A yurt mini-hotel in Canada

Everybody Yurts: So Stay Somewhere Different This Summer

Unique hideouts for your 2019 staycation.

It wasn’t long ago that googling “one-of-a-kind hotels” would return a hundred pictures of yurts, as yet another entrepreneur twigged that calling a tent a yurt doubled the price you could charge middle-class types to stay there (see also “glamping”).

Free Spirit Spheres, Qualicum Beach BC

But dig deeper, and you can now find some truly unusual summer accommodation possibilities, right across Canada.  The ice hotels and igloos can wait for your Christmas escape…

What do you get if you cross a treehouse and a Poke Ball?  Probably something not dissimilar to the Free Spirit Spheres, three 10.5ft-diameter spherical pods suspended in the Vancouver Island forest canopy. With each having its own bedroom, bathroom and living area, you’re sure to have a ‘ball’…  From C$314/night

Kicking Mule Ranch, Tehkummah, ON

Keen to rediscover your inner Billy The Kid?  Or just your inner Billy-Ray Cyrus?  Then why not stay on a ranch?  If you choose the Manitoulin Island’s Kicking Mule Ranch, you can even stay in a renovated wooden blacksmith’s shop.  There’s horseriding and cookouts, and if the cowboy lifestyle gets too much, there’s beaches right nearby too.  C$99/night

Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, ON

We’ve seen that many Netflix prison documentaries that we often wonder how we’d fare in jail.  But as we’re also rule-followers, this hostel in Ottawa’s 150-year-old (and allegedly haunted) former jail will likely be the closest we get.  ‘Highlights’ (we use the term advisedly) include sleeping in an actual solitary confinement cell or touring the prison’s death row.  From C$50/night

Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, BC

Ever dreamt of opening your eyes in the morning to see a manatee staring back at you?  No, us neither.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t love the idea of overnighting at the Vancouver Aquarium.  You get to go behind-the-scenes at the aquarium after-hours, and then fall asleep in front of one of the spectacular marine galleries. Brings a whole new meaning to ‘sleeping with the fishes’.  C$115/night

West Point Lighthouse, O’Leary , PE

Prince Edward Island has over 30 lighthouses, but West Point is its tallest.  Even better, it doubles as both a museum and an inn.  The second-floor Tower Room looks right out over the Northumberland Strait – just don’t expect to find many right angles in your room.  From C$169/night

They’ve still got wi-fi though, right?