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HOTELS

In a world where many hotels can appear so similar, it’s always nice to know that there’s room for the offbeat, weird, and just downright bizarre lodging options, like the following hotels, which actually exist and await your reservation. Vacation anecdotes are one thing, but it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser to tell your friends you stayed the night inside the head of a giant dog.

1 Jumbo Jet of (Sweet) Dreams
What would you do with a 30-year-old junked jumbo jet? Swedish businessman Oscar Diös bought a scrapped 747, gutted the interior, and turned it into a unique travel destination. Jumbo Hostel sits parked outside the Stockholm-Arlanda (Sweden) Airport, and its 25 guest rooms feature flat screens, Wi-Fi, and overhead luggage storage. The cockpit has been turned into a luxury wedding suite with a “stunning view of the runway.” Rates start at just $40 per night, and shared bathrooms and showers are located, naturally, at the rear of the aircraft. After breakfast at the hostel café, guests can enjoy a scenic stroll out onto one of the wings. www.jumbohostel.com

2 Take Cover

With all the emphasis on five-star accommodations, it’s refreshing to know the industry now also offers a zero-star hotel in Sevelen, Switzerland. Located in a subterranean nuclear bunker several yards deep, the Null Stern Hotel features only the barest of essentials. No daylight, no TV, no private bathrooms, and little privacy: Several beds share each sleeping room. Slippers and earplugs are complimentary, however, and a bow-tied butler adds an unexpected, even inexplicable, touch of class. The grim, spartan facility was designed by the Swiss twin-brother conceptual-artist team of Frank and Patrik Riklin, who boast: “The Null Stern Hotel is the antithesis of the luxury and megalomania of this time.” Rates range from $8 to $23 per night. www.null-stern-hotel.ch

3 Going to the Dogs

Dog lovers from around the world flock to north central Idaho each year for the opportunity to stay the night inside the world’s largest beagle. Guests of Dog Bark Park Inn enter the 30-foot-tall hound from a second-story deck and can relax with all the comforts of home, including a headboard decorated with 26 carved dogs, and dog-shaped cookies on the pillow. The dog’s head doubles as a loft room, with a cozy alcove in the muzzle. An 11-foot-tall fire-hydrant structure doubles as a public restroom. Owners Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin built the dog, and they also sell their animal-themed chainsaw sculptures at the gift shop. Rates are $92 a night, including human-food breakfast. www.dogbarkparkinn.com

4 Waste Not, Want Not
Visitors to Linz, Austria, may be pleased to discover they can forgo a typical hotel stay and instead sleep inside a chunk of converted sewage pipe. Das Park Hotel consists of three sections of renovated concrete pipe located on the shore of the Danube River. Although it sounds disgusting, each pipe comes well-equipped with a double bed, blankets, a sleeping bag, light, power, and secure entry via a digital keypad. Toilet facilities and cold showers are provided nearby. The pipes are open during warmer months only, from May through October, but good news for budget travelers: Rates are “pay as you wish.” www.dasparkhotel.net

5 Craning for a View
You must give credit to the brochure writers responsible for describing the Netherlands’ Harlingen Harbour Crane: “Photogenic from every angle, this industrial monument leaves you with the impression it’s dancing gracefully on the quay.” This shipping crane, once used to offload timber from freighters, has been refurbished into a peculiar luxury accommodation, looming 17 meters above the pier. The climate-controlled cabin features touch-screen lighting and A/V electronics, a minibar, breakfast facilities, a roof patio, and a shower/bath for two. Guests can also enter the control room and swing the crane around 360 degrees for a panoramic view of Harlingen and the Wadden Sea. Prices start at $408 per couple, including breakfast. www.vuurtoren-harlingen.nl