PLUS: The most uniquely designed stays on the planet
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December 8, 2022 | View OnlineSign Up

My mum always told me I was 'unique.' I often wonder if it was a compliment.

The minds behind today's architectural marvels needn’t ponder the same remarks. Unique, in this case, means unequivocally brilliant.

Leaving no doubt that what’s on the outside counts just as much, these are the most original, mind-bending, physics-defying, over-adjectived stays on the planet. 

In today’s edition:

  • Live the Home Alone experience

  • Unique accommodation designs across the world 

  • Wealth is health in Bora Bora

  • Live your wildest Hobbit fantasies




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Image: Graduate Hotel

Live the Home Alone experience in Illinois

It’s December, and depending on who holds power in the relationship, the TV is left perpetually on the Hallmark channel or rotates between a selection of actually enjoyable holiday moviesthat involve gratuitous violence – like Die Hard and Home Alone (come at me).

If you’re a fan of the latter (and who isn’t?), it might be worth taking a trip to the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, where the Graduate Hotel has created a Home Alone-themed room decorated just like the McCallisters’ master bedroom. For those that don’t know, Evanston was a filming location for two of the films.

What’s in the package?

The aptly named King McCallister Experience sees the room decked out to replicate the master suite in Kevin McCallister’s house, featuring:

  • A large cheese pizza delivered in a Little Nero’s Box

  • A four-poster bed

  • A minibar and fridge stocked with Kev’s favorite snacks from the film

  • A classic TV running Angels with Dirty Souls

  • VHS of the Home Alone movies and the Grinch

  • An entire room filled with trinkets and details from the film, down to Paris flight tickets on the table and Brut Classic in the sink

You can’t beat a little escapism over the holidays. But you better book soon, ya filthy animal. Spots are disappearing fast.


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image: Airbnb

New York Geometric Forest Home

New York, USA
$$$$ | Pics →

Our first stay today is a mesmerizing geometric art piece that just happens to have space inside to live. Hidden in the woods of the Hudson Valley, its curious appearance opens into a playful wooden masterpiece that offers something different from every angle.

The reading window is a standout feature, as highlighted in Architectural Digest, letting the inhabitant feel as close to the surrounding forest as possible. Serene, brilliant, and thought-provoking.

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image: Airbnb

Canadian Lakeside Shipping Container Home

Inglis, Canada
$$$ | Pics →

Shipping container homes are all the rage these days, but it’s a challenge making such bland objects look attractive from the outside. Designer David Penner succeeded where others failed and made recycling sexy.

It’s a striking addition to the Canadian lakeside landscape, yet somehow manages not to feel out of place. The towering balcony gazing out over the water is particularly wonderful, perfect for quiet Sunday morning coffee.

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image: Morpheus Macau

Morpheus Macau

City of Dreams, Macau
$$$ | Pics →

Located in City of Dreams, Macau, the Morpheus Hotel is a mind-bending structure that’s equally physics-defying inside and out.

While the hotel is packed with luxury amenities like a rooftop sky-pool, high-end spa, Parisian tea rooms, and superfast panoramic elevators, it’s the first sight of its seemingly organic design that will leave the greatest impact — architecture at its breathtaking best.


Our Other Top Picks


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image: Four Seasons Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora's luxury wellness retreat

It’s been a long year, and frankly, Christmas is rarely a relaxing affair. To help soften the blow of the New Year, Four Season’s Bora Bora is offering an immersive wellness experience, taking place at the beginning of February.

Awaken: An Immersive Wellness Experience

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of French Polynesia, yoga nuts and mindfulness enthusiasts can be experience the world’s finest holistic health experiences led by renowned experts. When not meditating or balancing chakras, guests will stay in luxury at one of the hotel brand’s finest locations on the planet.

What’s included?

A five-night stay is the minimum booking, but in that period, guests will experience the following:

  • Daily breakfast at Tere Nui restaurant

  • Daily movement classes

  • A private sunset catamaran cruise with cocktails and canapés and a sound healing session

  • Guided meditation and sacred sound healing under the stars

  • A heart-opening meditation session

  • Guided self-assessments and practices to help balance your chakras

  • Farm-to-table culinary experiences

  • Stargazing and Tahitian legend telling

  • Snorkeling with sharks and rays

Wealth is health

Before balancing your chakras, you’ll need to balance your checkbooks. Pricing for the retreat starts at almost $12,000.

The upside? That’s based on double occupancy and gets you one of these mesmerizing overwater bungalow suites.


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image: Airbnb

The real Hobbiton is letting you stay for $10

Hobbits of the world, rejoice. For the first time ever, the real Hobbiton set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is listed on Airbnb.

While hundreds, if not thousands, of imitation stays have appeared over the years, the original set has remained open purely for day visits. But in celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the owners are allowing three individual two-night stays for up to four people. All for $10 a night.

An Unexpected Party

Those lucky enough to grab one of the three stays will enjoy:

  • Overnight accommodation in your very own hobbit house (not the hole itself)

  • Personal daytime access to a private hobbit hole for afternoon tea and relaxation

  • An evening banquet at the Green Dragon featuring beef and ale stew and whole roast chickens

  • Second breakfasts and elevenses, of course

  • A private, behind-the-scenes tour of the movie set

How to book

As with other Airbnb listings, this isn’t a competition per se. The three dates (March 2-4, March 9-11, and March 16-18, 2023) will go live on the 14th of December. It’s down to you to be the first to grab them.

Be aware travel to New Zealand is not included, so you’ll need to fly to Auckland yourself to get picked up. It’s possible to do this with points to keep it cheap (I can help with that), so don’t give up too quickly!


*This link is sponsored


A twist on traditional in the Netherlands

Inntel Hotel Zaandam Amsterdam | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | @themissmiles

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