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9 Amazing Airbnb Vacation-Rental Properties That Cost Less Than a Hotel

Amanda Gokee, Wisebread.com

If you're looking for unique accommodations, Airbnb has a wide variety of places that are sure to be more interesting than a cookie-cutter hotel room. Check out these crazy accommodations to get a taste of the kind of quirky properties available through Airbnb.

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1. The Seashell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

The Seashell House, or "Casa Caracol," is a property on Isla Mujeres, an island just off the coast of Cancun. For just over $300 a night, you'll feel like you're sleeping inside a giant, immaculate white seashell.

This two-bedroom, cliffside home was designed by Raquel and Eduardo Ocampo, and its unique design is something of a local attraction. According to the listing, passers-by sometimes try to peep over the fence to catch a glimpse of the place. (See also on WiseBread.com: 5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel)

2. Famous treehouse outside of Atlanta

If you want a whimsical escape from the realities of adult life, there are a surprising number of tree houses for rent on Airbnb. In fact, the site has a whole wish list devoted just to tree houses.

This treehouse in Atlanta goes for $375 a night and it's been named Airbnb's number one most wished-for listing worldwide. No wonder it was featured on the Animal Planet show, "Treehouse Masters: Ultimate Treehouse IV."

A cheaper (but just as dreamy) alternative is this treehouse in Andalucia, Spain for just $44 a night ($27 for each extra guest).

3. Quirky cocoon in France's Loire Valley

This listing is certainly something you don't see every day: a cocoon perched amid nets in the trees of Fondettes, France, near the town of Tours.

Fashioned as a large nest, this tent-like orb ($132 a night) has a circular queen bed inside and looks to be an unforgettable way to spend the night. (See also on WiseBread.com: Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?)

4. Converted train depot in Vermont

In Putney, Vermont, this historic train depot is now accepting guests from Airbnb. The whole one-bedroom depot is yours from $81 a night. The Connecticut River is just a few minutes' walk away, with nearby hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing in the winter. Even closer are the railroad tracks that this depot would've served in the past, so you'll have to put up with the sound of passing trains three or four times a day. Be sure to bring your earplugs!

5. Houseboat in Amsterdam

What better way to experience Amsterdam, a city of canals, than by staying on a houseboat? This modern houseboat is listed at $141 a night and includes your own private studio in the bow of the boat.

The owner, Sonja, custom-built the interior of the boat and now she's sharing this dream with her Airbnb guests. It's sure to be a novel experience to recount when you get back home.

6. John Steinbeck's writer's studio

Maybe you can get your creative writing juices flowing with a stay at this 1920s cottage owned by John Steinbeck in the early 1940s when he was writing "The Log from the Sea of Cortez." The home has been renovated to pay tribute to that period. If you're planning a stay in Pacific Grove, California this cottage looks to be cute and cozy, not to mention having an interesting history.

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7. Out of this world in Taos, New Mexico

This listing's title says it all: "Brand-new Studio Earthship" is an otherworldly home located just outside Taos. Built into the side of a hill, this place offers an experience in off-the-grid living for those wanting to try something a little different.

The house is completely self-sustaining, with a rainwater catchment and electricity that is generated on-site. But don't let that scare you off. The house comes complete with all the modern amenities, including Wi-Fi, Netflix, and a high-efficiency washing machine. It lists for $125 a night. (See also on WiseBread.com: 10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb)

8. Indoor camping in Antwerp, Belgium

Try out "indoor camping" in Antwerp with these remodeled, luxuriously decorated caravans (free-standing campers) for $38 a night. The caravans are inside a theater and performance space that you're welcome to use during your stay in the caravans. You can even book an Argentine tango class.

9. Container home in Balearic Islands, Spain

Container homes and other small-scale living spaces have been gaining popularity recently. Try it out first hand for $155 a night in this completely remodeled home made from shipping container modules in Palma de Mallorca.

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This property sleeps three, and while the inside space is limited, it does come with a wood terrace and small outdoor pool. The minimal design is sleek and not a square inch of space is wasted.

This article is from Amanda Gokee of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

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