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After pop-up hotels, mobile room concepts are sprouting up

As customers look for increasingly unusual hotel experiences and the need for temporary accommodations during occasional events grows, numerous mobile hotel room concepts are emerging. These entirely independent units that can be set up and removed to meet a specific demand are gaining ground in the hospitality landscape.

Pop-up hotel concepts have already gained ground in the hospitality industry; today, mobile rooms are taking this trend one step further. These autonomous lodging units are equipped with the basic standards of comfort, and can be set up and removed in places where one would not necessarily expect to find them: atop a mountain, in the middle of the desert, on the rooftop of a building, or at an outdoor festival.

Snoozebox’s hotel kits made headlines in 2012. These ephemeral structures are made up of containers and can be deployed in 48 hours, targeting occasional lodging needs. The company has since decided to disassemble its pop-up hotels and bet on independent, modular rooms, thus addressing the lodging needs of temporary events such as festivals more efficiently. Another ephemeral lodging concept conceived to please festival-goers was created by the Dutch designer, Emmy Polkamp. He nomadic hotel concept called "To Many Places" draws its inspiration from glamping and sets up temporary rooms in abandoned buildings located near major events.

Most portable room concepts have been designed to meet one of the latest key expectations of hotel guests: having a truly unique experience. Beyond comfort, today’s travelers are looking for a change in perspective and the "wow-effect". What is more unexpected than choosing the specific location of one’s hotel room, even in the middle of nature? Several operators have opted for this strategic segment, such as Scandic to go with its 18 square meter portable room, fully equipped and available in the client's desired location. Conceived by In-tenta, Drop Eco-hotel draws on a similar idea to blend into natural sites. In addition to its eco-friendly architecture, it has all the modern comforts. Two other mobile room concepts are built on green design and neutral impact on the environment: Hypercubus -with a design that cannot go unnoticed- and Hotel Shabby Shabby’s units that is made of recycled and found materials.

Sleeping wherever does not necessarily mean in the midst of nature. This is why Sleeping Around adapted the concept of pop-up rooms to urban travelers, turning 20 containers into luxury lodging units in several Belgian cities (Antwerp, Kortrijk...).

Other projects are currently under development and should take the concept a step further. An Austrian company conceived Travelbox, a convertible box that turns into a bed, chair, table and storage units. In lieu of a box, Swiss architect Antonio Scarponi and artist Roberto De Luca chose to store their portable room in a suitcase. Dubbed "Hotello", it turns into a four square meter space comprising a bed, desk, closet and lamp, with a curtain preserving the user’s privacy. These projects definitely have enough to compete with Mary Poppins’ bag!

Also read:

  • The hotel managed by robots opens its doors in Japan
  • Floating hotel rooms... why not ?
  • Hotels reach for the limits

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