Trend 5: Modular Hospitality

The next hotel is modular. In 2012 people want to sleep in the middle of the woods, float in the sea or relax in a snowy landscape. Good ol’ hotels that consist of one solid piece of concrete with rooms in it connected by a central hall just don’t do it any more. Over the last years an incredible amount of new hotels have been built that are all based on decentralized and modular concepts. Each hotel room is a little building on itself and all pieces together form a hotel. A nice thing about all these decentralized hotels is that most of them are little intimate paradises located at special places on Earth. And most of them are beautifully designed on top of that.

The environment becomes the experience and the traveler wants to be right in the middle of that, preferably in comfortable bed. A nice concept, for instance, are the collections of mini-shelters in the Norwegian woods by architecture firm Jensen & Skodvin. All kinds of remarkably beautiful cabins collected in one of the most amazing landscapes form one hotel that makes you happy when you take a look at the photos. The so-called Juvet Landscape Hotel offers great views and an intimate relation to the rest and peace of the Norwegian landscape.

In case this inspired you to do a Scandinavia modular hotel tour, we can also recommend the Igloo Hotel in Kakslauttanen to spend a night in. This Finnish experience hotel consists of twenty separate igloos all offering its guests a great view on the Northern sky. Right in the middle of nothing but white snow, the cosy glass capsules offer a clear and very intimate setting for an overnight experience at the same time.

Another tip for a Scandinavia trip is the Tree Hotel, a hotel that consists of five extraordinary rooms in the woods of North Sweden. What to think of staying in an invisible hotel room or a giant bird nest? Another tree-inspired example is Baumraum’s decentralized tree hotel in the woods near Oldenburg, Germany.

More southwards is perhaps this flexible floating hotel by Ivan Filipovic. His modular ‘botel’ consists of 22 small cabins that can be disconnected from the central mother boat. The core comprises a lobby, restaurant, bar and reception, surrounded by a covered outdoor deck, which leads off to the cabins. Interesting about all these concepts is that they pay a lot of respect to the environment they are located in. All constructions are light-weight and only use the amount of space that is needed for the hotel room function, which means no extra space consumption like pool areas, parking lots and entertainment centers.

Also in cities modular and decentralized hotels gain popularity to respond to people’s need to take a short nap or discover the unpolished parts of the city. The awesome Sleepbox by Arch Group is a modular hotel to be used at airports, train stations and shopping malls. A similar initiative is the Dutch CityHub hotel, that can be used in every empty space around the city. In Berlin, the Hüttenpalast hotel is an unconventional hotel in the gentrifying district of Neukölln. Inside an old factory initiators Silke Lorenzen and Sarah Vollmer created a great hotel consisting of caravans and wooden huts settled in an indoor garden.

This trend seems to be about experiencing the real — the real landscape, the real city and the real life. A new generation of holiday goers does not like pre-cooked formulas but wants something special. Holidays have to be outstanding experiences, also when comes to accommodation.

This article belongs to the Top 10 Trends For 2012. Reflecting on what we’ve written in 2011 and looking into the new year, we’ve compiled a fresh list of remarkable trends that we consider to be important for our cities in 2012.