Art Hotels: 3 Works of Art You Can Actually Spend the Night In

UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam
Modern Nomad is a weekly column dedicated to mobile gear, must-see world destinations, tips for life on the road, and traveling better through technology.

It’s no longer enough for hotels to simply provide a place for guests to lay their head. In the last decade alone, hotel designers have seriously upped their game and, these days, there’s no shortage of unique accommodations around the world. But some designer properties provide legitimate fine art installations with a built-in place to crash. Here are just three of our favorites:

UrbanCampsite (Amsterdam)

As one of the world’s boldest, most forward-thinking, most creative cities, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam plays host to an art installation hotel. The so-called “art-sleep-experience” UrbanCampsite is a collection of beautiful, bizarre, and modern “campsites” designed first and foremost as works of art that provide barebones accommodations reminiscent of a typical campground. Each unit provides a sleep area (to accommodate two to four adults), copious windows to allow for ample natural light, and … not much else. Together, the units form a single, mobile campground collective that travels every few months to underused and unexpected parts of the city.

Related: Little Rooms: Tiny Houses Offer A Unique Hotel Experience

The Lightning Field (New Mexico)

Nearly forty years ago, American sculptor Walter De Maria designed the now-famous The Lightning Field. The curious and fascinating installation was established in the rural New Mexican desert as a one-mile by one-kilometer square grid array of twenty-foot-tall, polished stainless steel poles spaced a precise distance apart. The sheer size and vastness of the installation is striking, humbling, and eerily beautiful. While many visitors explore the space only during sunrise and sunset, the installation was intended to be experienced over long periods of time. For this reason, overnight onsite stays are available via a single, rustic cabin from May to October. Be sure to book well in advance though as the field fills to capacity every year.

Propeller Island City Lodge (Berlin)

Berlin embraces pop art perhaps better and more fully than any city in the world. Enter Propeller Island City Lodge — a 30-room hotel self-described as a “habitable work of art”. Where most theme hotels reek of haphazard kitchiness that feels forced and overdone, Propeller Island exudes a commitment to bizarre, art-inspired accommodations that’s somehow far more authentic. It just feels downright weird. From grandma’s house, to a log cabin, to a lion’s den, to sleeping in a coffin, there’s an overnight experience here for almost any traveler.

Travel

Ski Butlers are a Thing. We Went to the Rockies to Find Out What they Do and Why

Why the saviest skiers and smartest shredders enlist the help of a ski butler to service and set up their gear.
Travel

The 4 Most Incredible Lighthouse Hotels in the U.S.

If you're a salty maritime soul at heart, staying at these lighthouse hotels will feel like coming home.
Travel

A New Class of Retro Designer Motels Recalls California’s Bygone Surf Era

Embrace an endless summer of sick surfer hair, salty beach air, and some of the world's best breaks.
Travel

Camp Yosemite Like a Gentleman at AutoCamp’s Newest Airstream-centric Outpost

The luxuries of a boutique hotel with all the joys of traditional camping.
Travel

The Woodman’s Treehouse Has Everything You Want, Including a Pizza Oven

The ultimate escape for a weekend of reliving your childhood, there’s also hammocks, a slide, and a rooftop hot tub.
Travel

Belize Announces World’s First Nationwide Hide-and-Seek Competition

Cave exploring, trekking Mayan ruins, snorkeling with whale sharks — everyone comes out a winner in this competition.
Travel

4 of the World’s Smallest Countries and Why You Should Visit Them

From breathtaking to downright weird, these tiny countries are well worth a visit.
Travel

Avoid Jet Lag By Learning How to Sleep Anytime, Anywhere

With a little help from some of the world’s most adept sleepers, here are of our favorite tips.
Travel

Why Fall is the Best Time to Visit Chattanooga Tennessee

Like rock climbing? How about beer? Fried chicken? Well, then it is time to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Outdoors

HoverGlide Is a Clever ‘Floating’ Backpack Designed to Save Your Spine

It might sound like infomercial-flavored nonsense but it's rooted in sound science.
Travel

Romotow Is a Futuristic Travel Trailer With a Hidden ‘Party Deck’

One button turns this sleek travel trailer into an eight-person, off-grid party pad.
Travel

New Brightline Train Will Connect Vegas to Southern California in Just 2 Hours

Soon you'll be able to spend a lot more time feeding your face at the casino's questionable seafood buffet.
Outdoors

Elite Sniper School: Shoot at a Mile-long Target in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Fewer than 10,000 people in history have joined the "One Mile Club."