Top Shipping Container Hotels from Around the World
Chances are that when you are thinking of your next holiday, a shipping container is the last thing on your mind. But for some intrepid (and luxury) holiday makers, this is exactly where they will be sleeping. Shipping containers are popping up all around the world as funky, multicoloured accommodation at every price point. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cheap hostel in South America, a side of the road motel for travelling business people needing a place to crash before their red eye flight back home, or a high end, 5 star hotel for the discerning traveller – there is a shipping container hotel option for everyone!
Check out some of our favourite examples of shipping container accommodation around the world, from concepts to the original shipping container hostels – we’ve got them all below.
Here are some of the most interesting Hotel, Hostel, Homestay, Resort and AirBNB Containers:
Alterra Beach Resort – Argentina
Described in an earlier Gateway Container Sales and Hire blog post as “Glamping”, Alterra blurs the lines between resort hotel and boutique accommodation. Nestled away in a beachside forest some 350km south of the capital, this resort is constructed entirely from modified shipping containers. Beginning as an art gallery, the resort expanded to take on guests with private cabin accommodation constructed by joining two shipping containers together and adding outdoor decking. Containers are situated throughout the resort in a way that does not disturb the pre existing trees and landscape. Guests can relax by the pool, enjoy some fine art, shop for organic products or get a massage in the relaxing surroundings.
Container Hotel – Malaysia
Located in the heart of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, the Container Hotel is constructed from recycled shipping containers. Rooms are fully air conditioned to keep nice and cool in South East Asia’s muggy heat. Bathrooms are shared like a typical hostel, or ensuite for those looking for more of a hotel type experience, and as expected with any hotel in Asia, free Wifi is everywhere. Decor is in safety orange and black, and hardwood floors add a nice finish to the utilitarian metal of the containers.
Bayside Marina Hotel – Japan
It white and minimalism are your thing, then you’ve found the right place. Bayside Marina Hotel in Japan takes what appear to be 40 foot shipping containers and stacks them on top of each other to create their hotel rooms, replacing the front doors with full height glass to provide lots of natural light. Manufactured in Thailand (one assumes to keep the costs down) then shipped to Japan and reassembled, the buildings are placed at random throughout the property with all views pointing towards the nearby sea. Landscaping is finished off with concrete pathways and simple gardens to keep with the minimalist theme. Downstairs provides the living and bathroom areas, while an upstairs loft is home to the bedroom.
Snoozebox – Russia
Snoozebox, a British company, is providing some of the temporary accommodation required for the 2018 soccer world cup in Russia. The host city Saransk will require an extra 2,000 rooms over the 32 day tournament – a massive temporary surge in accommodation demand. Rather than building an oversupply of hotel rooms for a month long event and leaving them empty for their future, they have chosen temporary hotel accommodation. Shipping containers make the perfect solution, as they can be built overseas to spec, then shipped to the site and installed in under 48 hours.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Snoozebox has provided containerised accommodation for a large scale event – they have provided temporary accommodation for the most recent Olympic and Commonwealth games as well. You can find out more about how their portable, containerised hotel system works in the video below.
Rollick Hotels – USA
Following on from the success of the Snoozebox at major events in Europe, Rollick Hotels intends to use the G-Pods, manufactured in Hong Kong to provide temporary containerised accommodation at a wide variety of events in the United States where accommodation exceeds capacity. These portable hotel units are fully self contained and feature electrical hookups, bathrooms and everything you need to make a scalable and modular hotel – just as if it was being built with massive lego bricks. Utility containers are then used to hook the hotel building up to the main grid for sewerage and electricity processing.
Their plans involve the Superbowl, as well as major music festivals and other sporting events. They will start off by crowdfunding their first venture to ensure that there is enough interest, before rolling out their hotel rooms as a regular fixture at large scale events.
The Hive Inn – No Location … Yet
The Hive Inn is just a concept right now, but is a personal favourite for the sheer outlandishness of it’s design. Looking like a giant multi coloured game of Jenga ready to topple over, it’s instead a design for a multifunctional container skyscraper style hotel that can be changed based on the needs of the property owners. Rooms can be lifted up and slotted into the frame with a crane based on the needs or the type of modifications that each container has had. The central core of the building would house its utilities as well as lifts and access points, providing structural integrity to the tower. The concept could be used for virtually any type of building where its needs are likely to be radically altered for a variety of different reasons, such as customer requirements, advertising or temporary growth.
First Container / Collision Works – Detroit
First Container officially opened in the Eastern Market area of Detroit in 2013. Beginning with just two containers, but growing into a 46 room boutique hotel, First Container was funded with a mixture of Kickstarter and community funding. In addition to accommodation, First Container provides a community space and a proof of concept for the full Collision Works hotel project. The full project will cost just over 9 million USD, and is currently looking for investors to bring the plan to fruition. A leading event planning magazine even called it “the most important hotel in America” – high praise for a hotel that hasn’t even been built yet.
Time will tell as to what will happen with the project, but it definitely looks interesting!
Scandic To Go – Everywhere
Scandic to Go is a novel concept that turns the traditional idea of a hotel on it’s head. Rather than going to a hotel, this hotel comes to you, well … sort of. Scandic to Go is a promotional item for the Scandic brand of Scandinavian hotels that recently ventured to a temporary location in New York. The Room to Go is an 18 square metre hotel room constructed from a single modified shipping container. It’s completely self-contained with its own bathroom and toilet facilities, holds not one but two beds, is fully furnished and has all the amenities you’d expect from a modern hotel room.
Xiang Xiang Pray House – China
In a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, or a shipping container hotel from its boring brown colour scheme, Xiang Xiang Pray House in China is actually a 5 star hotel that looks like standard shipping containers from the outside. The twenty one guest rooms are each constructed from a single shipping container, and have top of the line amenities camouflaged inside a very plain exterior. A pop-up style hotel, it took only three months to build from start to finish – including the time taken to design and landscape the property – proving that shipping containers significantly cut down on construction costs and the length of time involved in a project.
Low Cost Miners Hotel – Chile
Miners spend most of their time in temporary accommodation in some of the most inhospitable landscapes in the world, whether it’s the Australian outback or Chile’s hinterlands. This excellent but simple design in Chile does a great job of taking shipping containers, repurposing them and making a safe and comfortable place for hard working miners to rest at the end of a hard day underground. By using a canvas roof stretched out over the stacked containers, the designers are able to cut down on the heat of the desert and create a cooler living space inside. Pods are stacked two high in groups of 6 in a C shape, allowing the hostel to house approximately 300+ workers, with a seperate ablutions building providing shower and toilet facilities.
This simple design would make the ideal accommodation in much of Australia’s outback.
Travelodge – England
A much bigger shipping container hotel than others profiled so far, this one uses 86 shipping containers to create the hotel’s main structure. The exterior was then covered with cladding to hide the fact it was made from shipping containers, with the end result providing 120 rooms worth of accommodation. The prefabricated nature of the construction saved Travelodge at least 10 weeks of construction time and over half a million pounds – a significant saving. Another one has been built since that was even bigger – over 300 rooms located near Heathrow Airport with the method of construction saving approximately 10 million pounds.
Containers Hostel – Scotland
Containers Hostel was the first hostel in the world to be constructed from second hand shipping containers. Its 12 mixed bedroom dormitories sleep up to 48 people, and being built out of modular shipping containers – it is able to grow as the hostel gets more popular. Containers are arranged around a central communal area that hosts an open air bar, projector for movies and entertainment area. The low cost of shipping containers even allows them to pass the construction savings onto their guests – saving them on average 28 pounds per week over comparable hostels in the city.
Tetris Container Hostel – Brasil
Shipping Containers are ideal for hostels, due to their low cost nature and the rough and ready attitude towards accommodation of many backpackers. That said, shipping container hostels don’t need to skimp on the comforts. Tetris Container Hostel is a fully equiped backpackers hostel with bar, swimming pool and plenty of accommodation in the city of Foz Do Iquacy. Its buildings are constructed from stacked shipping containers, which contain a mixture of private rooms and dormitory style accommodation.
As you can see, shipping containers have been utilised for a wide variety of accommodation, from cheap and cheerful backpackers accommodation in Scotland, to sleek and stylish five star accommodation in China and South East Asia. In almost all examples, the use of shipping containers has reduced both construction time and the costs of building, and the modular nature of construction has resulted in scalable buildings that can be made larger should the need arise.
Expect to see more and more shipping container hotels, hostels and homestays as the trend gains popularity and acceptance around the world. Whether you are booking on Agoda, Hostelworld or AirBNB, chances are that your next holiday could be in a shipping container.
Ready to start construction? Give us a call!
It doesn’t matter how big your project is, whether it’s a one room portable container office, or a multi storey hotel – Gateway Container Sales and Hire are the team to call. Find out how shipping containers can be modified on the site to create modular accommodation units, or how windows and doors can be prefabricated to save you construction time. You’ll learn why more and more companies are choosing shipping containers to create modular, scaleable accommodation for every type of traveller, from the budget conscious backpacker to the 5 star resort dweller!
Get in touch and we’ll discuss the right type of containers for your own unique requirements. Email us now for a free quote.