores some of the weird and wonderful hotels of the world.
BIG IDAHO POTATO HOTEL
Ever wondered what it's like to sleep inside a giant potato? Well, wonder no more. This six-tonne potato prop was part of the Idaho Potato Commission and has been travelling the US for six years in celebration of the commission's 75th anniversary. Now it is a place to rest your weary head.
Sitting on 160ha of Idaho farmland, the potato has been fully refurbished inside allowing for comforts and amenities you would expect at any hotel, including a mini fridge and an indoor fireplace. And don't worry, the potato theme is only on the outside.
MAIDSTONE, KENT, ENGLAND
Dating back nearly 1000 years, Leeds Castle puts on all the glamour to make you feel like royalty. Set on 200ha of gardens with a lake, river and Japanese garden, the castle mixes old and new with features including a falconry centre, maze, moat, adventure playgrounds and even a Go Ape Treetop adventure course.
This former home of King Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon, is open to modern-day guests and a stay in Battel Hall comes with luxury in abundance with an oak-panelled dining room, five bedrooms, open fires, and the option to have a chef on request. It will also set you back around $10,000 for a week-long stay.
In this case, staying in a cave is nowhere near as dingy as it sounds. For Yunak Evleri is carved into an enormous hillside of limestone cliffs in Turkey's Cappadocia region (famous for all the hot-air balloons).
In 2000 the hotel's owners refurbished these 5th century cave-dwellings, creating seven luxurious cave houses that feature 40 unique rooms all accented with Ottoman antiques, a personal spa and patio and marble tiles. Not so much a cave, as a luxurious place to marvel at both nature and history.
PALACIO DE SAL
In the middle of the Bolivian desert is Palacio de Sal, an incredible hotel made with salt from the famous Salar de Uyni salt flats. Nearly everything in this hotel is made from salt and that includes the furniture, too. Bed frames, armchairs - they're all salty. But the 30 stylish rooms stop at making the blankets out of salt.
Arresting panoramic views of the salt flats are framed by the dining-room windows, where you can indulge in locally sourced lamb or house specialty, salt chicken. Then at night, ponder the universe and stare up at the star-filled sky.
THE LIBERTY HOTEL, OR "JAIL HOTEL"
On the stranger end of the hotel spectrum (although, what can top a potato?) we have The Liberty Hotel, what was once Boston's Charles Street Jail. This prison was in such bad shape in the 1970s that the government stepped in, cleaned the place up and – bada bing – it became a trendy hotel in the heart of Beacon Hill.
Despite its darker history, the rooms here are polished and luxurious with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of The Charles River and the Boston skyline. But step into the foyer and you'll see the interior shape of the former jail with red-brick walls and interior balconies lining the walls. The food here is better than prison meals, you'll be pleased to know, with restaurant Clink serving up pasta, steak and artisan cheeses.
PEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA
This incredible resort features an underwater room located off a remote island where you can lie on your bed and watch reef fish swim by. The floating room has three levels: a gob-smacking underwater bedroom, a sea-level lounge and bathroom and then a rooftop area for warming up underneath the sun or gazing at the Milky Way at night.
Take it to another level and turn on the spotlights underneath the bedroom windows to attract fish and octopuses. Along with the unforgettable room, the resort offers diving and fishing excursions, spa treatments, and a bar and seaside restaurant.
HOTEL PRESIDENT WILSON
The Hotel President Wilson may look like a standard luxury hotel, but the Royal Penthouse Suite here costs an absolutely eye-watering $100,000 per night. It's certainly a room with a view, located along rue du Rhone and facing Lake Geneva, against the backdrop of Mont Blanc.
Aside from your everyday luxurious amenities, you can expect the Royal Penthouse Suite to come with a private elevator; a personal assistant, chef and butler available 24-hours; 12 bathrooms and a grand piano. If that's not excessive indulgence, then what is?
BOOK AND BED
When is a hostel not a hostel? When it's a library. The Book and Bed Tokyo is a book sanctuary; a place where your bedroom is simply a cosy nook with a bed and a reading light. This accommodation is quite basic with no frills, and no one could accuse it of being extravagantly spacious. But it makes for a sweet and memorable stay.
The hostel is stacked with 30 cubbies – enough room for one person – and bookshelves groaning under the weight of some 3000 books in both Japanese and English. The ultimate accommodation for bookworms.