Who needs hotels these days when the sharing economy is all ablaze? The beauty of sites like Airbnb is that there’s a style for every traveler, on every budget. Not looking for a typical one-bedroom? The site has tons of quirky and curious options, from hobbit holes to bamboo houses. Here are a few of the coolest Airbnb properties in Asia.
Bed of Bamboo
At first glance this “All Bamboo House” (above) might look all kinds of hippy dippy… and it is, in the best way possible. Located inside Green Village, a community of luxury bamboo villas about 25 minutes outside Ubud in Bali, this Airbnb gem is literally what it sounds like: four floors of bamboo in all shapes, makes and patterns. The house comes with excellent views of the Ayung River and surrounding jungle, as well as a plunge pool, three bedrooms, a work area and a lounge.
OK, it might be a bit over-the-top, but how can you not totally geek out over this adorable “Baan Hobbit” house? Insulated with earth, the place uses a third the energy of your typical house, staying naturally cool during summer and warm during winter. It looks teeny from the outside, but as most “Lord of the Rings” enthusiasts will know, hobbit houses are actually pretty spacious inside. This one stays true to form, stretching across 645 square feet. The best news? You don’t have to fly all the way to New Zealand (or Middle Earth even) to check in—Baan Hobbit is about two hours outside of Bangkok.
Check out this traditional Korean Hanok home right in the heart of Seoul’s old town. Built in 1934 and renovated in 2012, the house has some traditional touches, like doors made of traditional Hanji paper and silk, latticed wood, colorful silk sitting pillows, white-washed walls and a lovely courtyard.
If you love industrial-chic spaces, then “Amazingly Cool Loft” apartment on Airbnb will be right up your alley. It’s more than your typical grungy hipster flat: the renovated loft is in an old factory building in Shanghai’s Yangpu district, and doubles as the owners’ artistic showroom. The 20-foot-tall ceiling and big windows let in lots of light, while a huge wooden communal table looks inviting. One downside is that you can’t rent the whole place out—just a room, and the owners are usually around doing their artsy thing. Or maybe that’s an upside?
Tokyo gives Hong Kong a run for its money when it comes to limited apartment space, but here’s a great option for your next trip. Located in the Shinjuku neighborhood, this “Midcentury Modern” apartment is relatively spacious, with a total of 1,000 square feet over three levels. In addition to some elbow room, it also comes with funky decor and contemporary Japanese design flair, such as an industrial-looking spiral staircase, floor-to-ceiling windows, an auto-filling bathtub, a sunny terrace and totally zen bedroom. Bonus point: the flat comes with a complimentary Wi-Fi dongle that you can take exploring.