Tents, yurts, pods, and more provide unique travel experiences.

For most, going on vacation means staying in a hotel. However, a new trend has taken off in the hospitality industry called pop-up hotels. They hold appeal for a new generation of travelers, especially millennials looking for unique travel experiences. Not only do they offer travelers an entirely different way to see new places, they often take the term “glamping” to new heights.

Here are statistics when it comes to millennial travel habits, according to a FastCompany article.

  • 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than material objects
  • Millennials are 23% more interested in traveling than older generations
  • A study by American Express showed nearly 70% of millennials want “a personalized travel experience” on their vacations

Origins of the pop-up hotel phenomenon

The trend is not exactly new. Some companies have been setting up these temporary accommodations for several years; however, the trend is growing. These days it’s not uncommon to see pop-up restaurants, pop-up stores, and even pop-up exhibits and museums. Pop-up hotels are now part of this experimental trend.

This trend is especially popular where traditional hotel accommodations are minimal, forcing hoteliers to become more creative with an alternative pop-up style. The growing popularity of pop-up hotels also provides a new marketing angle for hotel brands, because this unique type of accommodation is amazingly Instagrammable.

Pop-up hotels range from casual to ultra-glam

If you imagined pop-up hotels are nothing more than cheap, drafty tents in the middle of nowhere, think again. Some of the accommodations are more “back-to-nature” in style, but others give you a true, five-star experience, with full-sized bathroom, hot and cold running water, electricity, Wi-Fi, and more. Meals are gourmet in nature and made with ingredients from locally sourced farms and growers.

Pop-up hotels can pop-up almost anywhere

Since pop-up hotels are temporary and mobile, there is almost no limit to where they can be set up. Travelers can find unique experiences in remote locations like the mountains of the Swiss Alps, sand dunes in the Arabian Desert, or on an atoll in the South Pacific. “Their styles vary from geodesic domes, or futuristic inflatable bubbles, or classic Central Asian yurts. They’re chosen for specific, sometimes extreme environments based on their insulation, wind tolerance, portability, sustainability, and, importantly, aesthetics,” according to a Town and Country article.

In 2017, Marriott International set up eight, safari-inspired tents during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California. The tents were modeled after several of the company’s premier properties, including Moxy Hotels and Aloft Hotels. The tents were so popular that Marriott is returning in 2018, with yurts modeled after W Hotels in Dubai, Barcelona, Bali, and Hollywood. These temporary shelters will not skimp on luxuries, either, which will include private bathrooms with showers, stocked mini-fridges, Wi-Fi, and more.

“Popping up” at large events such a Coachella equals free publicity, sharing and mentions on social media sites – such as Instagram – helps attract more customers at future sites.

Pop-up hotels raise “glamping” to a whole new level

Glamping was once used to make fun of people who insisted on bringing luxuries on a campout. Now, glamping is an entirely new industry that is anything but a joke. A DigitalTrends.com article puts it this way, “Modern glamping places a ton of importance on the spot you choose to ‘camp’ at. This transformed glamping from a purely DIY pastime into a search for special, isolated lodgings, which bring you closer to nature while providing accommodations as good or better than your own home.”

Pop-up hotels and glamping accommodations can take the form of tents, of course, but it’s not uncommon to see yurts, pods, trailers, and even tree houses standing in for luxury hotels. Pop-up hotels seem to be more than a temporary fad. Perhaps your next vacation could include this unique and modern way to have a completely new travel experience.


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