Here’s an unusual hotel in an interesting place. Down by the docks in Harlingen, Netherlands, you will find a crane which was in use until 1996, lifting and moving timber. The crane cabin is 17 metres above the pier, and the jib can reach 45 metres, the control room and machine room can be your accommodation! The facility is luxuriously done out with all the mod-cons, LCD, air-conditioning bar, fancy furniture including two Charles Eames chairs and can accommodate two people. From the bed you have a panoramic view of the harbour, through the window as well as the ceiling. There is also a roof patio if you feel like sipping champagne as you gaze out over the Wadden Sea.
For another unique feature try going up the narrow stairs to the cabin where you can turn the 64 ton steel cabin 360 degrees, by operating the control stick.
You reach the lofty abode by going up in two stages of elevators and as for breakfast, it is hoisted up in a lift, and can be eaten on the patio.
Although not for claustrophobic or people with vertigo, definitely a once in a lifetime elevating experience.
Where: Harbour Crane, Dokkade 5, Harlingen, the Netherlands.
Getting there: Harlingen, 1 hour north of Amsterdam by train, get off at the Dokkade stop and once there is easily found by the harbour. Leeuwarden – the capital of that area, is 3hrs from Rotterdam, and from there, there is a train every half hour to Harlingen that takes 20 minutes.
When: The crane is available all year round but needs to be booked about 8 months in advance, although there is no harm in requesting accommodation at shorter notice and trying your luck.
Cost: A lofty $423 a night for two.
Web site: Vuurtoren They offer stays in a lighthouse and lifeboat.