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Brief Published: 28 Jan 2013

Design-Led Container Hotel Pops Up in Antwerp


Thanks to their relatively low-cost, green credentials and capacity to be moved around, the trend for using recycled shipping containers as an alternative to creating new buildings is gaining momentum on a daily basis.  

The latest hospitality-focused take on the theme is the Sleeping Around hotel, conceived by Belgian hospitality entrepreneur Geoffrey Stampaert – owner of the boutique hotel Les Nuits in Antwerp. Sleeping Around is a design-led suite of 20ft shipping containers featuring a breakfast lounge container, a kitchen container, a sauna container and four room containers, forming a mini-resort.

The aim was to craft a hotel experience attuned to the growing consumer desire of adventure and surprise (cue the nomadic containers) without the need for guests to sacrifice the comfort or designer amenities.

Described in the company’s press info as “compact yet luxurious”, each hotel room is equipped with heavily branded mod-cons created by a raft of well-known design groups. They include a floating box-spring bed, a compact Raindance shower by German group Hansgrohe, an Apple iPod docking station and an air conditioning system designed by British brand Dyson.

Continuing the emphasis on brand partnerships, the sauna is powered by German bathroom manufacturer Duravit, while the lounge box includes coffee from Italian brand Illy.

The hotel is currently located on the edge of the Scheldekaai docks in Antwerp, but is due to be on the move soon; Stampaert has put a call out on the company’s website for suggestions regarding new locations. “We want people to suggest local places that they know of with a great view or something unique to offer – and not just in Belgium,” he says. “For example, it would be very easy to establish the hotel in a vineyard in Spain or on a beach in Africa.”

With transient hospitality here to stay, there’ s plenty of room for both hoteliers and associated brands to get in on the action. For more on the pop-up phenomenon, see Pop-Up Hotels and Brands on Tour: The Benefits of Nomadic Retailing.

For more on modular hotels, see CitizenM Hospitality Evolves: The Global Nomad.

Sleeping Around