Spotlight on Portable Shipping Container Hotels
Two companies, one in India and the other in the UK have found a novel application for shipping container conversions – as portable hotels. They can be used for a variety of purposes, near major construction sites where staff need to be housed close to the site, music festivals, or just semi permanent hotels near major event venues such as a race track, museum or indeed any attraction.
Let’s first look at the award winning design by Snoozebox and then their rivals in India, Beetle Hotels.
Snoozebox – UK
Snoozebox is a hotel chain with a difference – though it has two permanent locations, the rest of its hotels can be dropped almost anywhere. The concept has a range of configurations, with 3-4 hotel rooms per 40ft container – each with an en-suite wet room.
Three ‘family rooms’ can be fitted in a 40ft container consisting of a double bed, a two tier bunk bed and en-suite wetroom that can accommodate the typical nuclear family in comfort. The other configuration is for four double rooms that have two single beds and a wet room in each.
Snoozebox won a prestigious interior design award in December 2015 (the Society of British International Design (SBID) Interior Design Award) that reflected the great use of space in the concept.
These rooms can be stacked and laid out in different configurations, but most importantly can be quickly moved to a site and constructed in only a few days depending on the client’s requirements. Those requirements may be a music festival where not everyone wants to stay in a tent in a muddy quagmire, but may also be a construction site or somewhere where large numbers of people are needed to live near a site for a period of time.
The company has put two semi permanent hotels near international visitor venues in the UK. Silverstone is the home of Formula 1 racing car racing, yet doesn’t just have one event every year! It has a range of car and motorcycle racing events that draw tens of thousands of people every month – not everyone wants to sit in a traffic jam for three hours to get to the qualifying races the day before the major event! It isn’t just a load of hotel rooms – there is a hospitality suite for people to socialise between days watching the high octane racing. As such visitors can stay within walking distance of the race track for as little as $70 a night.
The Eden Project in Cornwall, England is a globally recognised indoor greenhouse with a variety of climates and ecosystems under a glass roof. The traffic getting there can be awful, yet there is so much to see that one just can’t do it in a day. The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has set up a hotel for school groups to visit from around the UK and beyond, so children can come considerable distances to learn about the world’s ecosystems without having to spend too many hours on a bus in a day. This has a common room and eating facilities so even those who travel from abroad can enjoy their visit in some comfort.
Beetle Hotels – India
Based in Gujarat, India, Beetle Smartotels is a startup hotel chain that provides accommodation at the luxury end of the market. Using recycled containers, the concept is very similar to Snoozebox above. It currently has one hotel in Ahmedabad but has real ambitions – it hopes to have 2,000 hotel rooms across northern India by the end of 2017.
Beetle Hotels seem to be looking to appeal to the more luxury end of the market, with satellite TV, Wi-Fi, an en-suite wetroom and air conditioning in all of its comfortable rooms. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, the founder Tanmay Bathwal explained that for a portable option, “We don’t require much construction, we only require base supports to place our containers.” This would mean that the venue would need to lay a concrete pad or install piles on which to lay the container hotel – not much preparation if one has an event where you want the participants to stay for a few days.
Inspired to start your own shipping container accommodation?
The concept of a portable shipping container hotel cannot be trademarked (though of course some design features can). Consequently the door is open for people to use this idea elsewhere. Perhaps as accommodation for management or workers at an open cast mining operation in the Outback? Get in touch with us here at Gateway Container Sales today if you want to discuss the concept for a similar project – we have a network of designers and can help fabricate your system to suit your needs. Get a free quote today!