Six of the Coolest Shipping Container Hotels from Around the World - Soulful Concepts
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Six of the Coolest Shipping Container Hotels from Around the World

When you think about staying at a luxury hotel, the image of a shipping container probably doesn’t come to mind. Used to transport goods of all types around the globe, these metal containers do an important job, but they don’t exactly exude luxury.

Believe it or not, though, they have been used to create some incredible hotels in some of the hottest destinations in the world. Their simple and sturdy design makes them ideal for construction purposes, and because they are so widely available, they are extremely affordable. Once they have been remodeled, they barely even resemble their former incarnations.

Have we piqued your interest yet? Here are just a few of the coolest shipping container hotels from around the world.


Alterra Beach Resort – Argentina


Tucked away in a beautiful beachside forest south of the Argentinean capital, Alterra Beach Resort is part boutique accommodation and part resort hotel — and is built entirely from repurposed shipping containers. The structure began its life as an art gallery but has since expanded to host guests in private cabins created by joining two shipping containers together. Decking provides a comfortable outdoor area, and the containers are arranged in a way that doesn’t disrupt the existing landscape or foliage.

The resort also offers the amenities you would expect for any luxury vacation, including a relaxing pool, a fine art gallery, and massage services. You can also shop for organic products nearby and enjoy the splendor of Argentina right outside your door.


Bayside Marina Hotel – Japan


If you are looking for a unique place to stay in the Far East, check out Japan’s Bayside Marina Hotel. Constructed from 40-foot shipping containers, this simple hotel is the perfect place to stay if you enjoy minimalism and the color white. The containers are stacked on top of each other to create hotel rooms, and the front doors have been replaced with glass windows to let in plenty of natural light. The lower container houses the bathroom and living areas while spacious loft bedrooms are situated on the upper floors.

The Bayside Marina Hotel was manufactured in Thailand before being shipped to Japan for reassembly. The buildings are placed throughout the property at random, and all views point toward the sea. Simple gardens and concrete pathways maintain the minimalist theme while providing aesthetically pleasing landscaping.


Rollick Hotels – United States


When large events bring more guests to cities than local hotels can accommodate, repurposed shipping containers provide the perfect solution. British company Snoozebox provides temporary containerized accommodations for European events, and U.S.-based Rollick Hotels has taken notice. Using G-Pods manufactured in Hong Kong, Rollick provides temporary hotel units complete with bathrooms, electrical hookups and everything else needed for event guests.

The portable hotel units are self-contained and fully scalable. They are assembled on-site, much like massive building blocks. The rooms are hooked up to the main grid for electricity and sewerage processing via utility containers. Rollick Hotels plans to use the containers for events like the Superbowl and other major sporting events as well as large music festivals.


First Container – Detroit


Officially opened in Detroit’s Eastern Market area in 2013, First Container started out with just two containers but has since grown into a boutique hotel with 46 rooms. It was funded through a mixture of community funding and a successful Kickstarter campaign. In addition to boutique accommodations, First Container also provides a community space and proof of concept for the planned full hotel, Collision Works.

While the full Collision Works hotel has yet to be constructed, it is already being called “the most important hotel in America” by one leading event planning magazine. The organizers of the project are currently seeking funding to bring the full project to fruition.


Travelodge – England


Located in England, the first shipping container Travelodge consists of 86 shipping containers that form 120 hotel rooms. The exterior of the main structure was covered with cladding to hide the fact that it was comprised of shipping containers, even though using shipping containers saved Travelodge approximately 10 weeks of construction time and more than half a million pounds. Another shipping container Travelodge located near Heathrow Airport boasts more than 300 rooms, and the method of construction saved the company roughly 10 million pounds.


Containers Hostel – Scotland


Located in Scotland, Containers Hostel was the world’s first hostel to be built using recycled shipping containers. It features 12 mixed bedroom dormitories that can sleep as many as 48 people. Since the facility is built from modular shipping containers, it can grow as it becomes increasingly popular.

The containers are situated around a central communal area that is home to a movie projector, an entertainment area, and an open-air bar. Because the hostel cost so little to build, the owners are able to pass along significant savings to their guests. On average, guests pay about 28 pounds less per week to stay at Containers Hostel than they would at other comparable hostels in the area.


To Wrap Things Up


While you may not think of sleeping in a repurposed shipping container as a luxurious option, these simple metal boxes have been modified to create everything from cozy glamping accommodations to incredible boutique hotel rooms. Shipping containers are extremely versatile, and when they are no longer useful in the logistics industry, they can be given second life as comfortable accommodations. Whether they are installed permanently or as a portable solution for large events, they are safe, convenient and cost much less to construct than traditional hotels.

As the trend becomes increasingly popular, expect to see more and more shipping container hotels and hostels popping up in destinations spanning the globe. You never know: When you book your next vacation, you could find yourself staying in a brand-new shipping container hotel.


About the Author: Cory Levins serves as the Director of Business Development for Air Sea Containers. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, traveling and spending time in the great outdoors with his chocolate lab, Tucker.

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