It is a fact that the irruption of platforms as Airbnb has meant a disruptive change in the accommodation sector and, in contrast to what some hotelier wanted to think at the beginning, this change is here to remain. But this is the topic of another debate that I will approach in another post…
It is also a fact that, while most of the hotel groups are dedicating its efforts in resisting the effects of the accommodation of tourists in private houses, a real cluster of alternative types of accommodation to the traditional hotel are entering the scene.
Instead of a fierce competition situation, as some might see it, I consider this situation as an excellent opportunity for each type of accommodation to differentiate from the rest. Because I also believe that even the same person is a potential consumer of different types of accommodation depending on the circumstances of each moment: I would rather prefer to sleep in a hotel when I travel alone for work, but also rent a villa when I enjoy my summer holidays with my wife and children.
One of these alternatives, which is gaining more and more popularity (particularly, but not only, among young people) are hostels. Hostels are cheap (you share the room with more people), they are cool (is an excellent way to meet people from all over the world, and they are fun (an informal environment). Obviously high speed Wi-Fi and terraces and/or lounges where interact with other people are a must. In this link you can find a selection of the best hostels in the world.
Another interesting alternative is glamping, a combination of the words glamour and camping. From the owner perspective, it means to be able to accommodate guests in a piece of land without the license to construct buildings; since these are not fixed structures (they can be installed and removed). Meanwhile, from the guest point of view, it implies an accommodation in a unique structure and a close relationship with nature: cabins, campervans, tree houses, tipis (Ancient American Indian tents), caves…they are all sorts of types of glamping. More information here.
Sleeping in a lighthouse can be a memorable experience for the guest and a way to achieve revenues when these structures have finished their life. Press the links if you wish to learn more about some of the best accommodation in lighthouses in the UK or in the United States.
New versions of traditional hotels are these two: the horizontal hotel and the fragmented hotel.
Horizontal hotel: guests are allocated in bungalows instead of in hotel rooms and the wild nature substitutes the hotel gardens and playgrounds. It is an evolution of the traditional camping sites where all the lodging structures are only bungalows (not tents or caravans).
Fragmented hotel: rooms, studios, apartments spread in a (relatively close) area being managed under a unique business structure. An example in a sky resort in Spain: LUDERNA
Another example of new options is yotel. Yotel is currently a hotel chain leader in the affordable luxury segment with hotels in New York, Singapore, Paris and with an ambitious growth plan (Miami, Dubai…) but originally it started with what is now a part of its portfolio called Yotelair, which are cabins to have a shower and/or to sleep for some hours installed inside airport terminals for resting when waiting for connecting or delayed flights.
As you can see, the types of accommodations described are getting rarer and rarer…
Next type of alternative accommodation to traditional hotels that I would like to talk about is called pop up hotels. This new concept means an ephemeral hotel, that is to say, a hotel which is only open for a certain period of time. After this time, the hotel is dismantled.
Some examples are the following:
– the pop up hotel It started to cater those who wanted to attend to Glastonbury music festival but did not wanted to sleep in the uncomfortable tents and use the (usually dirty) public toilettes and showers and now is has developed to “a company that offers temporary accommodation not only for festivals, but also for corporate retreats or private events (such as weddings, or other celebrations)”.
– snoozebox it is also a British company who originally offered accommodation for car races at Silverstone circuit, and now “offers accommodation solutions when you want it, where you want it” (workforce accommodation, modular hotels & lodges, festivals and events… A nice short video about snoozebox.
– Sleeping Around is a belgian company that transform 20 feet containers into luxurious hotel rooms. They provide a superior and comfortable night’s stay and include: box spring bed with high quality linen, walk-in shower, Rituals amenities, air conditioning, … Their web site is currently inoperative, but you can have an idea watching this short video
– Pink cloud: Finally, an interesting project of pop up hotels is the one developed by pink cloud, a Danish architecture office that turns vacant offices into hotels, they have a project already in New York City. All the details and information here.
In the near future, when land is scarce or too expensive to build hotels in…we don’t need to worry, there are other options, such as hotels underneath the sea, here some examples , or the space hotels…which is already a real thing, the Aurora Project is getting reservations for 2021 (“only” 80.000 $ booking fee and a week for some $ millions…)
are you ready for the future? Or should I rather say…are you ready for the present time?