Pop-Up Hotels – Porta-Tourism Thinks Inside The Box

hotel interior

Sleek & Spare Pop-Up Hotel Room

When life gives you  lemons, make lemonade.  So the saying goes.  Apparently the travel industry is following suit, and doing a little squeezing of its own for the budget-constrained, on-the-go traveler who doesn’t mind a bit of pre-fab construction.

Pop-up hotels have been well, popping-up all over the world for a couple of years now, most recently in Europe. According to a recent report on travel trends in 2010 and beyond from Euromonitor International, pop-up hotels are stacked up to become a major tourism phenom. The key advantage is the ability to quickly provision portable and affordable hotel rooms in conjunction with longer-term events and festivals. Not surprisingly, the rooms are small, though efficiently laid-out.  The decor –  urbane chic – sleek and spare – Ikea meets modern prison cell. In the best possible way.

London will get its first pop-up hotel in Spring 2010 in the form of uber cool and luxurious  M-Hotel, designed by UK architect Tim Pyne, whose construction concept is frequently likened to snapping Lego blocks together. “The hotel can go up – and be taken down – in three days,” says Pyne. “Each room concertinas down into a shipping container, so they can be easily transported by rail or road.” Other advantages? “The M-hotel concept can explore the opportunities to construct hotels in underdeveloped areas and can also be relocated around the world,” says Pyne.  Design-wise, M-Hotel rooms are chic and well-laid out – interior walls can even be moved to create a bigger room or conference space.

Other chains are quickly setting themselves up to be players in the porta-tourism space. In the UK, Travelodge has already launched its Travelpod and plans to build nearly 40 hotels a year by 2020, half of which are expected to be pop-up. At about £29 a night, there’s money left over to buy a nice bottle of wine, unfold a paper wine glass and medicate yourself through the inevitable claustrophobia of spending a night in a box, albeit a fabulously hip and eco-chic one.  Hmmm.

Travelodge's Travelpod

The Travelpod - Habitrail Chic

M-Hotel Cool and Customizable Exterior

M-Hotel Cool and Customizable Exterior

2 comments for “Pop-Up Hotels – Porta-Tourism Thinks Inside The Box

  1. December 8, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Maybe I should think of a pop-up house for my next house, which I hope to build next year or 2011. Interesting idea.

  2. December 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the comment!! You should check out Tim Pyne’s designs for M-House (pronounced “mouse”) – whole new construct for pre-fab, factory-made cool housing. http://www.m-house.org.

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