Three unusual hotels that are a step up from the Premier Inn

Most hotel rooms look the same. These three unusual hotels will provide a memorable stay.

Cosmoledo Eco Camp
A cosy container: but beware the horned crabs on the beach

Cosmoledo Eco Camp: shipping containersin the Seychelles

Such a feeling of distance is rare these days. Guests stay in "lavish" lodges and villas or "eco pods" ("which are, unmistakably, shipping containers). These are no ordinary shipping containers: each of the eight is "cleverly designed with wood flooring, framed maps, good lighting, excellent bathrooms, aircon and comfortable twin beds".

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A retractable glass wall opens onto wooden decking and the beach, "alive with horned ghost crabs". The pods can even be moved without leaving a trace. ($1,900 for two,

Kachi Lodge: out of this world

Kachi Lodge, Uyuni, Bolivia

The interiors are "homely and cool, with wood-burners, designer lighting, proper bathrooms built in Amazonian hardwood with hot (well, warm) solar-powered showers, and heaps of gorgeous Bolivian textiles, all stripes and pompoms, to lend some funky Latin American zest."

Chefs from Nativa, a new restaurant in Bolivia's capital, Sucre, provided the food. It consisted of sensational reworkings of street-food staples with a touch of European fusion, and was perfectly suited to the harsh conditions outside. (Two nights from $1,980,

Quinta da Pacheca: a barrel of laughs

The Wine House Hotel Quinta da Pacheca estate, Douro, Portugal - © The Wine House Hotel/Solent News/Shutterstock
An oenophile's dream: living in a wine barrel

The Wine House Hotel Quinta da Pacheca estate, Douro, Portugal - © The Wine House Hotel/Solent News/Shutterstock

Wine-loving travellers can now fully indulge in their passion by staying in a converted wine barrel at Quinta da Pacheca, says Almara Abgarian in Metro.

The barrel suites are exact replicas (at least on the outside) of the pine-wood barrels used at the working 280-year-old estate, located in the Douro wine region of Portugal. Owners Paulo Pereira and Maria do Cu Gonalves modified the barrels to include a circular double bed, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, skylight windows and a private terrace. They also have Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

The estate has 140 acres of vineyards to explore, and a restaurant. Then there are, of course, the wines to try red, white, ros and port. The bottles are kept in a nearby 18th-century house. Guests can also sample the locally made olive oil and jam as part of the experience. The barrels don't come cheap. But "then again, you get to realise every wine lover's dream, so it might just be worth it." (From €190,



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