Pop-Up Hotels: Providing Comfort in Uncomfortable Locales
Whether your journey takes you to the heart of a rainforest, the middle of a desert, or halfway up a mountain, there’s no reason not to expect a comfy bed, heating and air conditioning, lights at night, a warm shower, and the ability to charge your devices.
That’s thanks to the latest experiential craze: pop-up hotels. These structures range from repurposed city apartments to edifices erected in the world’s most remote regions.
The concept of a pop-up hotel perfectly captures the zeitgeist blend of whimsy, adventure, and FOMO (fear of missing out). A pop-up hotel provides travelers with a unique experience that cannot be replicated, making it both memorable and shareable.
Multi-day music festivals, for example, have been allowing camping on the event’s grounds for several years now. However, the notion of on-site luxury accommodations is relatively new. In 2017, Marriott brought a series of tents to Coachella and decorated the interiors to resemble rooms from some of the company’s portfolio. In 2018, the brand return to the festival with yurts (a round tent) ornamented like W Hotels & Resorts rooms. The yurts featured a private restroom with shower, a stocked minifridge, Wi-Fi, and 24-hour security.
However, these yurts were not for sale, at least not for money. Instead, Marriott set up a bidding platform on Starwood’s website (which is owned by Marriott). Marriott members could bid for the rooms with their loyalty points. This way, Marriott was assured that only its biggest brand advocates would enjoy the activation.
Even in the middle of a city, surrounded by a plethora of hospitality options, a pop-up hotel is an intriguing option for many people. That’s the concept behind WhyHotel. WhyHotel partners with developers of newly built luxury apartments to use empty rooms as hotel space. Guests get the experience of luxury downtown life while the developers reap some benefit from otherwise empty rooms.
Still, the most significant benefit of a pop-up hotel is not found in an urban jungle but in an actual jungle, or on a beach, or up a hillside - wherever the ability to sleep in comfort even in an uncomfortable surrounding is welcomed. This is precisely what is being offered by Blink, a new concept by Black Tomato, a luxury travel company. Blink will set up luxury accommodations anywhere in the world. The client decides the destination, and Blink makes it happen.
“We were inspired by the rise of pop-up restaurants, bars, and retail, and set out to apply that to the world of immersive travel,” said Tom Marchant, Founder of Black Tomato, in an interview with Bisnow. “The goal is to combine the concept with Black Tomato’s hyper-personalized itineraries.”
One of Blink’s first activations was to establish a pop-up hotel on the world's largest salt flat in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Blink has stated that there is no limit to its activations, as long as it can transport tents and materials to a location. The company needs three-months notice for an area it has operated in before, and at least five months for a new destination.
“Clients now have the opportunity to create and design their own luxury temporary accommodation in places so private that no one else will have stayed there before or again in the same way,” said Marchant.
“Once the set-up is dismantled, there will be little to no evidence that it was there and no impact on the natural world. The idea behind it is if you blink, you may just miss it.”
Other companies are also capitalizing on offering a luxury experience in an out-of-the-way location. Swiss-based Amazing Escapes has executed activations in a Swiss Alps meadow, on the dunes in Oman’s Empty Quarter, and atop an undeveloped atoll in the Maldives, to name a few.
“People are increasingly looking for that feeling of being lost, of disconnecting. But they also want comfort. We provide luxury hospitality where there is no infrastructure for it,” said Vincent Raisière, the Managing Director of Amazing Escapes, in an interview with Town & Country.
In addition to providing tents with a private bath, the experience also includes a gourmet chef and planned daily activities.
“We also bring in a team of designers to create the atmosphere. Because people want adventure, but also soul,” said Raisière. For example, in Chile’s Atacama Desert, the company transformed an old, wrecked car into a bar and created sculptures from found driftwood.
“But it’s always a balance between the amenities and the adventure,” said Raisière. “A storm coming in? Great. We also want to take you out of your comfort zone.”
Terra Glamping is another pop-up hotel option where the locations are slightly less remote, but the views are no less gorgeous. Terra Glamping’s goal is to provide a four-star hotel experience in natural settings. Instead of creating an exclusive experience for a small group, the company establishes lodging in unique locations and keeps it available for a limited number of months. Its first activation was in California’s wine country set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it is currently located in East Hampton across the bay from Sag Harbor and Shelter Island.
The pop-up hotels deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it doesn’t have to come at an exorbitant cost. If you would like to provide your guests with a pop-up hotel experience – whether at a music fest, on a sandy beach, or up a hill overlooking a scenic river – without breaking your budget, Event Architecture has the perfect mobile structure ready to make your vision come to life: The Snoozy.
There is no other way to describe the Snoozy other than precisely what it is: a portable hotel room. Each Snoozy sleeps up to two people, is equipped with a lockable door, and can be rigged with electricity (for lights, amenities, and mobile device charging) and climate controls. Snoozys are fully customizable both inside and out. Options include two twin beds or one double-sized bed, accent lighting, choice of flooring, Wi-Fi, sound systems, a lockable safe, and extra insulation for further soundproofing.
All of Event Architecture’s modular event structures are comprised of sturdy, aluminum supports, carefully engineered with stability and safety in mind. What gives these buildings their rigidity and strength is a double layer of coated fabric membrane with a securely bonded trim called an AirCell. Once this material is fitted securely in aluminum framing channels, it is pressurized to create tension and durability. A Snoozy is sturdy and secure even on uneven ground like sand, snow, and sod.
Best of all, these weatherproof structures only take three people around 10 minutes each to set up. This is due to the hinged front and back walls. You attach these walls to the hinge, set up a few structural bars, insert the AirCell, and you’re good to go. Plus, every surface of the Snoozy is fully brandable, so your guests won’t ever forget who is providing them with this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Another benefit of a Snoozy is that it’s attractive yet looks unlike anything else that’s currently available. The striking appearance will have your guests talking (and tweeting), and that’s before they walk inside and discover the luxurious interior.
Pop-up hotels are a fantastic way to provide guests with a unique experience they will remember forever – and your brand can deliver it, thanks to the Snoozy.