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Thinking Outside the Box

Set aside your idea of what a traditional hotel is, and consider the latest travel trend: the pop-up hotel. These unconventional lodgings are taking Europe by storm, creating overnight accommodations seemingly out of thin air.
The Pop-Up Hotel glorifies “glamping,” or upscale camping, by erecting luxe tents at sites throughout Britain. The company often partners with large events like the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset and the Goodwood Revival in West Sussex, providing attendees with a unique lodging option. Many of the amenities of a conventional hotel are included, like daily continental breakfast, a pop-up restaurant, and concierge and porter services.
The Pop-Up Hotel tent at dusk

Photo Courtesy: The Pop-Up Hotel

Snoozebox travels some of the same terrain as The Pop-Up Hotel, setting up shop at high-profile British events like last year’s London Olympics, the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and the British Grand Prix in Northamptonshire. These portable hotels are assembled in shipping containers and provide comforts like individual bathrooms and air conditioning.

For even more exclusivity, check out A Room for London, a one-bedroom boat perched on top of the Southbank Centre, an art complex on the banks of the Thames. The installation is a partnership between Living Architecture (a company that rents beautifully designed homes throughout Britain) and Artangel (a contemporary art commission program). Potential guests can take part in a lottery for a one-night stay through the end of 2013.

Visiting Belgium? Spend the night in a recycled sea container at Sleeping Around, Antwerp’s answer to the pop-up phenomenon. The four 20-foot spaces include a box-spring bed, rain shower, and air conditioning, along with separate breakfast/lounge and sauna containers.

Sleeping Around lodging

Photo Courtesy: Sleeping Around

Details are being discussed for the next PopUp Ashram in Italy, but judging from the popularity of their first two temporary yoga/spiritual retreats in Tulum, Mexico and Bali there will be more on the way. Founded by a former adventure travel company exec, PopUp Ashram events include classes with top teachers and gurus in awe-inspiring settings.

Luckily, rule-breaking architecture firm Pink Cloud wants to bring pop-up hotels stateside. The Copenhagen-based company has its sights set on New York City’s empty office space. The company claims an entire hotel could fit into 36 boxes, including everything from beds and bathroom fixtures to building materials for fitness centers, restaurants, bars, and even pools.

So, what’s the verdict…would you sleep in one of these temporary locations or are you happy with your favorite hotel?

By Wendy Wollenberg

Tags: alternative vacation

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