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Article
april 26, 2010
Sleeping as a novel experience: Unusual Hotels

More and more hotels in the world opt for extravagant offers to attract guests. What these proposals have in common?

Would you dare to sleep in a Quarantine Station? Would you spend a night in a train car? Or maybe in an old mill? How about a night in an anti-nuclear bunker? You may prefer a house over a tree ... Or inside pipes… Or maybe in a Soviet military prison...

These proposals and much more fill today’s worldwide hotel supply.



“Q Station Retreat Hotel” was a quarantine station in Sydney where, between 1830 and 1984, migrant ships passengers were quarantined to protect the local community of contagious diseases. Today, and after significant investment, has become a four-stars hotel that offers, as a distinctive factor, this unique historical past. Tourism at historic sites has gone from daytime visit to established milestones to experience the historic space itself.

Another of this example is the one of “Null Stern Hotel”, which was originally an art installation in an anti-nuclear bunker and today is the first No-Stars Hotel, a zero-star hotel offering luxury ecolodge.

Following this trends, pioneered by the “Jules' Undersea Lodge” in Florida, the underwater hotel has spread to different latitudes and has equals in places like Sweden, little red houses half underwater of “Utter Inn”, or deluxe emulators in Fiji, the luxurious “Poseidon Undersea Resort”; or Dubai, the magnificent “Hydropolis”, still construction.



Whether we talk about ice built sites, such as "Icehotel" in Sweden or Quebec, or with blocks of salt, "Hotel Luna Salada" in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the pattern is precisely to transgress the rules of the classical lodging model. The challenge is to offer the tourist a unique, different and captivating experience.

What do these novel proposals have in common?

Maybe these new products aim to be a vehicle for experiences. It’s not that the classic or traditional hotel model is exhausted; it is the tourist who has multiplied its tastes, its searches and finds in exoticism a vestige of authenticity.

Concepts of rest and comfort, even if they are taken into account in many of these options, are no longer their “lei motif”. To experience is the core of this sort of spending; to seek sensations, to build anecdotes.

Reflecting market trends, hotels use extravagance as a form of distinction, as an added value, as a strategy to attract customers.


Where do you plan to spend your next holidays? Under the water or between walls of ice?


Luciana Asinari - C4T

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