The concept of hotels has been evolving throughout the centuries. It's all started with coaching inns serving travelers. It was just a simple place to get a good night's sleep before the next day's journey. In the 18th century, richer clients indicated their interest in something more sophisticated than a bed to crash. That's where things started to speed up. Hotels started popping up like mushrooms offering more and better. So here we are in the 21st century, what's the next level of the hotel concept? Read below to find out.
Your room comes with a punching bag and leather gloves, and a set of snorkeling kit. Sounds weird? Wait until you read the whole story. The punching bag can turn your room into a mini-gym, and that snorkeling kit you have received is for some fun on the rooftop. This Portuguese hotel decided to place a large water tank on the rooftop and - as you have probably already guessed it – this is where you can take a dip, cool down and have a swim underwater. Neat!
Forget about the usual hotel concept where they try and dedicate as much space as possible to your room. At the Proposal Zürich, you can try and squeeze yourself for a goodnight sleep in the tiny bedroom upstairs, or use the van outside that has been converted into a double bed. All the rest of the property is for art. That's the main focus of this project. Even if it's a giant inflatable fat man that takes away space from you.
Architects from the Lucerne University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology came up with this brilliant crystal-shape that is angled in a way to bring in sunlight to the beautiful wooden interior. The sun, that is aimed to keep you warm, as the heating system is actually yourself. The concept is that your evaporating and radiating body heat is insulated within the building walls keeping the temperature steady. In return, the New Monte Rosa Hut gives you a majestic view on the Gorner Glacier and a cozy place to sleep. I call that a well-functioning symbiosis!
Advertised as the 0 stars hotel (this concept seems to be sticky, see Null Stern Hotel further below), the Dunant Hotel is not exactly how you would imagine it. They want you to come, observe and experience the structures and design details without prejudice served by a star-rating system. It's like when you meet a new person and someone tells you “he is a 4”. Dunant wants you to make up your own mind.
The Beaumont Hotel could very well be the typical five-star hotel near Hyde Park in London if it was not for something very dark and silent that it keeps inside. Antony Gormley, a famous British sculptor was hired to design a very special suite for the Beaumont Hotel. It might be a strange idea to work with a sculptor instead of an interior designer on a hotel suite, but there is a good reason for all this. The Gormley's ROOM was designed as a large sculpture, where you can experience the artwork all around you. Hate the noise of the city and wished you were on an uninhabited island? The Gormley's ROOM has such noise isolation that you will hear your own breath. Just the right place to meditate.
The Ark Lodge developed a new type of Safari. A Safari that comes to you. If you are not into bumpy rides on a Jeep in the Indonesian heat, then this is the one for you. The hotel is situated in the Aberdare National Park overlooking the Yasabara waterhole. This is the lucky part. The waterhole is a natural magnet for wildlife, as this is where all the species of animals try and get some water. This means all you have to do is get a nice drink, lay down on the panoramic terrace, and enjoy the view.
The 12 Decades Hotel takes you on a time travel into Johannesburg’s vibrant, and sometimes turbulent history. The 12 rooms and 3 apartments/penthouses are all uniquely designed to represent a significant era of Jo'burg between the years of 1886-2006. The themed rooms include names like “Minehouse” and “Perpetual Liberty”, each of them telling a tale of history.
The German company, Rotel, has been operating since 1945. They designed custom-made trucks, sometimes including a huge trailer, that can accommodate people in small capsules inside. It's like the Japanese capsule hotel concept, just on the move. Are you ready to take a ride from Europe to India?
Looking at the photo you might question how this could be in Switzerland. The country with all the lavish, high-class hotels designed to impress and serviced to perfection. Well, this is exactly the point of the artistic entrepreneur brothers, Frank and Patrik Riklin. They created the Zero Star Hotel as a stark contrast to all of that. A place where according to them, the only star is you. Cute!
Austrian architects and local volunteers came up with a brilliant challenge to build a hotel in just a month. The name is dedicated to honoring the work done by donkeys as without them it would not have been feasible. The project aimed to bring back tourists to the Italian town of Prata Sannita. The cave-like rooms are built into the hillside, and there is a bed on wheels that can be rolled into a cage suspended from the main wall. Open-air nap? Yes, please!
There are escape resorts far away from towns, and then there is the Manakau PurePod. In the heart of the Seaward Kaikōura Mountain Range, about 2.5 hours drive from Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. You are in fact so remote, that if you climb the tallest hills nearby, you will still not see signs of civilization. It's just you (and someone you really like) and Mother Nature.
Set in the close proximity of Garrotxa Volcanic Nature Reserve in Northern Spain, Les Cols Pavellons has some out-of-this-world architectural designs. The five pavilions are using glass as the primary material to create the living space for the guests. The unique design is not all. Your room includes a heated onsen (Japanese pool), a private bathroom, and a comfortable futon mat.
Every year the Swedish Lapland is opening up a creative festival of artists, designers, and architects to push the boundaries of building an ice hotel. The remarkable creations only stay for the brief time of winter and melt away to give chance to the next bunch of architects, designers, and artists to come up with even better ideas. The ice is sourced from a local river and the beauty of it that when it melts, it goes back to where it belongs. Renewable building material that is.
It seems like an identity crisis, but upon further inspection, you come to the conclusion that it all makes sense. The Hotel Not Hotel is located in central Amsterdam, and it's an artist's paradise. The rooms, hallways, and lounge areas are all part of a large art installation. The choice of your room is like the choice of your art preference. If you ever felt so tired at an art exhibition that you could fall asleep, this is your time to act on it.
Hotel Everland is a project by artist duo, Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, better known as L/B. It was the first-ever hotel tour in the world. The hotel changed locations and people could book one of the 1000 nights between 2006-2009 in locations in Yverdon, Leipzig, and Paris. It was often placed on the rooftop of art galleries with unparalleled views like the skyline of Paris or a Swiss lake. My favorite part of this project was the artist's hanging signs encouraging you to steal the gold-embroidered towels. Would you do it?
There are the traditional hotels that are built around accommodating as many people as possible, stuffing the building with rooms. Hotel Droog turned this upside down. The place is filled with things to do. There are shopping facilities, a dining room, lectures, a spa, and a relaxing garden. Also, there is a bedroom. One-bedroom.
The fear in the 21st could not be more real of robots served by the most advanced artificial intelligence taking over jobs. Traditional jobs executed by people for centuries. Henn-na Hotel is the first in the line to replace human workers with robots that among many things, can store your luggage and even check you in. If you prefer human interaction this might not be the place for you, but if you would like to glance into the future, then by a ticket to Japan now.
Located on the Eastern coast of South Korea, Haslla Art World Museum Hotel is ART with capital letters. It was designed with meticulous attention to detail, you will find yourself staring at the creative architecture, the art collection inside and outside, and the contemporary art rooms filled with unique furniture.
Das Park Hotel has taken old sewer pipes and converted them into comfy small living spaces. They might look like soulless concrete tunnels from the outside, but the colorful mural and the cozy bed inside makes it a nice place to stay. Especially so as it's “pay as much as you want” - which is a treat if you are in Switzerland.
This environmentally conscious project was created to highlight the major problem we face by the enormous plastic trash humanity has piled up over the past decades. This hotel is built using just trash. One of the people who helped with the project is artist HA Schult, he is quoted as saying, “we are in the trash time. We produce trash and we will be trash".
Dutch artist, Joep Van Lieshout took a step further than anybody else. I'm not here to judge, you are here to judge. Would you stay inside these giant-sized intestines?
The puzzle of staying at a nice fancy hotel or save money and sleep in a bunk bed is solved. In the heart of historical Chinatown in Singapore, the Adler Hostel came up with the idea to mix the luxurious looks with space-saving. The result is a high-class interior and bunk beds. What about privacy? – you might wonder. Fear not, the bunk beds can be fully enclosed by curtains. All I can say is that I have stayed here, and I approve of the concept.
The concept capsule hotels have been around since the first one opened in 1979 called the Capsule Inn Osaka. It's intended to solve the problem of affordability in costly, densely populated cities like Tokyo. Let's face it, bunk beds are not too classy, and they pose the problem of privacy. Capsules are fully enclosed spaces where in theory you share the room with others, but in reality, you are separated by (plastic) walls. The design twist by 9 Hours Capsule Hotel is the minimalist interior and the space-ship like capsules.