smart spending

9 fun and funky vacation hotel stays

Rain forest redux
Rain forest redux

Hotel: Free Spirit Spheres, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia.

Description: At Vancouver Island's Free Spirit Spheres, two handcrafted wooden spheres float in maple and cedar trees -- perfect for anyone who'd like nothing more than time alone with nature.

The Eve is a mere 9 feet in diameter, but packs a bed into the room. The Eryn provides 10.5 feet for a bed, loft, minifridge, cupboards and dishes. For a small bump in price, a third sphere, the Melody, offers a yellow fiberglass sphere with rich black walnut interior and a Murphy bed. While the orbs sound like child's play, these sophisticated spheres are for the over-16 set only.

Rates: $135 to $205 per night, with a discount for two-night stays.

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