Glamtainers: Stunning Shipping Container Conversions for Luxury Stays
Over the last 15 or so years, shipping containers have increasingly been used for architecture. And their dimensions, in some cases, have been taken to quite an extreme with multi-storey apartments, hotels, and even large mansions cropping up.
Sometimes, however, you don’t need a vast space for luxury accommodation. Couples looking for a unique retreat may only need a space for sleeping, washing, relaxing, and perhaps cooking an intimate meal for two.
For someone looking to make a business out of it, by using one or two shipping containers as the main building blocks, you can fit them out to a high standard for a relatively low cost, and get a high return from the moment the unit or units are put into operation as luxury retreats.
Airbnb and glamping
Since the online room rental business was founded, Airbnb has seeded thousands of small business ventures around the world. Though the founders probably only envisaged people renting out their spare rooms, entrepreneurs have seen an opportunity to built units that can accommodate their guests.
Shipping containers are perfect for this as they can be bought cheaply, fitted out off-site in a controlled environment and then taken to the site where they are dropped in place.
In most of the cases we look at below, these are side businesses for farmers and other countryside professionals who use the investment to add to their core income. Considering the high return on investment to be made from a shipping container ‘glamtainer’ unit, this can be a nice medium-term investment, with low initial capital costs.
Airbnb isn’t the only business out there that can raise your profile to city folk. Many of these units are advertised as ‘glamping’ accommodation as well. These may be slightly more basic – a shower instead of a bath – but are still a unique and affordable getaway for city guests.
Whether for guests to be enveloped in opulent luxury, or something a little more basic, these are four examples of shipping container ‘glamtainer’ accommodation that Australian entrepreneurs have set up.
1. Daylesford, Victoria
Romance is the theme to this escape from the world outside. Both inside and out, this is about enjoying the space in complete comfort.
This two container retreat has a babbling brook running directly beneath, with small waterfalls giving a constant background of falling water.
Central to the living space is the king-sized bed that sits with a private view of the wilderness outside, so you don’t have to worry about pulling the curtains as you recline within.
A Tasmanian Blackwood bath has enough room for two and, as with the rest of the unit, is all about high end, muted luxury for the guests to forget the surrounds and just focus on one another.
Just beneath the day bed is another window through the floor to the brook under the cantilevered section, allowing one just to chill out and watch the natural world as you switch off and rest.
For those moments when not paying so much attention to one another, there is a 75 inch TV for the guests to enjoy a movie or even play on the supplied Playstation.
As a whole, the Hepburn retreat is one where one can completely chill and recharge for returning to the real world, reinvigorated and ready for life to begin again.
2. Rakula, Northern Territory
Containers can be sat side-by-side or stacked vertically. Here these two containers have been stacked in a cross-shape in an imaginative way to maximise the aesthetic appeal of the unit. Both visually appealing and unapologetically luxurious, this is definitely a place for city folk to escape from their worlds in comfort.
A decent sized private decking area with a BBQ allows guests to grill their own food. The units are in what is described as guests’ ‘private area of wilderness’, allowing a certain amount of seclusion as they relax on their break.
Hiding from the heat or cold, the guests will find a modern and comfortable living space which includes a fully fitted kitchen and living space.
The bedroom has a queen-sized bed and a comfortable bathroom that is well appointed and will appeal to those with discerning taste.
The site is near Litchfield National Park, and is ideal for those who want to do outdoor sports while on their escape to the bush.
3. Kangarilla, South Australia
The antics of the local kangaroo mob will entertain the guests at this retreat in South Australia! As with all of the glamtainer retreats we look at, what happens outside can be at least as restful an escape as what happens inside. The unit has decking outside with furnishings to read and chill out on.
Moving inside, the living space has a TV and beanbag sofa for guests to sink into on their break. It also features a fully equipped kitchen to cook up a storm while forgetting the world outside and a nice indoor dining area. A queen-sized bed and small bathroom match the overall minimal decor which is tastefully appointed with everything you need for a long weekend away from the rat race.
The hosts of the site run a vineyard and while they discourage parties on the site, they do encourage visitors to enjoy the wine they produce. For those who love wine, this is an opportunity for both guests to enjoy the fruits of the vine without one having to drive the other back to the hotel at the end of the evening!
4. Ranelagh, Tasmania
A bolthole for two in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, these suites are designed as luxurious glamping units for those who want to escape the world. Central to the accommodation is the king-size bed with premium bedding for the guests to relax to the max.
The living and dining area features a flatscreen TV and a comfortable sofa to chill out on in the evenings.
Though the kitchenette is basic – a microwave, toaster and coffee machine – the hosts provide breakfast in the main house nearby.
Outside of each of the accommodation units, the site has a hot tub and private decking area for the guests to enjoy a barbecue while watching the fantastic sunsets.
This Airbnb glamtainer is on a working farm and largely provides supplemental income for the hosts. In this case the family offers farm tours for the guests to explore their immediate environment, and get to know this faraway part of Australia a little more intimately.
Rest of the World – Brazil’s Cambará do Sul
There are probably several hundred such glamtainers to choose from around the world but here’s one stand out example of a small, cheaply built yet very comfortable shipping container retreat – this time out in the wilds of Brazil.
Situated near two national parks in the prairies of the Cambará do Sul region of Brazil, these mini-retreats are made of two, six metre shipping containers each.
Built sustainability, these glamtainer Airbnb units are built with comfort in mind yet without taking too much from the planet in doing so.
With great views of the prairies, one can sit on the decking outside and take in the vast wilderness and horizons with a drink in hand.
Inside, the space is small but well appointed. A king-size bed is the focal point of the units, with a small dining area, kitchenette and bathroom at one end that don’t impede the views of the space outside. For cooler evenings there is a wood-burning stove.
Large sliding glass doors provide access to the private outside decking areas for the guests to enjoy the world without necessarily stepping into it.
Feeling inspired? Get in contact with Gateway Container Sales!
Here at Gateway Container Sales we can put you in touch with our team of experts who will help you take a basic container, whether six or 12 metres, and turn it into a luxury glamtainer retreat for your guests to escape to.
Get in contact with us today to discuss your ideas and let us help you take it from a paper concept into a Corten steel reality.