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These European Theme Hotels Deserve A Spot on Your Bucket List

My last article on unique theme hotels in North America really whet my appetite for adventure. So now I’m here, still stuck at home, building myself exciting itineraries for a holiday I’m not sure when I’ll actually be able to go on. If, like me, you’re longing to start traveling again you’re welcome to join me on this investigation into some of Europe’s most unusual and interesting accommodation. They make some wonderful additions to the bucket list!


European theme hotels
Null Stern Hotel

Null Stern Hotel, Switzerland

Not exactly a theme hotel – in fact, not exactly a hotel at all considering it lacks a roof and walls – this concept hotel room allows you to sleep under the stars and wake to breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps.

The “room” is located 6,463ft above sea level, and it allows guests to sleep out in nature. Like camping, but without even the canvas of the tent separating you and the environment surrounding you.

There’s a bathroom about 5 minute walk down the hill, and yes, you can still receive room service, so you can enjoy breakfast in bed with a panoramic view of the mountains.

The concept hotel currently has two open air rooms, and it seems like there’s a waiting list to get into either of them. Good thing we’re planning well in advance, huh.

La Balade des Gnomes, Belgium

This whimsical accommodation will transport you to a land of wonder and awaken your inner child. Situated in the Belgian woodlands, it boasts 11 different magical worlds in which you can stay. These include a massive Trojan horse, a gypsy caravan, a bizarre “moon capsule”, and a magical gnome forest.

They’ve really gone all out with the gnome theme if the TripAdvisor pictures are to be believed (although while investigating this I learned that people post awful and awkward photos on Trip Advisor). Each of the rooms is eccentric and enchanting in its own way, and makes for an exceptionally unique holiday experience. And there’s so much to do in the surrounding areas that this is one vacation that certainly won’t bore you!

Hotel Pelirocco, England

For those who love to keep things rock and roll, this is a bucket list essential.

Their retro, grunge and glam rooms come with names like “Lovers’ Lair”, “Rebel Rebel”, “Dollywood”, “Lord Vader’s Quarters” and my personal Favourite, “Koibito love”. The latter is loosely based on contemporary Japanese Love Hotels and that alone should tell you a bit about the vibe of this particular accommodation.

Definitely not for kids or for the faint of heart, this is a great spot for lovers seeking a steamy getaway and something a little out of the ordinary.

The hotel also offers Boudoir shoots, massages, and “love hampers”, which come with some fun items that will..ahem…keep you up at night. In a good way, of course.

The Harlingen Harbour Crane, Netherlands

The Harlingen Harbour Crane is a Figee level luffing crane built in 1967 and was was used until 1996 for the unloading timber freight from Russia and Scandinavia. These days, however, the former machine house and control cabin have been converted into some seriously interesting accommodation for the traveling couple!

Plus, guests can choose the view from their room by turning the crane 360 degrees during their stay!

This is some seriously strange accommodation if you ask me, but it’ll make for some pretty great stories and perhaps some even better photos.

Teuge Aircraft Luxury Hotel, Netherlands

This 1960s Soviet Ilyushin 18 four-engine turboprop airliner overlooks the lush green runway of the Teuge airport. But if you have a fear of flying, no worries, this one’s not going anywhere. The decommissioned airlines have been converted into luxurious hotels that allow you and your partner to have the entire plane to yourself!

Beyond the master bedroom, you have a private jacuzzi, a kitchenette, an infrared sauna and a luxurious bathroom that you can enjoy.

According to HotelYouWant.com, “history lovers would find the place especially interesting considering the rich background of the place. The architecture and décor of the airplane haven’t been tampered with much, and kept as close to the original design as practicable. Even the cockpit and propellers are made part of the suite”.

It’s spacious, chic, and undeniably unique. This accommodation is sure to soar right up to the top of your theme hotels bucket list!


There’s something about the novelty of these places that makes us want to stay there despite the fact that they don’t all make much sense. For what reason could we possibly want to stay in a massive wooden horse? And yet, these theme hotels find their way to the top of my bucket lists every time.

Hopefully this list, and the last one about theme hotels in North America, will inspire you to keep planning your next trip, even as we wait for the worst of this pandemic to come to an end.

Keep your eyes on the Essential Millennial for more of these in the future!

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