Whether you dream of a jungle-shrouded treehouse in the Amazon or an uber-cool glass box in the Californian desert, Airbnb has something for everyone. The following 20 properties are a showcase of the incredible and the sublime – so where will you be staying on your next vacation?
20. Anitya Cave House – Cappadocia, Turkey
Once used as a Byzantine chapel, the deeply atmospheric Anitya Cave House is situated in Cappadocia, eastern Turkey, an ancient region that has witnessed millennia of history. Today, the 860-square-foot cavehouse – available for $125 per night – features two traditionally furnished bedrooms, a kitchen, and a terrace with commanding views over the village of Ortahisar.
19. Off-grid itHouse – Pioneertown, California
Secluded in the baking desert of Southern California, the minimalist Off-grid itHouse is a pioneer in sustainable architecture. Powered by the sun and built with pre-engineered materials, this stylish glass box combines modern living and stunning views. It’s yours for $394 per night, but be warned: there’s no TV or Wi-Fi. It is, as the name suggests, blissfully off-grid.
18. Lava Cave – Santorini, Greece
The magical, mysterious island of Santorini overlooks the Aegean Sea in Greece with rugged volcanic cliffs and a cascade of traditional white-washed houses. Offering one bedroom, a kitchen and a luxurious cavern-like Jacuzzi, The Lava Cave – $580 per night – is the ideal perch from which to admire the landscape.
17. Augill Castle – Yorkshire, England
Augill Castle is a handsome 19th-century gentleman’s folly boasting fine features fit for his Lordship and her Ladyship: a grand fireplace, oak-paneled rooms, gothic stained-glass windows, battlements, turrets and wall-mounted swords. Situated in 15 acres of grounds on the edge of the brooding Yorkshire Dales in Northern England, it is available for around $9,000 per night.
16. Amazonian Treehouse Lodge – Amazon Rainforest, Peru
Nestled among the treetops between the Yarapa and Cumaceba rivers in the Peruvian Amazon, this spectacular tree lodge promises intimate encounters with the chattering birds, clambering sloths, monkeys, anteaters and other exotic wildlife living in the forest canopy. Lodging costs $700 per night and includes rustic chic bungalows connected by elevated wooden walkways.
15. The Enchanted Cave – Blue Mountains, Australia
Few Airbnb listings capture their property so perfectly: “The view. The spa. The Fire. I am Caveman.” From its rocky clifftop perch in Australia’s Blue Mountains, the Enchanted Cave – around $840 per night – offers commanding views of the forests below. Guests enter via a circular “Hobbit door” and enjoy modern amenities, including a cavernous bathroom with a soaking tub.
14. Casa Arbol – Pacific Coast, Nicaragua
Nestled between eucalyptus trees near the crashing surf of Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast, Casa Arbol offers a taste of tropical wilderness without the sacrifice of any luxury. Amenities include a modern kitchen and entertainment system, while its perch overlooking a valley is ideal for wildlife observation. This little slice of paradise costs from $145 per night.
13. Bird Island – Placencia, Belize
Live out your castaway fantasies on Bird Island in Belize, a paradise enclave surrounded by shallow waters and kaleidoscopic coral reefs. For around $360 per night, guests enjoy exclusive use of the island, including fishing equipment, a fire pit, kayaks, a pedalo, and breezy lodging in traditional Caribbean clapboard houses. Let hammock time commence!
12. The Seashell House – Cancún, Mexico
Neptune would have approved of this lodging in the shape of a seashell. Its artful interior design combines a spiral stair case, carved stone enclaves and bas-reliefs of mermaids. Cancún in Mexico is best known for its glitzy pleasure resorts, but the Seashell House, just off-shore on Isla Mujeres, is a world apart from the crowds. It rents for around $310 per night.
11. The Bamboo Palace – Bali, Indonesia
Immersed in tropical vegetation in the Ayung River Valley of Bali, Indonesia, the Bamboo Palace rises above the jungle canopy with astounding rooftops reminiscent of ancient seafaring ships. Luxurious and stylish, this enchanting palatial construction proves that simple bamboo cane can serve highly creative and aesthetic ends. It rents for around $600 per night.
10. Nakagin Capsule Tower – Tokyo, Japan
An architectural landmark and world famous icon of “Japanese Metabolism” – a post-war movement that heralded Japan’s cultural resurgence – the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo was the first building of its kind. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972, it contains 140 vertically stacked prefab “capsules,” each 12 feet by 6.9 feet. One night here is around $150.
9. Cube House – Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Unlike conventional homes that sit square to the earth, the Cube Houses of Rotterdam – which are said to symbolize trees in a forest – are raised above the ground on pylons and tilted to 45 degrees. Encompassing three floors, the interiors of these architectural curiosities are comfortable, compact and modern – if angular and mildly disorientating. Nightly rental is around $160.
8. Teepee Cottage – The Golden Circle, Iceland
Situated amid wildflowers and pine trees on the Golden Circle of southern Iceland – a geothermally active region of thundering waterfalls, volcanoes and piping hot geysers – the “Teepee Cottage” fuses unique architecture with an ethos of sustainability. Available for $225 per night, it boasts intriguing pyramid rooftops and receives warm water directly from a hot spring.
7. Palazzo Lavaca – Austin, Texas
Dripping with chandeliers and red velvet curtains, the Palazzo Lavaca in Austin, Texas, has played host to scores of VIPs, from Hollywood producers to rock stars to politicians. Blending classic and contemporary elements, fine art and antiques, it is the epitome of opulence and a masterpiece of interior design. It comes with a suitably extravagant price tag, too: around $2,260 per night.
6. Taos Earthship – Taos, New Mexico
The entrancing high desert mesa of Taos, New Mexico, is the setting for this off-grid Earthship. Its ecologically-friendly credentials include self-generated power, rainwater catchment and an intelligent architectural design that maintains a constant ambient temperature without expending any fuel. Guests pay around $140 per night and enjoy all modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and a Blu ray player.
5. The Mirror Houses – South Tyrol, Italy
The rural vineyards of South Tyrol in northern Italy are an unlikely setting for the Mirror Houses – architectural creations so bold they look like they should belong in a futuristic city. Fronted by a wall of mirrors – and vaguely reminiscent of interstellar spacecraft – these two contemporary vacation homes boast crisp, minimalist interiors and rent for around $230 per night.
4. Butley Priory – Suffolk, England
Punctuated with arched windows, lofty ceilings, ribbed domes and stone pillars, Butley Prior was once part of a medieval monastery. Nestled inside eight acres of parkland in rural Suffolk, England, it is an achingly romantic locale that is often used for wedding services. Vacationers can rent it for around $1,000 per night.
3. Domus Civita – Lazio, Italy
Overlooking the historic Italian town of Civita di Bagnoregio, the renovated 14th-century Italian palazzo of Domus Civita is the epitome of refinement. Its amenities include a genteel cliff garden and an extensive wine cellar housed in a Roman water cistern, but the most incredible feature is a subterranean pool and Jacuzzi. It rents for around $400 per night.
2. Alaskan Log Home – Fairbanks, Alaska
This traditional log-built house near Fairbanks, Alaska, is the perfect place to soak in an outdoor hot tub and admire the rainbow swirls of the otherworldly Aurora Borealis. Although this quaint abode is surrounded by forests at one of the planet’s most northerly latitudes, it supplies all modern conveniences. Guests stay for around $160 per night.
1. The Shark Aquarium – Paris, France
The sight of man-eating predators circling your bed may not be the most soothing experience, but it does promise to be unique and unforgettable. Offering 360-degree views from its immersive shark tank, the Aquarium de Paris will be hosting its first guest in 2016. As yet, the experience is only being offered as a competition prize.