The top 8 quirky places to stay during your OE

It’s no secret that New Zealanders love to travel. In fact, the famous overseas experience (OE) is a rite of passage for most young Kiwis. But with so many people heading off to weird and wonderful places, how can you make sure your experience stands out from the crowd? has found eight of the quirkiest, coolest places to stay around the world – so you can experience something a little different to everybody else.

From vintage caravans to igloos made of glass, these places will make for a memorable stay that sets your travel experience apart.

BaseCamp Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Housed in an old warehouse, BaseCamp Bonn is certainly original, with its collection of themed caravans, VW minibuses, American Airstreams and night sleeper carriages. The hostel has an on-site snack shop, sports facilities and tours of the surrounding area, but more importantly you can enjoy a BBQ and a beer no matter what the weather at their indoor biergarten. Just under 5km from Bonn city centre, staying here is an experience you’ll never forget.  

Book And Bed Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

 Featuring over 1,700 reading materials in English and Japanese, this bookshop-themed accommodation is a great escape in the bustling city of Tokyo, and the perfect quirky getaway for book lovers. Guests sleep among the bookshelves in their own compact bed-bunk. Choose from the vast collection of books in the lobby, switch on your personal reading light and let yourself be instantly carried away to magical places.

SiloStay, Little River, New Zealand

If you’re really looking for something outside the square, look no further than SiloStay. Located in the heart of Little River, 300m from the Christchurch Little River Trail, you’ll find two converted, circular silos. Clever design is evident in the configuration of the silos, which feature sculptural steel staircases up to the second-level bedroom and even space to store your bike or kayak.

Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

Sleep among the trees of Harads forest in one of Treehotel’s eco-friendly “bedrooms”. Each unique room blends cutting-edge design with home comforts and stylish décor.  Of course, each one of the five bedrooms offers spectacular views of the Swedish forest. There is also a sauna and hot tub that you can enjoy for an additional fee. So, what are you waiting for? Indulge your inner child and book your very own treehouse adventure.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Saariselkä, Finland

Catching the Northern Lights is at the top of many a bucket list. But what about enjoying nature’s most spectacular light show from the comfort of your own igloo? Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland offers a selection of glass igloos, and traditional wooden chalets, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  As well as embarking on a husky or reindeer safari, you can get sporty in the snow with lots of opportunities to go skiing or snowmobiling. When it’s finally time to warm up from all that frosty activity, relax at the world’s largest smoke sauna or curl up in front of the fireplace.  

Tulip Cave Suites, Goreme, Turkey

Situated in the National Park of Goreme, this hotel is housed in a traditional Byzantine building and features a historical church, preserved in its original structure.

Decorated with handmade rugs and local ceramics, the authentic rooms of Tulip Cave Suites are carved into rocks with natural stone walls. Some rooms include a private spa bath, so you can have a long, hot soak after a day exploring the nearby Fairy Chimney Rock Formations.

Guests can also enjoy unique tastes of Turkish cuisine on the terrace, which has panoramic views of the surrounding area.

The Liberty Hotel, Boston, USA

What’s known as the lavish Liberty Hotel was originally built in 1851 as the seedy Charles Street Jail. While operating as a prison, it held several notorious inmates including James Michael Curley, Malcolm X, Sacco and Vanzetti. Today, the Liberty Hotel elegantly combines historic style and architecture with modern conveniences, while featuring playful nods to its infamous past.

Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Spain 

For a real treat, book yourself in for a few nights at the stunning Marqués de Riscal, a hotel designed by the Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry.

Located in Elciego, in La Rioja’s Álava province, most of the hotel’s unique rooms feature a distinctive zig-zag window seat with views of the valley. A favourite with couples and wine lovers, the hotel organises wine tours around the nearby vineyards and the Vivanco Museum, Europe’s largest wine museum.