Whether it’s a stay in a treehouse on the Sorpesee lake, camping in the middle of nature or sleeping in a trailer directly on the Ruhr river that you’re looking for - our list contains unusual accommodation options in NRW.
Nature and open air
Under the open sky
Camping in the open air, Eifel
In the Hohes Venn-Eifel nature park, visitors can stay in the first trekking campsites in NRW. They are accessible only on foot along hiking paths, and offer a night under the starry sky, far away from civilisation and background noise. Every tent platform has space for up to two tents.
Holidaying in a mountain village and sleeping in a teepee, Schmallenberg
In Schmallenberg in the Sauerland region, an entire mountain village has been built. The LiebesGrün, probably the northernmost mountain village in the German-speaking region, is perfect for anyone wanting real peace and relaxation. Here, cars are prohibited. Hand carts or free baggage transport is provided for carrying luggage. Guests have a hard choice to make when it comes to choosing where to sleep. In one of the comfortable mountain huts with their own spa area, or an Indian teepee? An added bonus during the winter: the cosy stove and your own ski lift that starts directly in front of the hut door.
Staying in nature chalets
Whether its a house by a lake, a forest loft or “Eifel love”, in the climatic spa town of Heimbach, visitors can find peace and relaxation in nature chalets away from the hectic pace of the big city, yet not far from Cologne, Bonn and Aachen. They are located on a site with water in the middle of the Eifel national park and each have their own individual design. Guests can go canoeing on the Rursee lake, hike through the national park or simply relax in front of the fire or in the sauna.
Through Nature with a Bicycle Camper
Cyclists can simply tow their accommodation along the river Berkel in Gescher in the Münsterland: The Bicycle Camper is a veritable miracle of space, containing a bench as well as a bed for the night and being easy to attach to an E-bike. It’s perfect for experiencing nature up close by bike.
Sleeping in a tree house
A bed in the treetops
Panarbora nature experience park, Waldbröl
The Panarbora nature experience park in Waldbröl in the Bergisches Land region offers a special nature and sleeping experience. Here, visitors, can stay overnight in treehouses. For people who have a fear of heights, there is the option of staying in African huts, Asian yurts and South American stilt houses. And the next day, a walk over the 1.6-kilometre, barrier-free treetop path with its 40-metre high viewing tower is an ideal option.
Treehouse with a lake view, Sorpesee lake
Is this Sweden or NRW? Nature fans can enjoy a Nordic holiday feeling in the four treehouses on the Sorpesee lake in the Sauerland region. The treehouses are located directly on the bank of the lake, giving guests a wonderful view out over the water. Treehouse residents can row around the lake in their own canoe at any time.
Sleeping in the Stadtwald forest, Bonn
In the V-Hotel in the centre of Bonn, visitors can spend a night in nature. In three cosy pinewood houses, called “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Rust Bower” and “Forest Spirit”, your only neighbours are the birds and squirrels. However, these aren’t the boarded structures from your childhood. The four-meter high treehouses are 20 square meters in size, with a bathroom and balcony, and are located in the middle of the Kottenforst urban forest.
A short break in a treehouse, Oberhundem
In Oberhundem in the Sauerland region, holidaymakers can stay in a natural environment. In the “Zu den Linden” guesthouse, the two houses, “Emma” and “Eliza”, have each been built in a treetop. The beds, chairs, table and entire inner furnishings have been tailor-made for the treehouses by a local carpenter using material taken mainly from local forests.
Tree chalets in the ski hall, Neuss
There are 22 treehouses in total in the Hotel Fire & Ice by the Neuss ski hall. They have a large terrace and will surprise you with individual highlights, including a whirlpool, a sauna, a swing or a slide into the forest.
Wastewater pipes and sleeping barrels
Off into the tube
Sleeping in a wastewater pipe, Bottrop
Perhaps the most unusual hotel rooms in NRW have a diameter of 2 meters and a length of 2.60 meters. In the Bernepark in Bottrop, on a former sewage treatment site, guests can sleep in standard sewage pipes. Despite the spartan furnishings, the pipes, which can only be used in the summer, are so popular that they’re quickly booked up.
Accommodation in a sleeping cask, Lindlar
Somewhat more comfortable, albeit still rather small and cosy, are the sleeping casks at the campsite in Lindlar, in the Bergisches Land region. With a view out onto the hills, the wooden casks offer accommodation for up to four people. To make sure that no-one gets cold during cooler nights, they even offer heating.
Sleeping in a beer vat, Ostbevern
Guests in the Landhotel Beverland in Ostbevern in the Münsterland region can stay overnight in a beer vat, among other things. Overall, guests have a difficult choice to make between over 60 themed rooms. These range from the Asia suite to a real, historic beer vat from the 19th century - and all this at a very comfortable standard in closed rooms and with a large number of extra features.
Holidays on water
Swaying into sleep
Sleeping in a houseboat on the Diersfordter Waldsee lake, Lower Rhine
Directly on the Diersfordter Waldsee lake in Wesel, houseboats are moored that offer guests a unique view onto the diverse fauna and flora there. In keeping with their surroundings, they’ve been named “Cormorant”, “Common Tern” or “Kingfisher”. Some boats even have a Finnish sauna with a large panorama window with a view out over the lake. Houseboats can be rented from Volker Dingebauer. Your NRW visited the houseboat owner and dairy farmer in his nature paradise on the Lower Rhine.
Floating houses on the Xantener Nordsee lake, Lower Rhine
The floating houses by the Xantener Nordsee lake are also close to nature. With the houseboats that are moored on landing stages on the bank of the lake, the water is literally right on your doorstep. Thanks to a small terrace, there’s an ideal space for an idyllic breakfast and romantic evenings watching the sun set as the water splashes in the background.
Jail House, Bollywood & Amber Room
Slumbering in the American dream, various locations
Real Americana fans will love the Road Stop Motels. Guests can sleep in a waterbed in front of a concert stage, for example, or between casino tables under a disco ball - and in the Jail House Room, plank beds are suspended one on top of the other on the spartan wall. The food on offer includes real American-style burgers, steaks and pancakes. The motels are located in Dortmund, Münster, Wuppertal and Mettmann.
Art hotel, Lindlar
Art fans will find an interesting hotel in Lindlar in the Bergisches Land region, where the building and art merge to form a single unit. Each of the 14 rooms of the Hotel Artgenossen, which is housed in a listed Jugendstil building, is a place to sleep and an original artwork all in one. They have unusual names such as “Alice in Wonderland” or “Gentle drizzle”, giving guests a foretaste of what to expect.
Sleeping between Bollywood and an amber chamber, Cologne
One of the most unusual hostels is located in Cologne. In the creative centre, the “Belgisches Viertel” Belgian quarter, guests can stay overnight in the “Wohngemeinschaft”, or “shared house”. Each of the 16 rooms is different, and include a boat bed, a glitzy Bollywood dream, a photo studio and a sumptuous amber chamber.
Africa in the Sauerland region, Sundern
The Sunderlandhotel has brought African flair to the Sauerland region. The option is available of staying under a mosquito net in the Kenya Suite with hand-made Lamu furniture, or being treated to African dishes and cocktails in the restaurant. In the Kenbali Spa, massages and treatments are offered to African sounds.
Sleeping next to the ski piste, Neuss
In a much colder climate, the Hotel Fire & Ice in Neuss offers rooms on the Lower Rhine. Here, bearskins and tiled stoves, an Alpine glow and panoramic mountain views ensure that you have that cosy mountain feeling and that you will doze off comfortably. And the best thing of all: the next morning, the piste is there waiting in the indoor ski run next door - even at the height of summer!
Trailers, camping vans and a fisherman's house
Sleeping in a trailer by the river, Mülheim an der Ruhr
In four red-and-white, lovingly restored and furnished trailers, you can daydream right on the banks of the Ruhr river in Mülheim. In two large trailers, which are fully furnished with a small kitchen and heating, there is space for families, while in two smaller cabins, couples or single travellers can take time out from their everyday lives in the summer season from April to October.
Sleeping like a shepherd, Bad Wünnenberg and Bad Berleburg
Today, nature lovers can sleep like the shepherds used to do in the fields, on the Sintfeld-Höhenweg hiking trail near Kloster Dalheim monastery in the Teutoburger Wald forest - in a shepherd’s hut that has been rebuilt as an exact replica, surrounded by fields and forests.
All around Bad Berleburg, too, it’s possible to sleep in a shepherd’s hut. Guests can’t get here by car; instead, the huts are dotted around in the natural landscape, and are reached by a one- or two-hour hike. The nature experience is rounded off by different themes. Guests can stay overnight in the middle of the wisent wilderness or listen to the roaring of the stags during the mating season in the autumn on the veranda of their shepherd’s hut over a cup of tea.
www.sintfeld-hoehenweg.de | www.eventwandern-heidi-dickel.de
Sleeping in a fisherman’s house, Münster
In the Hof zur Linde in Münster, guests will find a similarly beautiful idyll. The romantic hotel offers comfortable suites in its main building. However, its special feature is the fisherman’s house, a small house a short distance apart on the bank of the Werse river. During the summer, guests can take a short round trip on the river right in front of the house in the hotel’s own boat.
Holidaying in the Auenland, Sonsbeck
Campers on the Lower Rhine can feel a bit like hobbits. On the Kerstgenshof campsite, there are “pods” and small witch’s house-type buildings known as “trolls”. The huts don’t have much space, but that makes them all the cosier.
Camping under the roof, Bonn
In this way, camping is even fun when it never stops raining. In the BaseCamp Young Hostel in Bonn, caravans are housed in a former warehouse hall. 16 retro caravans are available, including kitschy pink ones, hippie campers, a Trabant and a US Airstream. In 2014, the unusual concept was awarded the German tourism prize.
Rest in historical ruins
For true romantics
For railway romantics: Former signal tower, Büren
Right by the Ringelstein Forest, nature lovers can spend the night in a listed railway building. Stellwerk Ringelstein (Ringelstein Signal Tower), built in 1941 and already decommissioned by 1962, can accommodate two to three people. Adjacent hiking routes and cycle trails, such as the Almeradweg (Alme Cycle Trail), lead right into the heart of nature. Simply romantic, the holiday home right by the rails!
Staying in an old brewery, Münster
This designer hotel is located in a building where beer used to be brewed. The exposed brick walls and steel girders of this listed building of the former Germania brewery can still be seen today, creating a harmonious contrast between historical and modern times. Whether it’s a conference, meeting, family party or wedding reception you’re looking for, the Factory Hotel with its purist style is a particularly unusual location for all kinds of events. Incidentally, our NRW conference planner also includes other locations for your event.
Dreaming in the Trafohotel, Solingen
For nearly 70 years, a transformer tower supplied the historic district of Gräfrath in Solingen with power. Today, guests can stay in the particularly lovingly furnished Trafohotel. The living area with its cosy 20.5 square meters of space offers a sun terrace with a view onto the park and an open fireplace. In the coffee house directly next door, there’s fresh coffee and a delicious breakfast.
Staying in the Zeche colliery, Essen
The Alte Lohnhalle in Essen has stories to tell from former times. This used to be the place where the boys from the Zeche Bonifacius colliery would gather to collect their wages. Today, guests can stay overnight in this industrial monument. With this combination of industrial culture and individual hospitality, the hotel must surely be unique for miles around. For anyone wanting more history, guided tours of the colliery are also on offer.
www.alte-lohnhalle.de | www.zeche-bonifacius.de
Overnight in jail, Petershagen
In the Altes Amtsgericht (old district court) in Petershagen in the Teutoburger Wald forest, the prison cells have been converted into simple guest rooms, and guests can go in and out as they please. However, metal bunk beds still stand in the cells for the most authentic experience possible, while a three-course hangman’s meal is served for dinner. Anyone who wants can even sleep in striped prison pyjamas.
Glorious time out, Altena
For fans of sumptuous or impressive architecture, a palace or castle could be the right choice. There are countless palaces and castles in North Rhine-Westphalia, and some of them offer accommodation for guests - sometimes in close proximity to the palace owners. One special place to stay is Burg Altena castle, which houses one of the first youth hostels in Germany. However, it is now not only open to school classes and childrens’ groups. As well as large rooms for 13 or 14 people, there are also two- and three-bed rooms. And an exciting medieval atmosphere is always included!
Sleeping in a monastery, Eifel
Several monasteries in NRW also date from the Middle Ages, and some of them also offer rooms to guests - just the thing for anyone looking for real peace and time out. In the Himmerod Cistercian monastery in the Eifel region, for example, monks specifically invite people from all over the world to share their living space with them, but also to work, pray and help shape the future of the monastery. However, guests can also simply stay overnight in the guest wing and explore the Eifel by day.
A night in the historic town gate, Xanten
In Xanten on the Lower Rhine, visitors can stay in the historic town gate, the Klever Tor. The 14th century building connects the historic old town with its cosy cafés and individual-style shops with the town’s green belt, and is the ideal starting point for shopping tours and excursions into the countryside.
Night at the museum
In Alsdorf, you can spend the night at the Energeticon experience museum. Joining in and trying things out are expressly permitted at the exhibition in the former winding engine hall. By day, a virtual pit cage takes you several hundred metres into the depths and by night you can explore the museum under your own steam - equipped with a miner’s lamp and helmet.
Overnight stays of the superlative
Staying overnight in the “Mini-Hotel”, Herdecke
The smallest hotel in North Rhine-Westphalia, appropriately known as the “Mini-Hotel”, is in Herdecke in the Ruhr region. The old half-timbered building has just two single rooms and one double room, as well as a living room. The cosy house, which is around 300 years old, has already enchanted several famous guests in the past - from Schlager singer Roy Black to the painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
And here’s another record: the highest-altitude hotel in North Rhine-Westphalia is in the Sauerland region, more precisely on the Kahler Asten hill. At a height of 841 meters above sea level, plus four storeys, the house has the lovely name “So close to Heaven”. The mountain guesthouse was re-built in 2005 and offers guests peace and relaxation above the treetops of the Sauerland region.