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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderInside the Big Idaho Potato Hotel.
  • 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 cosy 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 $US250 a night (or $US150 a night depending on when you book) but my one-night stay ended up costing around $US400 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 cosy lounge area.

The six-ton spud was built in 2012 to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary, travelling 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 $US25.

Google MapsThe potato is about 30 minutes from downtown Boise.

It’s in the middle of nowhere.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderIt is surrounded by farmland.

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderIt is pretty close to some railroad tracks and a busy-ish road.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderDolly the cow was my favourite part.

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderDolly and I became fast friends.

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderShe’s not much to look at from the outside.

The inside, however, is wholly unexpected.

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

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe potato is well-lit.

There’s a full-sized bed …

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe bed was soft and comfortable.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderNooks take the place of nightstands.

… and two comfortable armchairs.

AirbnbThere’s plenty of room for two.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThere’s coffee, rea, and cocoa, as well as an electric kettle.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe record player is a nice touch.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe binder is full of practical information.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderLike everything in the potato, the sink is small but stylish.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThere are more than enough outlets throughout the potato.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe bathroom is beautiful.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe fake potato has a fake fireplace.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe tub takes about 20 minutes to fill.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe bath salts are a nice touch.

… and even a (faux) fireplace.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderA ‘crackling’ fire.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe water pressure was great.

… as well as robes and slippers.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThese were a nice touch.

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderI didn’t love leaning over the toilet to use the sink.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderHere’s a view of the potato from bed.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderI enjoyed my morning coffee outside in the mild Idaho winter.

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe train tracks are pretty close by.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderI made use of the earplugs and slept soundly.

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.

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

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.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThere’s also a nice picnic table for guests to use.

While it’s listed for an average of $US250 a night (and $US150 some nights, depending on when you book), with fees that added up to $US392.94 for my one-night stay.

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThe potato is full of plants.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderThese lamps hang above the tub in the bathroom.

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

Sophie-Claire Hoeller/InsiderIt really had a surprising amount of space.

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