In Review

The five most unusual Airbnbs

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe and if you go to New Zealand it could be you

Airbnb allows people the world over to rent out their homes to visitors from faraway lands. Huge numbers of us have developed a liking for this hip and adventurous way of travelling, preferring places with a unique touch to production-line hotel rooms.

It’s a trend that’s been gathering momentum since the company first launched in 2008. The desire for a one-off place to stay has given rise to a host of weird and wonderful rentals. Here are a few of the most unusual:

Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, USA

If, like most people, you've always dreamt of sleeping inside an enormous beagle, this is the place for you.

Unlike most dogs, this one comes with two bedrooms, a library of books, games and puzzles ("many of which are dog themed"), snacks, breakfast and even wi-fi.

You'd have to be barking mad not to want to stay here, but think twice before booking it for your honeymoon as you might end up in the doghouse.

Romantic windmill, Amsterdam, Netherlands

When Dutch people find themselves tired after a tough cycle ride to the tulip farm or a long walk (in clogs) to the coffee shop, they curl up in their windmills and get some sleep. Now you can live like a local with a stay in this charming mill.

Just a few miles from Amsterdam in the town of Abcoude, this unusual rental is perfectly located for the busy city. People generally go to the Dutch capital to open their mind to new things, so why not make one of them staying in a windmill?

Bow Top Elle Gypsy Wagon, Cornwall, UK

Immerse yourself in country living in this traditional Romany caravan. Sit out and look over the Lizard Peninsula, an area of unspoilt natural beauty, or take the 25 minute walk into town to enjoy local pubs and restaurants.

If you're worried about amenities, don't be. There's a second caravan next to the wagon that has modern utilities like a fridge, cooker and toilet. Other perks include getting your first bag of charcoal on the house, and 'a composting toilet neat the horse box shower.' Bliss.

The Boot, Tasman Bay, New Zealand

We've all heard the nursery rhyme about an old woman who lived in a shoe, which starts off bleakly and goes downhill pretty rapidly from there. Luckily there are no hordes of unruly children at The Boot in Tasman Bay, New Zealand.

According to the rental page, the boot is "ideal for romantic weekends", which is good news for foot fetishists planning a passionate getaway. There's a bed and a fireplace, and internet and breakfast are included.

Cubehouse, Rotterdam, Netherlands

It's tempting to say that a night here would be thinking 'outside the box', but you will in fact be inside one. With room for four people, you and your loved ones can spend a night in the three-floor Cubehouse in the centre of Rotterdam.

As well as a kitchen, a TV and a stocked up Nespresso machine in the house, there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. If you fancy going further afield, you can make the 50-minute train journey to Amsterdam city centre.

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