I spent $400 to sleep in Idaho’s ‘big potato’ Airbnb and it was one of the most stylish places I’ve ever stayed in

Inside the Big Idaho Potato Hotel.

caption
Inside the Big Idaho Potato Hotel.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider
  • I spent the night in a giant, potato-shaped Airbnb in Idaho.
  • I was surprised by how roomy and stylish it was.
  • The “potato” has enough space to fit a queen-sized bed and cozy lounge area. It also has a spa-like bathroom in a converted silo.
  • The Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise, Idaho, is listed on Airbnb for $250 a night (or $150 a night depending on when you book) but my one-night stay ended up costing around $400 including fees.
  • This story is part of our Next Stop series, in which Insider visits the 10 hottest US destinations for 2020. Click here to read more and see all the places we’re exploring.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Idaho is known for potatoes. So much so, that you can spend the night in one.

That’s exactly what I did on a recent trip to Boise, Idaho, staying in the Big Idaho Potato Hotel listed on Airbnb. Because, when in Rome, right?

While she doesn’t look like much from the outside, the Airbnb rental is super chic on the inside. The steel, plaster, and concrete structure is 28 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 11.5 feet tall, with enough space inside for a queen-size bed and cozy lounge area.

The six-ton spud was built in 2012 to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary, traveling around the country on the back of a semi for seven years before being converted into a stylish place to stay that went viral.

Keep scrolling to see what a night in the quirky room is like.


The Big Idaho Potato Hotel is about 30 minutes south from downtown Boise. There’s no public transportation there, so I took a cab, which cost around $25.

caption
The potato is about 30 minutes from downtown Boise.
source
Google Maps

It’s in the middle of nowhere.

caption
It is surrounded by farmland.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

To put into perspective just how middle-of-nowhere the potato is, when I booked my stay, I was sent instructions to “drive over the railroad tracks” since the GPS can’t really find it — even though it has a complete address.

caption
It is pretty close to some railroad tracks and a busy-ish road.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

I got there after dark, and while everything was nicely lit up by little solar path lights, I realized that I was truly in farm country when a cow made its way towards me, moo-ing loudly.

caption
Dolly the cow was my favorite part.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

Her name is Dolly. She basically comes with the Airbnb, which was probably the best part of my stay. Every time she saw me she would moo a friendly greeting and come to the fence for a pet.

caption
Dolly and I became fast friends.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

From the outside, the Airbnb looks… well, just like a big potato, which is the point I guess, even if it isn’t the most photogenic.

caption
She’s not much to look at from the outside.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The inside, however, is wholly unexpected.

caption
The potato is filled with fun little touches. See Mr. Potato Head on the bottom right shelf?
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

Despite not having any windows, the inside of the potato is bright and airy, with plenty of room for two.

caption
The potato is well-lit.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

There’s a full-sized bed …

caption
The bed was soft and comfortable.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… two little makeshift nooks that act as nightstands filled with cute tchotchkes …

caption
Nooks take the place of nightstands.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… and two comfortable armchairs.

caption
There’s plenty of room for two.
source
Airbnb

The potato is full of thoughtful touches, like cups, coffee, tea, cocoa, and an electric kettle …

caption
There’s coffee, rea, and cocoa, as well as an electric kettle.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… a record player with a few records to choose from …

caption
The record player is a nice touch.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… as well as Idaho chocolates, little potato pins, and a binder with information on the potato and recommendations for things to do.

caption
The binder is full of practical information.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

There’s also a sink area and tiny fridge with a pitcher full of filtered water.

caption
Like everything in the potato, the sink is small but stylish.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The geometric wood floor is heated, and features electrical outlets throughout.

caption
There are more than enough outlets throughout the potato.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The bathroom is about 50 feet from the potato, in a converted silo.

caption
The bathroom is beautiful.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

Honestly, the bathroom was the best part, filled with houseplants and stylish touches.

caption
The fake potato has a fake fireplace.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

There’s a giant round metal tub with room for two, underneath three stylish basket lamps …

caption
The tub takes about 20 minutes to fill.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… an array of bath salts with plants showing you what they smell like …

caption
The bath salts are a nice touch.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… and even a (faux) fireplace.

caption
A “crackling” fire.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The shower is huge, and there’s shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel …

caption
The water pressure was great.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

… as well as robes and slippers.

caption
These were a nice touch.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The only issue I had during my stay was that the faucet was somehow connected to the toilet, and I found it difficult to figure out how to turn it on. I washed my hands in the tub for the most part. That said, the toilet was heated.

caption
I didn’t love leaning over the toilet to use the sink.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

I slept like a rock in the potato. The bed was comfy and the sheets were soft.

caption
Here’s a view of the potato from bed.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The next morning I woke up, made myself a coffee, and stepped outside to views of the Owyhee Mountains.

caption
I enjoyed my morning coffee outside in the mild Idaho winter.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

One annoying thing was how close the potato was both to a busy road and the railroad tracks, which frequently saw trains barreling by, honking loudly.

caption
The train tracks are pretty close by.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

However, the owner thoughtfully provides earplugs, a sound machine, and nighttime essential oils to combat the noise.

caption
I made use of the earplugs and slept soundly.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

The other downside — and this may just be because I’m a non-driving New Yorker — was that I was sort of stuck there the next morning as Lyfts and Ubers weren’t available.

caption
You’re totally fine if you have a car, and there’s plenty of parking right out front.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

After 30 minutes of searching, I finally found a taxi driver who came from Boise to pick me up, but also charged me 50% extra for driving out.

caption
There’s also a nice picnic table for guests to use.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

While it’s listed for an average of $250 a night (and $150 some nights, depending on when you book), with fees that added up to $392.94 for my one-night stay.

caption
The potato is full of plants.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

This Airbnb was clearly designed with love, and the attention to detail is obvious. The way it maximizes its small space is also impressive.

caption
These lamps hang above the tub in the bathroom.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider

This was great for a quirky night’s stay, but I personally probably wouldn’t make a whole weekend out of it.

caption
It really had a surprising amount of space.
source
Sophie-Claire Hoeller/Insider