Where to Stay

16 Eco-Friendly Upcycled Vacation Rentals Around The World

by Mac Misseldine

Glamping bus in Calabasas California

Fancy a stay in a Boeing 727? How about a renovated school bus that’s literally old-school?

For a truly unique experience, consider booking a stay in an upcycled vacation rental.

Thanks to vacation rental companies like Glamping Hub, finding unique travel accommodations has never been easier. Whether you’re itching to satisfy your childhood fantasy of staying in a treehouse or heeding the call of the wild in modern glamping style, there are thousands of unique vacation rentals around the world at your disposal.

So what’s an upcycled vacation rental? “Upcycled” generally refers to structures repurposed to extend their life cycle, in this case by conversion into vacation rentals. Think decommissioned airplanes, old school buses, shipping containers, industrial pipes, and farm structures — and that’s just the tip of the recycled iceberg.

Upcycled vacation rentals are eco-friendly and often off the grid, making them an excellent choice for nature retreats, glamping trips, and secluded getaways away from the busy city. Some upcycled vacation rentals offer modern amenities like electricity, running water, and even WiFi, while others deliver a more primitive experience.

In short, there’s something for everyone out there whether you’re a discerning five-star traveler or off-the-grid nomad.

Upcycled Accommodations In The United States

Ready for some travel inspiration? Let’s start with a list of some of our favorite upcycled vacation rentals in the good ole’ USA.

Converted Grain Silo In Alvin, Illinois

Converted Grain Silo in Alvin Illinois

Why you should stay here: Enjoy a secluded retreat on the farm in this 1950s grain silo that’s been refurbished as a cozy guesthouse.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

Set on a working farm in rural Illinois, this unique guest house once served as a grain silo during the 1950s. It’s been fully refurbished as a country retreat for two, complete with a plush queen-size bed, private bathroom and clawfoot tub. There’s WiFi and satellite TV to keep you entertained on rainy days, and the hosts deliver breakfast in the morning right to your door.

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Converted Greenhouse In Silverton, Oregon

Converted Greenhouse near Silverton Oregon

Why you should stay here: A romantic glamping getaway in rural Oregon that’s great for adventurous couples.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Pets allowed: No

Planning an adults-only couples retreat? Check out this converted greenhouse in Silverton, Oregon. Situated on a secluded farm, you’ll enjoy ample peace and quiet whether you’re lounging in the greenhouse or soaking in the natural cedar hot tub outside.

The greenhouse features a simple living room on the ground floor, a loft with a full-size bed, and a private bathroom. Outside the greenhouse you’ll find a BBQ, fire pit, picnic table and Adirondack chairs. Guests will also have access to a kitchenette and mini-fridge in the barn next-door.

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Historic Barn Near Giants Ridge, Minnesota

Historic Barn Near Giants Ridge Minnesota

Why you should stay here: A historic barn that’s rustic on the outside with classy farmhouse-chic decor on the inside.

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2
  • Pets allowed: No

Unlike the previous two entries, this rural farm retreat has plenty of room for large families and groups. The historic barn can accommodate up to six guests, with two bedrooms featuring queen beds and a large room with two twin beds.

Step inside the historic barn and you’ll quickly be impressed by the chic, rustic design. The beautifully renovated barn features handsome wood accents throughout with a full kitchen, full bathroom, and a large living room with ample seating for family game nights.

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Converted Silo Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Converted Silo near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Why you should stay here: A four-story townhome hidden inside an old silo, affording sweeping views of the surrounding area from the observation room up top.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

Conveniently located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this converted silo features a four-story living space with everything you need for a comfortable glamping trip. Inside you’ll find a small kitchen, dining area, private bathroom, and bedroom with a Murphy bed, all connected by three beautiful winding staircases.

You’ll find the best views in the house on the top floor, where large windows afford scenic vistas in every direction. Outside there’s a small patio area with furniture, a fire ring, and covered parking in the barn.

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The Happiness Bus In Calabasas, California

The Happiness Bus vacation rental

Why you should stay here: A renovated school bus with a posh interior that’s perfectly located right next to Malibu Creek State Park.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Pets allowed: With permission

The Happiness Bus looks pretty old on the outside, but step inside and you’ll find a fully renovated interior that may rival your own home. Sporting rich wood floors and countertops, a full kitchen, hand-tiled shower, and a regal queen-size bed, this upcycled school bus is the epitome of the posh glamping experience.

The Happiness Bus is located near Malibu Creek State Park, so don’t forget to bring your hiking boots. After a long day of pounding the trails, relax on the futon atop the wooden porch and enjoy al fresco dining from the picnic table.

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Elegant Shipping Container House Near Waco, Texas

Elegant Shipping Container House near Waco Texas

Why you should stay here: A shipping container that’s been upcycled into a remarkably well-designed tiny house.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

Is Magnolia fever drawing you to Waco, Texas? Enjoy an elegant glamping experience near downtown in this shipping container that’s been upcycled into a beautiful tiny house.

It’s hard to say what we like more — the glam interior, the rustic wooden exterior, or the industrial-style deck. It’s certainly a squeeze for two (that’s the point of a minimalist tiny house, after all), but there’s ample room to stretch out on the deck, at the picnic table, or while grilling up some burgers on the BBQ.

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Converted School Bus Near Oneida Lake, New York

School Bus Near Oneida Lake NY

Why you should stay here: An upcycled school bus with a rustic interior that’s great for family glamping trips.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Glampers seeking a rustic experience will love this converted school bus near Oneida Lake, New York. There’s room for up to four guests between the double bed and sofa bed, and the host provides a shared bathroom with a shower nearby. Pets are welcome, too!

You’ll have everything you need to cook backcountry cuisine between the oven, stovetop, and fire pit, and the hosts provide potable water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. The bus is stocked with complimentary books, so you can enjoy a good afternoon read from an Adirondack chair while the kids explore the woods nearby.

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Shipping Container Getaway On The Farm Near Springfield, Missouri

Shipping container getaway on Missouri farm

Why you should stay here: Upcycled shipping containers with immaculate interior decor set on a sprawling farm with ample space for the kids to roam and play.

  • Sleeps: 4 guests
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

The upcycled shipping containers on this expansive countryside farm are surprisingly well-designed, featuring warm and cozy interiors that look like they’re straight from a Pinterest board.

This shipping container getaway is great for adventurous couples and small families, offering a queen-size bed and a futon for sleeping. Glampers will have access to shared amenities including a community bathroom with a seasonal outdoor shower, propane BBQ grill, fire pit, hammock, and covered picnic area. There’s a mini-fridge stocked with drinking water, and a tank with well water for cooking and cleaning.

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Upcycled Accommodations Around The World

Ready to spread your wings and expand your horizons to international adventure? Here’s a list of our favorite upcycled vacation rentals around the world, from Costa Rica to Iceland, Bali, New Zealand and more.

Vintage Boeing 727 Airplane In Costa Rica

Vintage Boeing 727 Treehouse

Why you should stay here: A vintage 1950s commercial airliner that’s been retrofitted into a luxury treehouse overlooking the ocean — how could you possibly resist?

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

This is one of those incredibly rare and unique vacation rentals that you’ve gotta see to believe. Not only do guests get to sleep in the fuselage of a vintage Boeing 727 — they get to live in a treehouse perched high on the hill with jaw-dropping ocean views.

Treehouse rentals are often more for the kids than the adults, but in this case, this one-of-a-kind treehouse is crazy enough to get the adults just as giddy as the kiddos. The interior of the retired commercial airliner features beautiful woodwork, cozy furniture, and a private bathroom with a tiled shower.

Windows in the airplane offer views of the lush landscape, but you’ll find the best views of the nearby ocean from the expansive covered deck.

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Bus Village In Reykjavik, Iceland

Bus Village In Reykjavik Iceland< Why you should stay here: A collection of upcycled commercial buses with more than enough beds to house your extended family trip or adventurous group of friends.

  • Sleeps: 20 guests
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Planning a group trip to Iceland? Book a few nights at this upcycled bus village near Reykjavik and your gaggle of adventurers will enjoy truly unique accommodations with unrivaled views of the breathtaking Icelandic landscape.

The bus village features five separate units with the capacity to sleep up to 20 guests. Inside the buses you’ll find quirky furnishings like wood carvings, antique lighting, and original bus seats. There’s a small kitchenette with a stove, pots, and pans, or you can cook your meals outside in the BBQ grill or fire pit.

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Pipe Glamping Resort Near Mexico City

Pipe glamping resort near Mexico City

Why you should stay here: Upcycled industrial pipes provide a comfortable bed for an unbelievably low nightly rate.

  • Sleeps: 50
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Pets allowed: No

If you’re looking for affordable accommodations near Mexico City, check out these upcycled industrial pipe pods in Tepoztlan, Mexico. This unique glamping resort takes the idea of the tiny house to a new level, offering sleeping pods with just enough room for a queen-size bed and storage space under the bed.

With 25 pods that can accommodate two guests each, the pipe hotel is a great low-cost alternative to staying in a hostel.

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Rice Warehouse In Bali

rice wearhouse vacation rental in Bali

Why you should stay here: Enjoy a luxury retreat in this upcycled rice warehouse overlooking a tranquil infinity pool.

  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

The Lumbung Legong is a two-story vacation rental that’s part of an old rice factory. The interior is thoughtfully designed with comfortable furniture, a cozy bed, and a private bathroom. Spend the day lounging in the open-air bottom floor that looks over the infinity pool, or better yet grab your swimsuit and cool off in the pool itself.

Guests at Lumbung Legong receive a complimentary breakfast each morning, and there’s a mini bar with snacks, wine, and drinks. The resort also features a spa to help you reach peak relaxation on your vacation.

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Cold War Camper Van In Penzance, England

Cold war campervan in England

Why you should stay here: Spend the weekend glamping in a Cold War camper van that looks like it’s outfitted for a zombie apocalypse.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Originally built in 1972 for military service during the Cold War, this upcycled vacation rental is sure to excite any kiddos that play with army men and GI Joes.

Inside this rough and rugged military truck you’ll find a full-size bed with full-size bunk beds for the kids. There’s a small kitchenette with a two-ring gas stove and sink, as well as a wood-burning stove for warmth.

The bathroom is located just a few steps away in a converted horse trailer, where you’ll have access to an eco toilet and shower. The hosts are happy to provide horseback riding lessons, too, though you’ll want to book that in advance with your reservation.

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Medieval Watchtower In France

Medieval watchtower vacation rental in France

Why you should stay here: A charming medieval watchtower surrounded by picturesque fields, conveniently located in the heart of Burgundy wine country.

  • Sleeps: 3
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

For a romantic escape to Burgundy wine country, book a stay in this medieval watchtower in Corgoloin, France. Built during the 15th century, the watchtower’s round stone walls feature over a thousand interior niches, some of which penetrate through the wall to offer fresh air, natural light, and views of the surrounding fields.

Inside the watchtower you’ll find a small living room, loft bedroom, and private bathroom. The tower itself sits between the manor and barn, and the exquisite property is surrounded by 350 acres of farmland that’s currently being converted to organic fields.

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Historic WWII Ship In New Zealand

WWII ship in New Zealand

Why you should stay here: Set sail for adventure aboard a WWII ship surrounded by the verdant New Zealand countryside.

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Pets allowed: No

Welcome to the Waitanic Ship Motel, a historic WWI ship in Watomo, New Zealand. Nestled into the green hills of the countryside, it’s conveniently close to an array of activities including horseback riding, river rafting, and bioluminescent cave tours.

Choose from several individual units or feel free to book the whole ship. Either way, you’ll enjoy an authentic houseboat experience without the nasty business of seasickness and an ever-rocking boat.

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Chapel Vacation Rental Near Ludlow, England

Chapel vacation rental in England
Why you should stay here: A unique, upcycled glamping cabin that’ll have you singing, “take me to church!”

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Upcycled vacation rentals are unique in and of themselves, but this converted chapel in Shropshire, England takes things to another level. After all, how often do you get to go glamping in a church?

Walk inside this historic chapel and you’ll find yourself in a rustic, well-furnished cabin. The all-wood interior complements the woodland arboretum outside, so you’ll get to enjoy the soothing vibes of nature whether you’re lounging around inside or taking a stroll through the woods around the church.

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More Unique Vacation Rentals

For more one-of-a-kind vacation rentals, check out our popular articles on unique Airbnbs in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and California.

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