There are literally tens of thousands of lodging properties around the world and visitors to Hotels.com have an almost infinite number of choices. So when the site’s editors sat down to choose the 10 best, or wackiest, it was quite a daunting task. But after careful consideration a little B&B in Nice comprised of nine railroad cabooses was chosen for the list of Top 10 Wackiest Hotels in the world.
The Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast in Nice, California on the shore of Clear Lake is certainly in good company on this list.
Among the properties listed are the V8 Hotel in Germany where they’ve cut a vintage Cadillac in half and turned it into a bed, there’s a place where you actually sleep under the water with glass all around so you can see the fish and there’s even a hotel made entirely of ice. Brrr. Fortunately the Featherbed Railroad has year ‘round climate control in each caboose.
On the list, only three of the properties are in the United States; the Featherbed Railroad, the Nickelodeon Resort in Orlando and the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Considering that two of the three properties are in California, it shows how left coasters definitely are free thinkers.
Wacky isn’t really a stretch for the Featherbed Railroad whose owners, Tony & Peggy Barthel, appreciate the off-beat and unusual. The rooms themselves are all vintage cabooses collected in the 1980s as the railroads were dismantling their fleet of these. The cabooses were trucked to Lake County, which never had a railroad, and placed on tracks.
Each of the nine guest rooms has been decorated in its own unique theme which range from mild to wild. Among the themes are a bordello room that actually has art purchased from the auction at the world-famous Mustang Ranch near Las Vegas. There is also a motorcycle-themed room that features a two-person spa tub and handle bars on the head board. Other rooms celebrate the burgeoning local wine industry or reflect the destination’s popularity for honeymoons and anniversaries.
Since taking over the resort in 2008 Tony & Peggy Barthel have carefully chosen to update the themes of each room while also upgrading amenities and materials used. All the rooms feature high-end touches like Comphy brand sheets, Turkish towels and in-room coffee makers with Thanksgiving coffee. All nine guest rooms are individually climate controlled. There are even tandem bicycles for those who want to try something else that’s adventurously wacky.
The property is situated right on Clear Lake, considered the second-oldest lake in the world and the bass capital of the west coast. There is a pier and boat launch for guests as well as a swimming pool that’s solar-heated in the summer.
Being a bed and breakfast, the property features a full morning meal that includes locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Many meals feature home-made sausage and savory breakfasts even can include a dessert to make the meal balanced.
“We were pretty surprised and thrilled when we found that we were in the top ten world-wide!” said co-owner Tony Barthel. “This is quite a list of cool places - I wouldn’t mind staying in any of these.”
The Featherbed Railroad is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The couples’ resort is pet-friendly in specific rooms and is just a few hours from destinations like San Francisco, Sacramento and Chico.
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