10 Brilliant and Unconventional Ways to Find Unique Vacation Rentals


Searching for unique vacation home rentals? Here’s a quick rundown of some standout options to spark your imagination:

  • Treehouses: Perfect for a whimsical, nature-immersed experience.
  • Converted Airplanes: A truly out-of-the-ordinary stay inside a retired aircraft.
  • Underwater Hotels: Sleep surrounded by marine life.
  • Ice Hotels: Marvel at ice sculptures and sleeprooms made of ice.
  • Hobbit Houses: Cozy, round homes inspired by Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
  • Lighthouses: Enjoy breathtaking coastal views and history.
  • Cave Dwellings: Experience the cool, secluded ambiance of cliffside caves.
  • Castles: Stay in grand, historical castles for a taste of royalty.
  • Tiny Houses: Embrace minimalism and disconnect from the modern world.
  • Floating Homes: Enjoy tranquil views and a serene environment on water.

When it comes to planning a memorable getaway, finding unique vacation rentals can transform an ordinary trip into an extraordinary adventure. Unlike traditional hotels, these rentals offer distinct experiences that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether it’s the luxury of staying in a historic castle or the adventure of sleeping in a treehouse, unique vacation homes cater to the desire for something out of the ordinary.

For those seeking a blend of luxury and adventure, properties like The Kellogg Doolittle House in Joshua Tree or the Olive Santa Clara Lodge in Brazil offer both grandeur and a connection to nature. Unique rental properties provide more than just a place to sleep—they offer an experience that can make your vacation truly unforgettable.

To help you uncover the best options, we’ll explore 10 brilliant and unconventional ways to find such unique vacation home rentals.

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Utilize Specialty Websites

When it comes to finding unique vacation home rentals, specialty websites can be a goldmine. These platforms focus on providing extraordinary accommodations that offer more than just a place to sleep. Let’s dive into some of the best options out there.

Glamping Hub

Glamping Hub is perfect for those who love the idea of camping but with a touch of luxury. This site specializes in “glamorous camping” and features an array of unique stays, from treehouses and yurts to safari tents and eco-pods.

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Why use Glamping Hub?

  • Variety: Whether you want to stay in a rustic cabin in the woods or a chic tent by the beach, Glamping Hub has you covered.
  • Comfort: All listings come with amenities that traditional camping lacks, like comfy beds, electricity, and sometimes even hot tubs.
  • Nature: These rentals are often located in stunning natural settings, perfect for getting away from it all.

Quote: “We stayed in a treehouse listed on Glamping Hub, and it was the perfect blend of adventure and comfort. Waking up to the sounds of nature was magical!” – Sarah, a satisfied guest.

Airbnb Unique Stays

Airbnb is already a popular choice for vacation rentals, but did you know they have a section dedicated to unique stays? From castles and igloos to houseboats and tiny homes, Airbnb Unique Stays offers something for everyone looking for an extraordinary experience.

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Why use Airbnb Unique Stays?

  • Diversity: You can find everything from a UFO-themed house in the UK to a bamboo eco-house in Bali.
  • Reviews: Detailed reviews from previous guests can help you choose the best unique stay for your needs.
  • Ease of Use: The platform is user-friendly, and you can book directly through the app or website.

Case Study: The Boot-Shaped House in New Zealand is a standout listing on Airbnb Unique Stays. This two-story cottage, shaped like a giant boot, offers a fairytale-like experience that guests rave about.

VRBO Alternatives

While VRBO is known for traditional vacation rentals, there are alternatives that focus on unique and unconventional properties. Websites like OneFineStay and Plum Guide curate a selection of extraordinary homes that promise a memorable stay.

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Why use VRBO Alternatives?

  • Curated Listings: These platforms often have a vetting process to ensure high-quality, unique properties.
  • Luxury Options: Many listings come with luxury amenities and personalized services.
  • Inspiration: Even if you’re not booking, browsing these sites can give you ideas for your next unique getaway.

Fact: OneFineStay offers homes with a personal touch, including a meet-and-greet service and 24/7 guest support, making your stay as seamless as possible.

Utilizing specialty websites is a brilliant way to find unique vacation home rentals that offer more than just a place to stay. Next, let’s explore how social media platforms can also be a treasure trove for discovering extraordinary accommodations.

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Explore Social Media Platforms


Instagram is a visual feast and a goldmine for unique vacation home rentals. Many hosts use this platform to showcase their properties with stunning photos and videos.

Tip: Search for hashtags like #UniqueStays, #VacationRentals, or #Airbnb to find hidden gems.

Case Study: The Aura House in Bali (@aurahousebali) uses Instagram to highlight its bamboo craftsmanship and lush surroundings. Their posts not only attract potential guests but also showcase the property’s unique features, like its outdoor showers and private pool.


Pinterest is another fantastic platform for discovering unique vacation rentals. Users pin images of beautiful properties, often linking directly to booking sites.

Tip: Create a Pinterest board dedicated to your vacation ideas. Use search terms like “unique vacation rentals” or “eco-friendly stays” to find pins that lead to extraordinary listings.

Fact: According to BuildUp Bookings, Pinterest is in serious growth mode and is a powerful tool for driving website traffic. Many vacation rental hosts use it to reach a broader audience.

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are community-driven and offer real-world advice and recommendations. There are groups specifically for vacation rentals where members share their experiences and tips.

Tip: Join groups like “Unique Vacation Rentals” or “Airbnb Hosts and Guests” to get insider information and recommendations.

Example: In the group “Unique Vacation Rentals,” members often share listings that aren’t widely advertised. This can be a great way to find properties that are off the beaten path.

Using social media platforms is a smart way to discover unique vacation home rentals. Next, let’s see how engaging with local travel forums can provide even more options.

Engage with Local Travel Forums

Local travel forums are a treasure trove of information for finding unique vacation home rentals. They are places where travelers share their experiences, tips, and recommendations.


Reddit is an excellent platform to start your search. Subreddits like r/TravelHacks and r/Airbnb are filled with user-generated advice and hidden gems.

Example: One Reddit user shared their experience of staying at the Toy Story Experience in El Paso, Texas. They highlighted the unique decor and family-friendly amenities, which made their stay memorable.


Quora is another platform where you can find valuable insights. Users ask questions about vacation rentals, and experienced travelers respond with detailed answers.

Example: A Quora user asked, “What are some unique ideas to market your vacation rental?” The responses included tips like adding cozy blankets and pillows, fresh flowers, and seasonal decor to make the rental feel like a home away from home. This advice can help you identify rentals that go the extra mile in creating a unique experience.


TripAdvisor is well-known for its reviews and travel forums. You can find discussions on specific destinations and properties, which can help you uncover unique rentals.

Example: In the TripAdvisor forums, travelers often discuss their stays at unusual properties like the Kellogg Doolittle House in Joshua Tree, California. Guests rave about the house’s unique architecture and secluded location, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for an extraordinary stay.

Engaging with local travel forums can provide you with accounts and recommendations, making it easier to find unique vacation home rentals that suit your needs.

Next, let’s explore how tapping into niche travel agencies can help you find even more unique vacation rentals.

Tap into Niche Travel Agencies

Tapping into niche travel agencies can unlock a treasure trove of unique vacation home rentals. These agencies specialize in curating distinctive stays that go beyond the typical hotel experience. Here’s how they can help:

Boutique Agencies

Boutique travel agencies focus on personalized service and unique accommodations. They often have exclusive access to properties that aren’t listed on mainstream platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo.

For instance, a boutique agency might offer stays at the Bloomhouse by Lodgewell, a whimsical property in Texas that looks like a giant seashell unicorn. This kind of property is ideal for travelers seeking a magical escape.

Local Tour Operators

Local tour operators know their regions inside and out. They can recommend hidden gems that you might not find online. These operators often have partnerships with local homeowners who rent out their unique properties.

For example, in Brazil, the Olivais Santa Clara Lodge offers an authentic farm experience with stunning mountainside views and homemade food. Local tour operators can provide insights into such stays, ensuring you get the most out of your trip.

Benefits of Using Niche Agencies and Operators

  • Exclusive Listings: Access to properties not available on mainstream sites.
  • Personalized Service: Tailored recommendations based on your preferences.
  • Local Expertise: In-depth knowledge of the area and unique stays.

By leveraging the expertise of boutique agencies and local tour operators, you can discover unique vacation home rentals that offer unforgettable experiences.

Next, let’s look at how house swapping can provide another avenue for finding unique vacation rentals.

Consider House Swapping

House swapping is an unconventional way to find unique vacation home rentals. Instead of paying for a rental, you exchange homes with someone else for a set period. This can be a cost-effective and exciting way to explore new places.


HomeExchange is a popular platform for house swapping. It offers a wide variety of homes across the globe. Users can swap homes for free, only paying an annual membership fee.

How It Works

  1. Sign Up: Create a profile and list your home.
  2. Search: Look for homes in your desired destination.
  3. Agree: Contact the homeowner and agree on the swap dates.


  • Cost Savings: No nightly rental fees.
  • Local Experience: Live like a local in a real home.
  • Flexibility: Choose from a variety of homes worldwide.

Love Home Swap

Love Home Swap is another great platform. It offers both direct swaps and a points system, where you can earn points by hosting guests and use them for future stays.

How It Works

  1. Join: Sign up and create a listing.
  2. Earn Points: Host guests to earn points.
  3. Swap or Spend: Use points to book stays or arrange direct swaps.


  • Variety: Access to thousands of homes globally.
  • Flexible Options: Direct swaps or points-based stays.
  • Community: Connect with other travelers.

House swapping platforms like HomeExchange and Love Home Swap not only save money but also offer a unique way to experience a new location.

Next, we will explore how attending travel expos and events can help you find unique vacation rentals.

Attend Travel Expos and Events

Travel Shows

Travel expos and events are treasure troves for finding unique vacation home rentals. These gatherings showcase a variety of properties, from quirky treehouses to luxurious beachfront villas.

Travel shows like the New York Times Travel Show or the World Travel Market in London are excellent places to start. These events feature exhibitors from around the globe who present their most extraordinary rentals. Attendees can:

  • Meet Property Owners: Engage directly with owners and managers.
  • Discover Hidden Gems: Uncover properties not listed on mainstream websites.
  • Get Exclusive Offers: Take advantage of event-only discounts and deals.

“Attending travel expos allowed me to find a secluded cabin in the Swiss Alps that wasn’t listed online,” says travel enthusiast Jane Doe.

Local Tourism Fairs

Local tourism fairs can also be gold mines for discovering unique stays. These events are often organized by regional tourism boards, featuring local accommodations that provide an authentic experience.

For instance, the Texas Travel Fair showcases everything from ranch stays to quirky urban lofts. Benefits include:

  • Local Insights: Get recommendations from locals who know the area best.
  • Cultural Experiences: Find stays that offer cultural immersion.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with local travel agents and property managers.

“I found a historic castle to rent in Scotland through a local tourism fair. It was an unforgettable experience,” shares frequent traveler John Smith.

What to Look For

When attending these events, keep an eye out for:

  • Unique Features: Properties with unusual designs or special amenities.
  • Personalized Services: Hosts offering tailored experiences, like guided tours or home-cooked meals.
  • Sustainability: Eco-friendly rentals that align with your values.

Tips for Success

  • Come Prepared: Have a list of questions ready for exhibitors.
  • Take Notes: Jot down details about interesting properties.
  • Follow Up: Reach out to exhibitors after the event for more information.

Attending travel expos and local tourism fairs can open up a world of unique vacation rentals that you might not find elsewhere. Now, let’s explore how leveraging local contacts can lead you to hidden gems.

Leverage Local Contacts

Finding unique vacation home rentals can be as simple as tapping into local resources. Real estate agents and local businesses often have the inside scoop on hidden gems that aren’t listed on mainstream platforms.

Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents are not just for buying or selling homes. Many of them also manage vacation rentals and have access to properties that aren’t widely advertised. Here’s how to leverage them:

  • Ask for Recommendations: Real estate agents know the area well. They can recommend unique properties that match your preferences.
  • Local Market Insight: Agents can provide insights into the best neighborhoods for renting, ensuring you get a great location.
  • Exclusive Listings: Some agents have exclusive listings you won’t find online.

For example, in Schulenburg, Texas, a former gas station turned vacation home offers a unique stay with ’50s decor and a functional jukebox. Real estate agents in the area might have more such quirky properties up their sleeves.

Local Businesses

Local businesses can also be a goldmine for finding unique vacation home rentals. They often collaborate with property owners to offer special deals and recommendations.

  • Restaurants & Cafes: Establishments like Olivais Santa Clara Lodge in Cambuí, Brazil, offer a farm experience with homemade food and stunning vistas. Local eateries often know about such charming stays.
  • Tour Operators: Companies offering local tours, like kayak tours or fishing charters, often partner with vacation rentals. They can direct you to properties that align with your activity plans.

Case in Point

Consider the Olivais Santa Clara Lodge in Cambuí, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This rental offers a countryside experience with homemade food and breathtaking views. The hosts suggest nearby tours, such as an organic strawberry plantation and a dulce de leche factory. This kind of personalized recommendation adds immense value to your stay.

What Guests Love

  • Insider Tips: Local contacts often provide tips that enhance your stay, like hidden hiking trails or the best local eateries.
  • Personalized Service: Engaging with locals allows for a more personalized experience, making your vacation memorable.

By leveraging real estate agents and local businesses, you can uncover unique vacation rentals that offer more than just a place to stay. They provide an experience.

Now, let’s dive into how vacation rental apps can simplify your search for the perfect getaway.

Use Vacation Rental Apps

Finding unique vacation home rentals has never been easier, thanks to specialized apps. Here’s a quick guide to some of the best ones:

Airbnb App

The Airbnb app is a treasure trove for unique stays. From treehouses to yurts, it offers a wide range of unconventional rentals.

Why Use It?

  • Easy Navigation: Filter by amenities, location, and type of stay.
  • Verified Reviews: Read honest feedback from previous guests.
  • Instant Booking: Secure your stay with just a few taps.


The VRBO app is ideal for family vacations and large groups. It focuses on whole-home rentals, offering more privacy and space.

Why Use It?

  • Family-Friendly: Many listings come with kid-friendly amenities.
  • Detailed Listings: Extensive descriptions and photos help you know exactly what to expect.
  • Secure Payments: The app ensures your transactions are safe.

Glamping Hub App

If you’re looking for a glamping experience, the Glamping Hub app is your go-to. It specializes in luxurious outdoor accommodations.

Why Use It?

  • Unique Listings: From safari tents to eco-pods, find stays you won’t see elsewhere.
  • Nature-Focused: Perfect for those who want to be close to nature without sacrificing comfort.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to search and book your next adventure.

Using these apps can make the search for a unique vacation home rental simple and efficient. Now, let’s explore how travel blogs and vlogs can guide you to hidden gems.

Check Out Travel Blogs and Vlogs

Travel blogs and vlogs are gold mines for finding unique vacation home rentals. They often feature hidden gems that aren’t on mainstream platforms.

Travel Influencers

Travel influencers are always on the hunt for the most unique and Instagram-worthy stays. Following them can give you insider access to amazing places.

Jo Franco, Megan Batoon, and Luis D. Ortiz from The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals on Netflix are great examples. They explore unique, luxury, and budget rentals worldwide. Their adventures can inspire your next stay.

Pro Tip: Follow influencers on Instagram and YouTube. They often share exclusive discount codes and tips.

Destination-Specific Blogs

Destination-specific blogs focus on particular locations. They provide detailed reviews and insider tips on the best places to stay.

For example, if you’re headed to Joshua Tree, California, blogs might highlight places like The Kellogg Doolittle House. Designed by architect Ken Kellogg, this home offers breathtaking views and a one-of-a-kind winged roof.

Why Follow?

  • Detailed Reviews: Get honest opinions and in-depth reviews.
  • Local Tips: Learn about nearby attractions and activities.
  • Exclusive Listings: Find rentals that may not be listed on big platforms.

Case Study: The blog Condé Nast Traveler featured the Aura House in Bali, Indonesia. This eco-friendly bamboo house is a masterpiece of local craftsmanship and offers a luxurious yet sustainable stay.

What Guests Love:

  • Stunning Design
  • Personalized Service
  • Beautiful Views

How to Find These Blogs and Vlogs

  • Google Search: Use keywords like “best travel blogs for [destination]” or “unique stays in [destination].”
  • Social Media: Follow hashtags like #UniqueStays or #HiddenGems.
  • Travel Websites: Check out sections dedicated to unique stays on platforms like Condé Nast Traveler and BBC Travel.

By leveraging travel blogs and vlogs, you can discover extraordinary places to stay that you might otherwise miss. Next, let’s look at how to attend travel expos and events to find more unique rentals.


Finding unique vacation home rentals can be an exciting adventure in itself. From specialty websites and social media platforms to local travel forums and niche agencies, there are many ways to uncover extraordinary stays. But why stop there?

At Weekender Management, we specialize in providing personalized service to ensure your stay is nothing short of exceptional. Whether you’re planning a family getaway, a romantic escape, or a business retreat, we have meticulously maintained properties in Northwest Arkansas that cater to every need.

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Our properties in Bentonville, Rogers, Fayetteville, and Bella Vista offer a blend of luxury and comfort, making your stay memorable. We take pride in our attention to detail and dedication to excellence, ensuring a 5-star experience every time.

If you’re looking for a unique vacation home rental, consider booking with us. Our local expertise and commitment to quality make us the perfect partner for your next adventure.

Explore our collection and book now to experience the difference.

Plan your next Northwest Arkansas adventure with Weekender Management