AirHotel's hanging rooms lift lodging out of the ordinary
May 1, 2012
Looking for a place to stay that's sustainable, fun and suspended? The one-of-a-kind, mobile AirHotel, designed by a group of Belgian artists, may be just the ticket. Made from recycled materials, the quirky hotel's six elevated or hanging rooms are each unique in their own way and all come with an unusual form of room service that ranges from a love song to a disco party.
The solar-powered "Wellness Machine" is the nerve center for the unusual traveling complex (actually more motel than hotel) and houses reception, a bar and lounge, a sauna and the breakfast service. Guests stop there first before being whisked off for a tour of the entire facility.
The largest accommodation is the canvas-covered "Schulp" or "Little Cottage". With room for six guests in three distinct rooms, it floats 6.5 feet (2.5m) above the ground. Although it looks more like a screened in hanging porch than a place to stay, it's probably the least unusual looking of all the various rooms or pods.
Perched 13 feet (4m) up, the "Love Nest" does indeed resemble a bird's nest. It's basically a metal frame covered with wood and branches and doubtless gives guests a taste of the bird's life. Fake leather adorns the interior and a large portal window allows natural light to enter.
The "Sterreschijter", likely a challenge for those with a fear of heights, is firmly mounted 19.7 feet (6m) up and resembles an oversized baby carriage. The room's name, best left untranslated in the original Dutch, hints at the great views it affords of the starry night skies. It sleeps two.
For VIPs, there's "El Ambassador" - a deluxe cocoon-like pod made of wood with views provided through glass skylights that's accessed by a collapsible/retractable ladder. Securely anchored by four cables, its two guests sleep almost 7 feet (2.5m) up.
The "Lotus" is probably the most unusual of all the sleep chambers. When closed, it resembles a giant Japanese lantern but, like its namesake flower, opens into a giant four-petaled flower to accommodate four guests. Also suspended securely from four cables, it floats 13 feet (4m) above the ground.
For those not comfortable with being disconnected from the Earth, the "Night Box" is probably the way to go. The cube-shaped room sleeps two and sits atop a beefy steel frame that hoists it several feet off the ground. Its walls, fashioned from a hodge podge of random recycled materials, hinge down to allow access to the bed inside and the roof opens to bring fresh air and light to the occupants.
Reservations are now being taken for the period from May 11-26 when the AirHotel will be located at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in the UK. Those lucky enough to book a night can expect to pay about US$57 each for a stay that likely won't soon be forgotten.