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Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho
Photograph: Courtesy Dog Bark Park Inn

The coolest hotels in the USA

From sleeping under the stars to sleeping underwater, we check in to the coolest hotels in the USA.

Edited by Lauren Mack
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Forgo ubiquitous hotel accommodations on your next trip for a night to remember at one of these cool hotels in the USA that double as the destination. These quirky hotels offer brag worthy superlatives, like bunking in the world's biggest beagle at Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho and sleeping underwater at the Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, the first and only underwater hotel that requires scuba diving to reach your room. 

From sleeping in a former schoolhouse at the Davie School Inn in Anna, Illinois to slumbering in a tent or trailer at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas, to catching some zzz's under the stars in a clear bubble at Basecamp Terlingua in Terlingua, Texas, we check in to the most unique hotels in the USA, complete with over-the-top hotel perks

RECOMMENDED: The most unique Airbnbs in the US

Coolest hotels in the USA

You can sleep with the fishes at Jules' Undersea Lodge as guests Scuba dive 21ft below the water to enter the underwater hotel. Guests who are not PADI-certified can take the resort's Discover Scuba Diving course. The air conditioned two-room lodge sleeps up to four, has a common room, and includes a dinner pizza delivery. The hotel's amenities include a refrigerator stocked with water, soda, iced tea, snacks, microwave, Wi-Fi, Amazon Fire Stick, DVDs, and huge, round 42in windows in each room to admire the artificial lagoon and sea life.

Sleep in the dog house at Dog Bark Park Inn. The bed and breakfast guesthouse is nestled inside the world's biggest beagle. Located midway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, Dog Bark Park Inn was created by two chainsaw artists. Guests enter the two-story dog from a deck on the second floor and can sleep in the loft room inside the dog’s head or the alcove in the dog’s muzzle.

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Located in the desert between Austin and El Paso, Texas, El Cosmico offers a variety of hip and comfortable camping options on 21 acres. Enjoy yoga by day and stargazing by night from the comfort of vintage trailers, Sioux-style teepees, safari tents, yurts, and a micro-home called the Cosmic Kasita. El Cosmico routinely offers concerts at sunset and an annual Trans-Pecos Festival of live music, sandlot baseball, and workshops.

Get away from it all with a stay at Frying Pan Tower, a decommissioned US Coast Guard lighthouse in the Frying Pan Shoals 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, NC. First built in 1964 to help ships avoid running aground in the shallow waters, the Frying Pan Tower is now a natural ecosystem for marine wildlife and a destination for intrepid travelers in the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can fish, skeet shoot, snorkel, dive, golf, and relax around a fire pit and watch nightly fireworks on the helipad of this remote accommodation.

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Located in the bucolic Catskills Mountains, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls is a whimsical wonderland unlike any other. The over-the-top themed mansion rooms and tower cottages are theatrical, fantastical, and fun. From superheroes to Dracula to Cinderella, the themed cottages are something to be seen. The website sums up the vibe perfectly: 'Imagine if Alice in Wonderland married Willy Wonka and set up residence in Oz. THAT’s what we want The Roxbury Experience to be.'

Situated on seven acres of desert landscape and surrounded by mountains, Hicksville Trailer Palace is a kitschy adults-only trailer park/hotel. There are 11 themed trailers, including The Pee Wee, a vardo (Romani wagon) that is an homage to Pee Wee Herman, The Sideshow, a vintage carnival train filled with oddities like your own fortune teller, and The Skipper, a working boat turned nautical-themed trailer. The dog-friendly hotel has a litany of activities, including an arcade, BB gun range, archery, a heated saltwater pool, a hot tub, a tiki bar cart and a giant ball pit.

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Live out your childhood dreams in the hillside Jackson Hole Hideout. The rustic multi-level treehouse surrounded by evergreen trees is technically an elevated lodge, but with views of treetops from every window and outdoor space, it feels like a treehouse. Set on four acres, Jackson Hole Hideout is minutes from Jackson Hole and 90 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. Visitors can book one room or all five in the three-level boutique hotel that is filled with cozy indoor and outdoor spaces.

The experience of staying in giant clear bubbles at Basecamp Terlingua makes it worth the trek to the remote streetlight-free town in the Chihuahuan Desert in western Texas. Located near Big Bend National Park, the seven one- and two-bedroom bubbles at Basecamp Terlingua and 10 bubbles at the nearby sister property of Bubble Terlingua offer comforts like air conditioning, heat, Wi-Fi, an indoor shower, toilet, Keurig coffee maker, mini-fridge, and an outdoor seating area with private fire pit plus unobstructed views of the stars.

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