1. Home
  2. Home insurance

World's weirdest Airbnbs

Remember life before Airbnb? To book a holiday home you had to go through a lettings company, which could take a lot longer and leave you with fewer options. Not any-more.

The Seashell House in Mexico

What's on this page?

Airbnb has changed the way we book our holidays, opening up homes across the world for us to stay in and enjoy. More often than not, we’re on the hunt for a gorgeous holiday home, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that some of them are more unique than others.

If you’ve got a space worth sharing, whether that’s a crazy old train carriage in your garden or just a comfortable apartment in a good location, we could help you insure it for less. Learn all about the home insurance rules on letting your home on Airbnb and see if your property could have what it takes to make people’s stays special.

We've compiled some of the weirdest Airbnb’s listed to find out how much they would cost in comparison to similar properties in the area. We’ve also looked into what features they have to offer, what makes them unique,  and how they compare in ratings to others in the area. Anyone for a holiday in an igloo?

A map visualising the weirdest Airbnb's around the world and their prices at night.

We've put together a list of our top 5 quirky and unusual Airbnbs from around the world. Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a tropical treehouse? Or a real-life castle?

 

1. Bubble Suite, Mexico 

An infographic visualising the rating and price per night of the Bubble Suite Airbnb in Mexico

If you’ve ever imagined what it would be like to float away in a bubble, this Mexican holiday home could be just the thing. The Bubble Suite is actually one of a whole range of bubble buildings, all situated in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico's famous wine country. Think of it like glamping, just really fancy glamping with uninterrupted views of the sky as you fall asleep, potentially with a bottle of wine by your side.

What makes it stand out from the rest?
It’s a giant glass dome in the middle of a vineyard. We think that says it all.

How much are they asking?
The bubble is £174 a night, which is 167% more than other two-bedroom rentals in the area. Wine is not included.

 

2. Dreamy Tropical Treehouse, Hawaii 

An infographic visualising the rating and price per night of the Dreamy Tropical Treehouse Airbnb in Hawaii

Treehouses aren’t just for kids! This unique Airbnb is sure to make a lasting impression on your holiday. This treehouse is 15ft off the ground, so if you’re afraid of heights this might not be the stay for you.  This is the ultimate spot for couples seeking romantic seclusion in the middle of a tropical jungle or individuals who want to drop off the grid. Unfortunately this property’s next available booking slot is January 2023, and you can see why it’s so popular!

What makes it stand out from the rest?
It’s an adult-sized treehouse with a 360-degree view of a tropical jungle.

How much are they asking?
The treehouse will set you back £217 a night which is only £34 more expensive than your typical Airbnbs in the local area.

 

3. The Seashell House, Mexico 

An infographic visualising the rating and price per night of the Seashell House in Mexico

Two giant seashells on a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea. That’s what awaits you at the Seashell House. Legend has it that the shell helped the island win a bet with neighbouring rivals, who claimed to have the biggest fish on their shores. “The biggest fish?” the islanders scoffed, “We have the biggest shell!” In reality, it was just designed by two beach-loving artists in the early 90s, and now it can be yours to enjoy.

What makes it stand out from the rest?
It’s as if a giant sea creature crawled up onto the land and left their shell behind for you to live in.

How much are they asking?
One night in the shell is £216. Unlike the other shells you might find on the nearby beach, this one won’t have washed away by morning. 

 

4. Your own castle, Ireland 

An infographic visualising the rating and price per night of the Live Like a King in My Castle Airbnb in Ireland

Do you ever dream about recreating your own medieval fantasy? Now you can stay in your own Castle in Galway. Cahercastle has been standing since the late 1400s but has been restored to its original state by using traditional materials and cutting-edge technology. You can stay with up to four of your loved ones and will have full access to the top two floors. Visitors can expect lots of winding staircases and rich history but there are some cobwebs to give you the real Irish castle experience.

What makes it stand out from the rest?
It’s a 600-year-old castle that you can actually stay in.

How much are they asking?
For £137 a night, tourists can save £139 by staying in this castle in comparison to other Airbnbs in the area. Who wouldn't choose to stay in a castle over a Travelodge? 

 

5. Snow igloo, Finland 

An infographic visualising the rating and price per night of the Snow Igloo Airbnb in Finland

Yep. You read that right. This holiday home is rebuilt every year out of snow, creating a cosy, albeit freezing cold, igloo for you and up to five friends to stay in. Admittedly, only two of you will be able to fit on the ice bed, while the others will have to stay in the much warmer (but ultimately less adventurous) apartment that comes with the listing.

If it’s a true taste of nature you want, wrap up warm, take many, many extra layers, and bunker down in the coolest holiday pad on the market.

What makes it stand out from the rest?
It’s made out of snow, but Lapland is just around the corner so the Christmas spirit will warm your soul.

How much are they asking?
The igloo will set you back £98 a night which is 60% cheaper than your typical Airbnbs in Finland.

 

Weird house, wonderfully clean 

Just because you’re staying somewhere a little bit different, doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice the things that make a holiday hygienic. Three of the weirdest Airbnbs also happen to be the cleanest, each scoring 5 stars for their cleanliness. Strange, yes. Scruffy? Never.

An image of the exterior of the Yellow and Blue container Airbnb in Texas

The first is the Yellow and Blue Container House in Waco, Texas. The house is one of the smallest listed, offering enough space to sit, eat, sleep and not much else. This miniscule floorspace might make it easier to clean, but don’t let that detract from their excellent hygiene score. Climb up to the roof garden to enjoy the Texas night sky in all its glory.

Another super clean stay may also be one of the most beautiful - Bird Island in Belize. This unique private island sits right in the middle of a stunning atoll, a type of coral reef packed with underwater wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Sit on one of the swings and dip your feet in the ocean at this sensationally clean, sensationally stunning five-star stay.

The third resort to score five stars for its cleanliness is the Skylodge Adventure Suites in Peru. To enjoy the spotless finish of these glass domes, you will have to climb 400 metres up a mountain, which might put some people off. However, once there you’ll be treated to an immaculate finish and unbelievable views. Just don’t look down.

 

The most expensive weirdest Airbnbs 

An image of the living room of the Treehouse Blue Mountain Airbnb and the scenic view from the window

Some of the weirdest and most wonderful Airbnbs don’t come cheap. For £1,272.48 a night you can stay at the Treehouse Blue Mountain. The property is sure to make a lasting impression, but the price per night is a staggering 613% above the average in the area. This Treehouse is amongst 600 acres of private wilderness in the Blue Mountains. The secluded accommodation offers back-to-nature experience in style, nestled between two National Parks and World Heritage-listed rain-forest. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re looking to get away with friends, weird could be just what you’re after. Sharma Springs, a half villa, half treehouse in Bali can sleep up to 12 people, making it the perfect place for you and a group of mates to relax and have fun up within the leaves. This unique Airbnb is the second most expensive property on our list costing £750 a night.

Bird Island is a unique Airbnb. Imagine having your very own island to spend time with your loved ones in total comfort and absolute privacy. It is located inside one of the most beautiful atolls in Belize, and you’ll be greeted with true relaxation or endless choice of outdoor activities for £575 a night.

Are you looking for a completely unique Airbnb for your next holiday? Then say hello to this private island in Canada. Described as ‘wilderness retreat meets bohemian boudoir,’ the island is only accessible via boat, and lets six of you take in all that the Canadian countryside has to offer. Renting out this private island will set you back £482 a night, which is 230.59% more expensive than an Airbnb with the same number of bedrooms in the area, but who wouldn’t want to stay on their own island?

Rounding off the top five most expensive weird Airbnb’s is the Magical Treehouse.

 

The most affordable weirdest places to stay 

An image of the exterior of Cabana Florpia

If you want to stay somewhere a little different and still have some money left-over for holiday spending, the world of weird has you covered. The cheapest weird home on Airbnb is Cabana Floripa, the Brazilian eco-residence that only charges £16 for a night’s stay. For this small sum you get walls made from recycled bottles, stained glass windows, repurposed furniture and a true sense of adventure in this one-of-a-kind hideaway.

If you’re feeling a bit more flush, you could spend £26 for a night in the Netherland’s iconic cube house. Your money only gets you a room in the property, but it will feel like you’re staying in a piece of modern art right in the centre of Rotterdam’s bustling social scene.

Coming in at a little more expensive, although still excellent value given the amount of beauty it offers, is the bamboo eco cottage in Bali’s rice fields. For £47 a night you can stay in a house that is literally growing around you, with live bamboo creating a space that changes every day.

Completing the cheap top four is this old caboose in Virginia, USA. If you’re a fan of trains, it’ll cost you £72 to spend the night here. A caboose was a carriage designed to provide shelter for the crew of a North American freight train, and now it can provide shelter for you thanks to a classic remodel. The listing says it now comes with disc golf baskets included, which sounds like a steal to us.

 

The rise in weird demand

Weird is the word for holiday hunters in 2021, with demand increasing across many of the biggest countries. After seeing the same four walls for much of 2020, it looks like people are keener than ever to say somewhere strange.

South Africa has seen the biggest spike in searches for ‘unique Airbnbs’ - a 600% increase in fact, followed someway behind by India with a 150% increase, and Brazil with a 100% increase.

Here in the UK, our interest in interesting is also on the up. Searches have grown by 52% as we look to make the most of relaxed rules around holidaying.

 

Our top Airbnb renting tips

Whether you rent out a room or your whole property, hosting on Airbnb is becoming more and more popular, with studies showing that there are 2.4 million hosts worldwide, and 14,000 new hosts joining the platform every month in 2021. Our research reveals that America is the most interested in becoming hosts with searches for ‘how to become an Airbnb host’ increasing by 309% in the last 12 months. This is closely followed by Canada (271%) and South Africa (150%).

There are many reasons why people turn to renting out their extra space. Maybe the kids have left and you have a few extra rooms or maybe you have an extra property that you don’t spend much time in. If you want to put your home on the market, there are a few things worth considering:

  • You can let out almost anything - You don’t need a stunning villa to attract holiday customers. So long as your home is clean, safe and has the basics (toilet, doors, that kind of thing) you could let it out.
  • You need the right mortgage - If you’ve got a regular mortgage on your holiday home, you’re fine. But if you’ve got a buy-to-let mortgage or a second residential mortgage, holiday makers won’t be allowed to stay.
  • Tell the taxman - You might have to pay tax on any holiday home earnings. Mention all your money in your self-assessment tax return, and remember, tax doesn’t have to be taxing.
  • Sell yourself - Tell people what your home has that nowhere else does. Maybe it has excellent transport links, maybe it smells of lavender in the spring, maybe you can hear the local football team on Saturdays. You never know what people are looking for.
 

Do you need insurance to rent out your home?

Once you’ve got the green light from your mortgage provider, it’s important to make sure you have the right home insurance in place. Letting out your property to strangers can be a risk so you need to protect your personal items in case they are damaged or go missing.

First, it’s important to check if renting is allowed under the contract of your existing building and contents policies. If it’s not, you’re at risk of invalidating your insurance and any theft or damage claims may be refused.

If your current insurance provider refuses, many other providers offer Host Insurance that's aimed at people who rent out their properties. This acts as a bolt-on service that can be added to the company’s home insurance policies, with buildings, contents, accidental damage and home emergency cover available.

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

“Staying in Airbnbs has become just as common as staying in a hotel, due to their cheap cost and convenient locations. This means that the rise in demand for new hosts is growing around the world.

“Airbnb has made it easy for people to rent out their homes and make some extra cash. While people might think it’s as easy as listing their spare room onto the website, there are a lot of things they need to consider before taking the plunge.

“One of the most common pitfalls is not having the right insurance when you begin renting out your home. Some providers specialise in hosting insurance for services like Airbnb, and some may require you to inform them every time a new person stays in your property. It’s also important to have the right contents insurance to protect your belongings to make sure you get cover for your items if something were to happen. Check out our guide on Airbnb insurance requirements so that you know everything you need to before renting out your property.”

Methodology