September 16, 2002
9:00 AM   Subscribe

Where did you sleep last night? Was it in a cave? A lighthouse, or a treehouse? Maybe it was in a teepee, a castle, or a vintage trailer. Perhaps you even slept underwater. What's the most interesting place you've ever paid to lay your head?
posted by gottabefunky (28 comments total)
this guy's slept in some interesting places, i'll bet, and he didn't even pay a cent.
posted by moz at 9:04 AM on September 16, 2002

Ever since I got this book, I've always wanted to go to some (if not all) of the sleeping destinations described. So far, I've not yet gone to one... sigh. Damn laziness, keeping me from having a more interesting life.
posted by jonson at 9:08 AM on September 16, 2002

I worked in New York and lived in Connecticut for about 2 years. During that time, it became necessary to take a very early train into work -- about 5:15 am. I'd get home every night at about 7pm.

After my first year, I was pretty much in the groove of the commute, but during that first year, I had many a scare, and every one of them related to falling asleep on the comfortable trains that Metro North provides.

On more than one occasion, I found myself in Grand Central, the train empty, and the conductor shaking me awake. On other occasions, I ended up in New Canaan, 2 stops beyond where I needed to get off.

Luckily, in each instance, I happened to wake up before the trains filled up again and headed back to my point of origin.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2002

The most interesting spot so far has been in a yurt on Kauai. If you're ever going to vacation in Hawaii recommend these accommodations.
posted by substrate at 9:12 AM on September 16, 2002

Alone in the Joshua Tree backcountry [photo]. Yes, I did take that picture. I'd also love to stay in the Ice Hotel.
posted by pedantic at 9:23 AM on September 16, 2002

I collect stories about the awful experiences people have had going through Bakersfield (everyone seems to feel compelled to tell them to me when they find out I'm from there, so I might as well collect them, yeah?). Anyhow, my favorite wasn't actually about Bakersfield at all.

I was sitting on the multi-leveled back deck a pub in Portland talking to someone when a guy at the table behind and above me leaned over the railing and said, "Bakersfield? Let me tell you a story..." The story he told was of arriving in a small town at the Guatemala-Mexico border after the border crossing had closed and having to get a room in town for the night.

The room they got was a long, narrow stall made of plywood, with a door at either end: one leading onto the hallway of the "hotel" and the other leading onto the street. The street traffic consisted mostly of prostitutes riding on the front of 3-wheeled bicycles pedaled by their pimps. The street-side door had a latch near the top, where you'd have to reach above your head to manipulate it; all the way down the door, there were chunks out of the edge, where it had clearly been kicked in.

They abandoned the town and camped in line at the border guard's shack.

The guy at the table above and behind me took a pull of his beer and said, "...And that's the second worst place I've ever been."
posted by hob at 9:28 AM on September 16, 2002

One of these days, before it falls into the earth, I'll rent the cottage at late folk artist Howard Finster's Paradise Garden. Could be super creepy, could be an amazing event.
posted by machaus at 9:28 AM on September 16, 2002

Yeah, I think the most interesting places people have laid their heads are the ones that they didn't pay for.
posted by adampsyche at 9:30 AM on September 16, 2002

Well, I didn't pay to sleep there, but I spent a few nights in this mud hut. It was remarkable for being a "fake" mud hut, a display model built in the compound of a 5-star hotel in downtown Colombo, Sri Lanka. And yet it was the real thing, pure rural tranquility, with it's own rice paddy, kitchen garden and year-round farmer-in-residence. The article says it better:

In two minutes one could escape the artificial air-conditioned environment of the hotel and pass out of the city altogether, as it were, into a greener, quieter and slower world. Here, barefoot and clad only in sarong, one could enjoy herbal teas from the garden, cooked delicacies made of fresh stone-ground rice flour or organic whole grain rice cooked in earthen pots over a wood fire with delicate curries made from our garden's own produce. No one who came once to our 5-star mud palace ever forgot the experience.

Sadly, the Samudra Cottage is no more. You can visit the hotel, though, if you like. The civil war is just about over.
posted by BinGregory at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2002

I plan to stay a few nights in these hotels someday.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:56 AM on September 16, 2002

most interesting places people have laid their heads are the ones that they didn't pay for.

So, true Adam, free makes it that much more of a worthy experience.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:59 AM on September 16, 2002

Sleep Now In The Fire!
posted by Spiny Delicacy at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2002

I once spent the night in a junkyard in White Sands, New Mexico. Earlier that day, I had re-run over some well-dead road kill, and parts of this were cooking under the vehicle. That night in the junkyard, as a sign that said Body Shop creaked in the wind, creatures came out to noisily chew on what was stuck to the underside of the van. It was like being in the beginning of a very low-budget horror movie! True; this night cost nothing, but it gave me memories to repress for a lifetime!
posted by Wylie Kyoto at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2002

It's a tie between a (real life) log cabin in West Virginia (during last November's Leonids) and the trunk of a Honda Accord. Well, I didn't pay to sleep in the Accord, but still.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2002

I sleepwalk to class everyday, does that count?
posted by spungfoo at 10:36 AM on September 16, 2002

Bishop's Castle, CO.
Interesting? Oh yes. Free? Indeed.
posted by i_cola at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2002

how about a hotel made of ICE ?!
posted by adamms222 at 10:48 AM on September 16, 2002

I slept one night under a car in Carbondale, Illinois. Car started up, I woke up, I rolled out from under the car, car backed out and pulled away. I'm certain the driver never saw me.

I also slept one night alone in the woods near Quincy, Illinois on a hunting trip. I have never seen a night so dark, seen stars so bright, or felt so alone in my life, before or since. I could have been on the other side of the world, rather than just a mile or so down from my pals.

The next morning, I awoke, gathered my gun, exited my tent and, 50 yards away, was a bobcat, eyeballing me as if to determine if I was good to eat or not. Apparently not, and he walked off into the woods after what felt like a century but was probably about a minute.

Determining how many bullets are in your gun and debating whether you can get the shots off before a bobcat can cover the 50 years between you and it is the worst math problem in the world.
posted by UncleFes at 11:02 AM on September 16, 2002

That'd be 50 *yards* between you and it. Felt like years.
posted by UncleFes at 11:04 AM on September 16, 2002

In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun never shines
I shivered the whole night through
posted by sharksandwich at 1:13 PM on September 16, 2002

An in-ground swimming pool shell in Cairns, Australia. A lifeguard shack in Yokohama, Japan. Under a highway overpass in Eugene, Oregon. Didn't have to pay for any of those nights, though.
posted by dithered at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2002

At the Thomas and Mack Center during a Billy Joel concert when I was nine.

All that piano music sounds the same to a youngin'.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 2:11 PM on September 16, 2002

Sigh. I guess I've led a pretty pedestrian life. I haven't yet taken a safari, slept in a space capsule or bathed in a coffee cup. One can only dream.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:26 PM on September 16, 2002

How about another hotel made of ice?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:57 PM on September 16, 2002

I was in the Negev desert in Israel once and I got sun poisoning and fainted. I woke up 24 hours later in a room filled with Israeli soldiers smoking pot and playing bad country music. It was really surreal, they were all hippies but had semi-automatic weapons at their side. Apparently they were nearby and medically trained so my friends left me with them.
posted by Raichle at 3:26 PM on September 16, 2002

In a snowhut in Maine we built ourselves. Had to pay for it. Maine High Adventure back during the Scout days.

In the doorway of a church in Amsterdam with five other people. This one was free. Saw Beck at the Melkweg and had to wait for the first train in the AM to take us back to school.

Briefly: at a Rage Against the Machine concert at the Avalon in Boston many years ago, and more recently just before setbreak at the moe. show at JazzFest. Briefly.

In my parents old orange bus parked in the back yard. Free for me!

But the best free place to sleep is on your friend's couch.
posted by Bones423 at 5:39 PM on September 16, 2002

How about the worlds most expensive hotel for kicks?
posted by meech at 7:00 PM on September 16, 2002

The preferred spelling is tipi, not teepee. (I'm in pedantic Siouian grammar Nazi mode.)
posted by nathan_teske at 10:21 PM on September 16, 2002

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