5 Best unusually cool hotels - The Jax Blog

Every now and then, we all crave something unusually cool, new and exciting.

Something totally out of the ordinary that blows our hair back, knocks our socks off and leaves us day-dreaming about the experience for years to come.

Why should your holiday accommodation or weekend getaway be any different? With South Africa home to some of the world’s most unique travel experiences, it’s only fitting that we have extraordinarily unusual and cool accommodation options to boot.

From quirky to whimsical, here are 5 of the best unusually cool and most affordable off-the-beaten-path hotels in South Africa!

1.Shanty Town, Bloemfontein

Set in the heart of Emoya Game Reserve, this 260-hectare paradise offers visitors a unique accommodation experience. It’s the perfect opportunity to spot a variety of free roaming wildlife without leaving your doorstep.

Despite their appearance, the shacks don’t skimp on luxury and come equipped with underfloor heating, wireless internet access, air-con and satellite television.

It’s a great concept for travellers looking to experience South African style accommodation, see wildlife on a budget and take in the natural scenery the country is famous for.

Unusual Quirk: Long drop toilets amongst top class interior furnishings and legendary safaris.

Average cost: R 650 for 2 people

2. The Rabbit Hole, Krugersdorp

5 best unusually cool hotels - The jax Blog

The Rabbit Hole, Krugersdorp Photo by: https://www.facebook.com/filmalter

Ever felt the urge to have a merry unbirthday and get away from it all?

Take a sip of some Drink Me potion and transport yourself into this quirky, surreal setting complete with gigantic books and colourful designs to really make you feel like you have stepped into Wonderland.

Situated just 12.9 km from Walter Sisulu National Gardens, this Krugersdorp hotel is the perfect choice for couples or solo escapees looking to leave reality behind for an affordable weekend getaway.

And what ode to Alice would be complete without a free complimentary English breakfast?

Unusual Quirk: Bright colours, interesting patterns, and surreal decor to immerse yourself into Wonderland.

Average cost: R 820 for 2 people.

3. Farr Out House, Western Cape

5 best unusually cool hotels - The jax Blog

Farrout Teepees

What do you get when you combine the Western Cape’s natural beauty with a touch of Red Indian architecture? Braaiing outside a Wigwam in the middle of the wilderness!

Situated one kilometer from Paternoster, staying in this rustic but luxurious tepee-tent is like starring in your own western film.

Its Skylight window is perfect for visitors looking to indulge in their stargazing obsession whilst snuggled up on a comfy octagonal bed.

Be sure to visit this unique spot between July and October to fully enjoy the blooming of South Africa’s stunning indigenous wildflowers.

Unusual Quirk: How many people can say they’ve stayed inside a lux tepee-tent in the middle of nowhere?

Average cost: R 890 for 2 people

Photo by: Farr Out

4. Santos Express, Mossel Bay

5 best unusually cool hotels - The jax Blog

Santos Express

All aboard!

Forget the modern trains that rush past us at the speed of light, travel back in time to the yesteryears of steam train travel.

Situated along South Africa’s famous Garden Route, travelers looking to rest their weary heads some place different can find The Santos Express.

This stationary train hotel is just 30 meters from the beach in Mossel Bay and offers unique backpacker-style compartments and higher-end coupés that overlook a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean.

Unusual Quirk: At the Santos Express, it’s all about the absence of a journey becoming the destination.

Average Cost: R 460 for 2 people

Photo by: Santos Express

5. Bethesda Tower, Eastern Cape

Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!

Live out your Disney fantasies by spending a night or two at Bethesda Tower. This fairy-tale building is three stories high offering guests stunning views of the surrounding hills and the amazing array of stars.

The Tower is perfect for couples wanting a unique romantic getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. On the top floor is a huge round bed, covered with a “love quilt” made in the nearby arts centre in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda.

Spend your days exploring the surrounds, chatting to local artists and in the evenings unwinding with a glass of wine underneath the famous night sky.

Unusual Quirk: It’s the closest some of us are going to get to realizing our dreams of becoming a princess while on a budget.

Average Cost: R350 for 2 people

Which quirky hotel is at the top of your South Africa bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

*Average cost is calculated as per the accommodations’ official websites in August 2016. The cost is all inclusive for two people sharing, for one night.


Lauren Melnick (1)

Wanderlust Movement is a blog about ethical travel for 20-something South Africans to help them see the world for less. I started this blog because learning how to stretch my Rand further and love my passport stopped me from only dreaming about travelling to far-flung destinations.