9 Tours Offering Unique Accommodations Around the World

by Crissandra Ayroso
houses on the water

Local living takes on new meaning with these unique accommodations available on tours around the world! Stay in a Cambodian stilt house, a jungle lodge in the Amazon, or cozy up in a Mongolian yurt. Read on for more one-of-a-kind overnight stays available with G Adventures, Topdeck, and Intrepid Travel.


1. Stay in a Ryokan in Japan

The traditional Japanese inn, known as a ryokan is special simply for its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic. The elements of many ryokans in Japan include overnight comforts like reed tatami mats, sleeping quilts, sitting cushions, and traditional features like sliding paper doors that separate the front entrance area from the room.

traditional ryokan hotel in japan

Experience authentic Japanese living during an overnight stay in a traditional ryokan in Takayama on the Japan Highlights tour with Topdeck Travel. Start in Tokyo where you’ll find robot bars, cat cafes, and nothing short of a colourful world come to life. Attend a morning Buddhist prayer service in Kyoto, eat your way through the culinary capital of Osaka, and visit the Hiroshima Peace Museum.


2. Stay in a Buddhist Monastery Guesthouse in Nepal

Every morning, monks begin the day with a sunrise chant and follow with day-to-day practices like tea and afternoon prayer service. Stay overnight in the Pharping guesthouse that neighbours the monastery where approximately 200 monks reside and train. The Pharping monastery guesthouse looks out to a sweeping view of the Himalayas where you can breathe in the crisp mountain air from your balcony and take in the peaceful surroundings. Learn about life in the monastery during the Nepal: Himalaya Highlights National Geographic Journeys tour with G Adventures. Sit down for tea with the monks, observe chanting rituals, and walk around the peaceful countryside where the monastery resides.

snowy mountains covered in colourful flags in himalayas

Start your tour in Kathmandu and visit Hindu temples, pagodas, and the world’s largest Buddhist shrines. Go on a jeep safari through the Royal Chitwan National Park, the oldest national park in Nepal, visit a Tibetan refugee settlement in Pokhara where approximately 500 people call home and get a more in-depth look at the culture and history of your destination. On this tour, exclusive experiences like the monastery sunrise chant and a lecture with a National Geographic grantee who works to preserve ancient traditions are included for an immersive look at Nepal.


3. Stay with a Local Family on Lake Titicaca

The largest freshwater lake in South America, Peru’s Titicaca is unique because of its high altitude, man-made floatings islands made of totora reeds, and its ancient culture that dates back to the arrival of the Incas. Get a feel for local living on a one-of-a-kind Classic Peru tour with Intrepid Travel and stay with a local family on Lake Titicaca overnight. Here you’ll get to participate in day-to-day life, from preparing meals, to playing football with the locals, to learning about Peruvian living in the mountains from those who do.

woman in a house in lake titicaca peru

On this tour, you will move between the mountains and the jungle. It starts in Lima where you will stroll through the historic city centre, sample ceviche, and sightsee colonial mansions, churches, and palaces. Learn more about the Inca in Cusco, make your way through the Sacred Valley, and travel Machu Picchu, a citadel in the Andes built by the Incan civilization in the 15th century.


4. Stay in a Yurt in Mongolia

Gers, also known as yurts, have been the primary style of home in Mongolia for thousands of years, as well as the dwelling of choice for Mongolia’s nomadic cultures. Gers are round, wooden-framed tents with dome crowns, a wood-burning stove in the centre, and a chimney that extends past the ceiling. Gers are quite spacious, usually standing at six feet tall, fitting between five and 15 people. In 2013, UNESCO recognized the traditional Mongolian yurt as a part of Mongolia’s cultural heritage. On the Trans-Mongolian Railway tour with Topdeck Travel you get the unforgettable experience to live like a nomad in a Mongolian ger surrounded by rolling hills and wildflowers.

yurts in mongolia
Travel along a route that connects Beijing and Moscow through three different countries – Russia, Mongolia, and China. Train through Siberia’s remote villages and scenic mountainscapes and travel Beijing, the capital of China.


5. Stay in a Converted Farmhouse in the Pyrenees

Located along the France border in Spain, the Pyrenees are a rural mountain range home to several wildlife, endangered species, castles, and villages. Live like a local in the Pyrenees and stay overnight in a converted farmhouse, or casa rural, on the Classic Spain tour with G Adventures. 

mountains in the pyrenees, spain

With more than enough to keep the eyes busy, Spain’s art, culture, and cuisine that will also fill your heart (and stomach). See Gaudi’s Barcelona and Spain’s Moorish architecture, including the Alhambra in Granada, and Mezquita in Cordoba. Attend a flamenco performance in Seville. Indulge in the culinary delights of Spain’s Basque region, savour pintxos in San Sebastian, and do a wine tasting in the Rioja region.


6. Stay in a Traditional Stilt House in Cambodia

Building homes high above the ground on stilts was originally a way for the Khmer to protect their houses against flooding and wild animals. Homes were designed to endure wet seasons and dry seasons and prevent the spread of disease within the community. Large sleeping areas are usually adjacent to the kitchen and there’d be room for a food storage area, as well as any other rooms that would facilitate the running of a household. Traditional stilt houses are still built with the same frame of mind on larger, slightly more modern, and sometimes more intricate scales. Learn more about the Khmer heritage before and after your stay with a local family in a stilt house on the Cambodia Temples & Beaches tour with Intrepid Travel.

stilt houses in cambodia

On this tour, you’ll gain an understanding of what local living is like in Banteay Chhmar. You’ll see an intricate 9th-century temple located in the village, visit Siem Reap, also known as the gateway to Angkor, to shop the markets, and finally, head to Ko Kong and Ko Chang for some R&R on its pristine sandy beaches.


7. Stay Onboard a Felucca in Egypt

Feluccas are simple, non-motorized sailboats, and have been the traditional form of transportation along the Nile for centuries. Despite their small size, they can comfortably fit between 8 to 13 passengers. You sleep in the open air on the main (and only) deck, underneath a canopy on a cushioned mattress, and cooking is done on the boat by the felucca crew. Can you think of any better way to see a sky full of stars at night?

felucca sailing in egypt

Watch the sunset and sunrise like the ancient Egyptians did in an overnight stay on a felucca with Topdeck Travel’s Egypt Express tour. See temples, pyramids, King Tut’s tomb, and learn about ancient Egypt with a qualified Egyptologist.


8. Stay in a Jungle Lodge in the Amazon

The Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world because of its varying altitudes with over 1,1100 species of trees alone. Ecuador is home to 9 indigenous cultures who welcome travellers like us to experience life in the jungle, first-hand. Stay in one of the wooden huts or bungalows at the G Adventures jungle lodge and hang out or have a swing in a hammock surrounded by tropical rainforest.

jungle lodge in the amazon

The Quichua family will host you in their village for your stay on the Local Living Ecuador Amazon Jungle tour with G Adventures. Your local family will introduce you to the local traditional beliefs and customs for an immersive jungle living experience. Learn about medicinal plants and how to use a blowgun, go on jungle walks, pass waterfalls and wildlife, have a therapeutic mud mask applied by your Quichua host, roast cacao into a fondue, and attend a shamanic healing ceremony.


9. Stay in a Sahara Desert Camp and Riad in Morocco

Morocco is a diverse landscape of Moorish architecture, stunning sand dunes, and historic ancient towns. Sleep under the stars in the Sahara and in a restored riad in Essaouira on the Best of Morocco tour with Intrepid Travel.


Explore the romantic city of Casablanca which was modelled after Marseille in France, see the Atlas Mountains covered in snow, the medieval town of Fes, and visit the spice markets of Marrakech.




Would you camp out in a ger in Mongolia? If you didn’t have to think twice about saying yes, Topdeck Travel can help you and lead the way. Our youth and adventure tours offer authentic local experiences, take you off-the-beaten-path, arrange your local transport, and organize all of the details so that you can focus on exploring the world around you. Talk to one of our Expert Travellers about the tour that fits your travel style and live out your wildest adventure. Call us at 1-855-796-8359 to enquire or book, Live Chat with us, or visit your closest Flight Centre store. Book today!