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Odd Lodging

Tired of cookie-cutter hotel rooms? Check into one of these intriguingly alternative accommodations.

EVER DREAM OF SPENDING A NIGHT IN JAIL OR BUNKING UP IN A GROUNDED 747? Perhaps you long to vacation on a stationary train or sleep in a pipe? If so, you’re strange—but more importantly, you’re in luck, as all of those unusual desires can be fulfilled by some of the world’s most bizarre lodgings. Boston is home to the Liberty Hotel, a 300-room luxury lodging in what used to be the Charles Street Jail. Built in 1851, the granite prison has undergone a five-year, $150 million renovation converting it from a shuttered eyesore to a sparkling palace—with cell bars intact. Just outside of Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is the new Jumbo Hostel, a 747 that won’t be taking off anytime soon. The mammoth jet has been converted into an economical lodging with 25 rooms and 85 beds. High rollers can spend a night in the luxury suite, located in the cockpit. If rail travel is more your style, head to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, home of The Red Caboose, which actually consists of 44 red cabooses. The 25-ton rail cars from the early 20th century have been restored and converted into modest rooms set in the middle of a rural amusement park, complete with petting zoo and swings. But the most bizarre hotel reclamation project of all is in Ottensheim, Austria, where three enormous sewer pipes have been cleaned (twice, one would hope) and outfitted with beds and electricity, to form an urban art project-turned-bedroom. Need some extra incentive to sleep in a sewer pipe? Have a look at the rate card: It’s pay as you wish. —Adam K. Raymond


The Liberty Hotel, Boston

Rooms range from $375 to $875 at this luxury lodging, leaving just enough money for a trip to CLINK, its ritzy restaurant where you can eat in a 19th-century cell (Tel: 617-224-4000; www.libertyhotel.com).

Jumbo Hostel, Stockholm

A bed aboard this winged hostel will run you a modest $38. Add a few hundred bucks for an upgrade to the swank cockpit suite (Tel: 46-8-593-604-00; www.jumbohostel.com).

The Red Caboose, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

With 44 cabooses to choose from, including the Honeymoon Caboose and Mail Car Suite, there’s a red metal room for everyone. From $69 to $159 (Tel: 888-687-5005; www.redcaboosemotel.com).

Dasparkhotel, Ottensheim, Austria

The amenities are minimal (foam mattress, electricity), but what do you expect from a sewer pipe? As far as rates go, pay as little as you want (www.dasparkhotel.net).

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