Try something out of the ordinary

If you’re sick of run-of-the-mill hotel rooms, Ruth Jackson has some rather less ordinary suggestions.

A stay in the rainforest

This might be one of the few places where you really can get a good night's sleep on a plane, says The Guardian. The owners of the Costa Verde in Quepos, Costa Rica, transported and refurbished a 1965 vintage Boeing 727 fuselage into the rainforest and transformed it into a two-bedroom suite on a coastal bluff. It is a favourite for weddings and honeymoons, and is set on a concrete plinth that juts up 15 metres into the jungle canopy.

The suite costs from £212 a night, room only (

A cave on the coast of Italy


If you're sick of run-of-the-mill boxy hotel rooms, or slick but soulless luxury chains, why not try the Grotto Hotel in Italy. "Standing atop cliffs on the coast of Puglia, the ancient town of Polignano a Mare offers soul-stirring views of the emerald green Adriatic as it crashes below," says Lonely Planet Traveller. "It's here you'll find Grotta Palazzese a hotel hewn from the cliffs and caves carved by that same sea."

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Some of the antique-filled stone suites have "balconies above the waves, while others look over the narrow alleys and historic white houses of the surrounding old town".

Even if you don't fancy the hotel, the restaurant which opened last summer is worth a visit, for the atmosphere as much as the food. The tables are "spread inside the largest cavern, a vaulted space that drops into the water just metres below".

Rooms start from £85 (

Camping in the Outback

Take a camping trip in the Outback with Longitude 131, suggests Tristan Rutherford in The Sunday Times. Camping may not be your idea of fun, but put your preconceptions behind you.

This isn't a wet weekend in a soggy sleeping bag in the British or French countryside. Instead, you will be under canvas in the middle of the desert, next to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia. The rock is actually 14km away, but you get a clear view of it from the camp.

And you won't have to rough it. Longitude 131 is "a mod-cons kind of place" (which is reflected in the price tag): each tent-roofed room has an iPod dock and iPad, and "electric blinds that allow you to control the view from your bed". Another bonus is that there's no long hike to get there a 4x4 picks you up from the airport.

Doubles start from £600 per night full-board (minimum two-night stay), which includes walks, transfers and entrance fees to the national park (

Big-game hunting on horseback


Safaris are much more fun up close and personal than viewed from the back of a Landrover, so why not try a riding safari, says Laura Holt in The Independent. Horizon Horseback has packages that combine safari trips with polo, jumping and cattle mustering "for families, novices and experts alike".

The company's newest base is Camp Davidson in a private game reserve in the Matlapeng Valley, South Africa. You sleep in luxury canvas tents and on safari you can expect to see hippos, giraffes and leopards. You set out on horseback every morning, get brunch provided out in the bush, and then plenty of time to recuperate at camp in the afternoon.

Doubles start from £312, all inclusive (

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.