25 Bizarre But Amazing Airbnb Rentals You Should Book Now


Taking time off can renew your perspective on life, which is so easily lost when you’re caught up in the day-to-day. Freed from your usual concerns and constraints, you can get back in touch with what it means to be you. Or you can play out what it would be like to take a completely different path.

That’s especially the case when you stay in an Airbnb that goes beyond the routine. The home-rental site has some really unusual finds that can let you live a lifestyle completely different from your own. The fastest way to find them is to go to its OMG section, which features rentals that are truly out of this world, including more than one spaceship you can rent. Airbnb has sorted through structures to help 100 hosts build extraordinary rentals, granting $100,000 to each as part of its OMG fund. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to stay in the Mischievous Mango Mansion in India.

As for us, we’d like to spend the summer in Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse. Which we could do, as Airbnb is taking reservations for two one-night stays (free) in Ken’s wing of the perfect pink home. The listing goes live at 10 a.m. PT on July 17.

overhead shot of all-pink house in Malibu

(Credit: Airbnb)

Even if you don’t manage to find out what’s like to live inside this pink palace, there are plenty of other stunning spaces to stay, found elsewhere on Airbnb’s site. We did some virtual vacationing for you, scrolling through places we’d love to stay and listing them right here so you can book them.

Want to run a bookshop for a week? Be part of an undersea world (on dry land)? Inhabit a Hobbit house? Sleep under the stars, high up in a tree? Or pool your funds with friends and pretend you’re pashas? All this is possible. Choose your perfect place, and don’t forget to send us a postcard!

Any time you stay somewhere that isn’t home, it’s smart to check your security and privacy. Here’s one way to do that: “Does Your Airbnb Have Hidden Cameras? Here’s How to Check.”

For Flower-Power People

interior and exterior of the Bloomhouse

This hippie dream of a house was conceived of as a seafaring sort of unicorn, though it’s located in the woods high above Austin. The entire home, inside and out, evokes nature and is anything but a square. And it’s in harmony with its surroundings. Even so, all the modern amenities you could want are on the premises.

For Vacationing ETs

interior and exterior of UFO house

You can have an entire UFO to yourself, no little green men included, in southwest Wales. The interior has a cool, retro-futurism vibe. For bathroom facilities, though, you’ll have to venture outside to another building on the property. But beware of any flashing lights in the sky if you go in the dark of night.

For Fred and Wilma

interior and exterior of Owl Hill House

Yabba dabba do yourself a favor and stay in this house that looks like it’s carved of stone. It was made by sculptors in the 1980s in Pownal, Vermont. Despite owing its look to a certain Stone Age family’s residence, the place features high-speed Wi-Fi and a washer and dryer.

For Beatlemaniacs

interior and exterior of Yellow Submarine

Stay in this yellow submarine in New Zealand—no Blue Meanies allowed. It’s outfitted comfortably, at least for a metal vessel, with everything you need for an overnight stay including entertainment options. Which is handy, as your phone is not going to work inside what is essentially a Faraday cage of a residence.

For Bagginses

interior and exterior of Wee Nook

Feel the fellowship of the ring in Wee Nook, which is nestled in the woods of Tennessee. It’s as cozy as can be with a living roof, edible plants, and an outdoor fire pit. While you’re out, you might see horses, goats, and Highland cows that roam the property. Bring along activities Frodo would enjoy because there’s no internet and barely any phone service.

For Rail Buffs

interior and exterior of Caboose #3

Apple Ridge Farm Caboose Bed & Breakfast

If you love trains, you couldn’t engineer a better place to stay than in Caboose #3 at the Apple Ridge Farm Caboose Bed & Breakfast. It’s comfortably outfitted with a queen-size bed, futon, and table for two. The caboose sits on a property with two other train cars and nearly four miles of hiking trails.

For Buccaneers

interior and exterior of Pirate Ship Adventure Cabin

Pirate Ship Adventure Cabin

It’s the pirate’s life for you aboard this cabin that sleeps six mateys. It’s decked out with seafaring details, inside and out. Just like life on the high seas, though, there’s some amount of roughing it. You’ll need to bring your own bed linens, and the property has no Wi-Fi. But you do get phone service, so you can post all your Pirates of the Caribbean–themed selfies before you disembark.

For Bunker Mentalities

interior and exterior of Missile Silo

For those who want to relive the Cold War, you could turn to, well, the news—but also this missile silo rental. Oh, did we mention it’s in Roswell? The property has a launch control center and utility tunnel—you can go as deep as 186 feet underground. It also features a floor filled with Americana-themed décor, including its kitchen and bath.

For Mycologists

interior and exterior of Leafy Greens Mushroom

This mushroom-shaped house in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is made of earth. It may make you feel like a small blue Belgian creature, particularly since it’s on a path with other, similar structures. But its original purpose was to be a minimal space for meditation. Outside is an organic herb and vegetable garden for guests to use as they like and a grill to prepare your harvest.

For Happy Glampers

interior and exterior of Birdbox

Ignore the scary connotations that the name Birdbox might conjure up. This is not a place to hide out from the apocalypse but to relieve your anxiety about it. You’ll get back to nature, but you won’t have to sleep too close to it in this modern cube that offers a very cool experience in Norway.

For Bibliophiles

interior and exterior of The Open Book

Running a bookstore seems charming—until you have to deal with all the real-world concerns. But if you’re just doing it for a week or so, it’s a literary vacation. The Open Book is the perfect way to cosplay as a small-town shopkeeper in Scotland. You’ll stay in the apartment above the store and run the shop with the help of volunteers.

For Sea Creatures

interior and exterior of The Seashell House

“Look at this trove, treasures untold… How many wonders can one cavern hold?” Plenty, when it’s The Seashell House, a spellbinding home in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The shell-shaped, shell-filled house has a gorgeous pool, so bring your mermaid tail.

For Interior Design Fans

interior and exterior of The Filomena

The expense and work it would take to renovate a home that is worthy of coverage in Architectural Digest is beyond most of us. But you can stay in The Filomena, which has already appeared in its pages. The home has six bedrooms and seven baths, a chef’s kitchen, and fireplaces. It’s located in the Berkshires and is a two-minute walk to a charming town.

For Forest Dwellers

interior and exterior of Treehouse

Is there any dwelling more magical or romantic than this treehouse tucked away in Atlanta? It’s just nine minutes from downtown, but you’d never want to leave. It has three spaces: mind (an antique-bedecked sitting room), body (a beautiful bedroom), and spirit (a hammock deck that surrounds a 165-year-old southern short-leaf pine tree).

For Royalty

interior and exterior of Dollarberg Castle

You’re the king of your castle, even if that’s a studio apartment. But you can be the king of a real castle in Scotland, at least temporarily, when you book this stay. It has three royal-looking bedrooms, a movie room, a tower, and a rooftop terrace.

For People in High Places

interior and exterior of cliffside home

Mamma mia, here we go again! This Greek home, perched on a cliff, is majorly modern inside and has a balcony outside that you’ll want to visit for sunsets. Breakfast is provided at a nearby café. There are no promises that you’ll run into Meryl Streep.

For the Arty & Crafty

interior and exterior of Japanese townhouse

The Japanese city of Kanazawa is known for arts and handicrafts, and those are on display in an art installation in this townhome. It has a Western-style bedroom, a traditional Japanese-style dining area, and a Hinoki soaking tub.

For Mariners

interior and exterior of The Crown Goose

Sure, living in Brooklyn is nice, but what if you also lived in a yacht? Even better! It’s not a lifestyle many can afford, but you can spend a night or two in The Crown Goose. This beautifully appointed yacht sits near Brooklyn Bridge Park, so you can walk to restaurants and shops and then return to your luxury home and gaze at the Manhattan skyline.

For Impossible Dreamers

interior and exterior of The Mill

Forget tilting at windmills—stay in one instead. This beautiful mill is located on a picturesque property in Portugal. A bedroom with a king-size bed has an incredible sea view, and when you come down to sea level, you can walk among the property’s fruit trees and flowers.

For Making Beautiful Music

interior and exterior of barn home

Record the album you’ve always wanted to in this barn home in Woodstock, NY. It offers a recording studio, a Steinway grand piano, Pearl drums, an Access Virus synth, a Casio electric piano, guitar and bass amps, a simple Yamaha mixer, and powered PA monitors. The main house contains three bedrooms and three baths, and you’ll find another bedroom and bath in the guest cottage that the music studio is in, so all your band members can stay.

For La Bella Vita

interior and exterior of Trullo Luna

This conical accommodation is a trullo. Trulli are common to the Apulia region in Italy where this one is located, not far from beaches and forest walks. If you weren’t already really truly in love with it, there’s a swimming pool and pond on the property.

For Angelenos

interior and exterior of Hilltop Airstream Retreat

Hilltop Airstream Retreat

You could buy an Airstream, painstakingly renovate it, and then save up for a sweet spot to park it permanently. Or you could just stay here. This Echo Park–based Airstream is pristine, has a full kitchen and bathroom, and gives you a fabulous view of Los Angeles.

For Exquisite Surroundings

interior and exterior of Kellogg Doolittle House

The Kellogg Doolittle House

The Kellogg Doolittle House is found in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Joshua Tree National Park. It was designed by architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, a master of organic architecture. That’s apparent in every aspect of this extraordinary home, which matches the natural beauty surrounding it.

For the High Life

interior and exterior of Secret Suite

Like living the high life? We mean that literally. Secret Suite soars 45 meters into the sky (accessible by an elevator). You’ll have a unique view of Amsterdam from this harbor-crane suite with a bedroom, lounge area, and bathroom outfitted with parts from a sunken ocean cruiser.


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