It has been a busy week for me, I attended the Destinations Travel Show on Friday on behalf of Great Rail Journeys and it was such a great experience. Pretty tiring but so great to see so many companies and destinations being represented.
I was inspired by the different brands to continue on with a blog post that I did a while back which has been one of my favourites and that is my ‘Top 6 Quirky Hotels’. I really enjoyed putting in the research and sharing with you ideas to make your holidays just that little bit different. I am going to carry on with this as a more regular post and I hope you enjoy.
As you can probably tell by the title of this post I am going to go through the Top 5 most Futuristic Hotels that I have found across the world. Now it is all dependent on your taste but why not pull a Marty Mcfly and go back to the future…and what better time than on your holiday?
Now lets get our speed to 88mph and look at my top 5.
The Yotel brand are affordable hotels which started back in 2002 by the YO! brand founder Simon Woodroffe OBE and Gerard Greene. Now if you are thinking is that related to YO! Sushi then yes…yes it is. YO! Sushi is one of my favourite places to eat and now knowing there is basically a hotel version it sounds like a great place to be.
Their inspiration was from first class travel of a luxury airline and transformed this into small smart spaces that are simple for when you need to stay overnight close to the airport. The first hotels opened at London Gatwick and London Heathrow airport. This has then expanded to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. They have now expanded their eye-catching designs into city hotels including New York and due to be Boston and Singapore later this year.
This brand is constantly changing with technology and finding ways to make the hotel experience more efficient. What I love is that it is bringing the luxury of sleeping in premier class on a luxury airline to everyone and it is also inspired by the Japanese capsule hotel concept.
Now lets have a look at some of the features shall we:
- You can choose your Check in and Check out times to suit you. Go online and make your booking by choosing the hours that you wish to arrive and depart. Prices start from £37 for 4 hours in a Standard Cabin. This means you can stay for just a few hours in-between flights!
- There are three types of rooms: Standard Cabin (perfect for one with a single bed, cosy for two), Premium Cabin (perfect for two with a retractable smart bed that turns into a sofa) & Premium Triple Bunk (perfect for a family or three adults with a double bunk and single bunk combo)…oh and not forgetting you get Free Wifi, and 24/7 tea,coffee and hot chocolate.
- At the new city hotels you have the choice of: First King, First King Terrace, First King Terrace Accessible, VIP View Suite & VIP Terrace Suite and even more.
- The Yotel Robot: This is a 20ft-tall robot which you can see at the Yotel hotel in New York as you enter and this robot automatically will places your suitcases in lockers if you are having a quick check-in or fancy a wander around before your cabin is ready.
- Mission Control: 24/7 helpdesk with the wonderfully named Mission Control: head to the Helpdesk for anything from food & drinks to alarm clocks for those who are not early risers.
Now I think it is time to move onto my next hotel but please go and check this hotel out it looks great and it is definitely something I am going to bare in mind if I am ever flying from London Gatwick/Heathrow. http://www.yotel.com/en/
2. Nine Hours Hotel, Kyoto
Just as mentioned above in Japan there is the very popular capsule hotel concept and this is just it. There are four locations: Kyoto, Narita, Sendai & Shinjuku-North. The first hotel opened in 2009.
The Nine Hours Hotel has that exact concept of being able to use the hotel for as little as 1 hour a quick nap or shower or stay for multiple nights and you can also use the smart check-in from your phone and scan your passport to make it even easier.
To Shower: it costs 800 JPY and can be used 24 hours a day for an allotted time of 3 hours.
To Nap: it costs 1000 JPY for the first hour and 300 JPY for any additional hours. You can also have usage of the shower within this stay as well.
To Stay: The hotel is open 365 days a year and you can book for however many nights you require and you can stay for less than 4900 JPY.
Once you have checked in you can change into the exclusive nine hours clothing and really feel like you are boarding a futuristic spacecraft.
Also staying at a capsule hotel upon check-in you receive your personal locker key and your capsule number. Inside the capsules they are fitted with ‘sleep ambience control’ to help ease the feeling of being in a smaller space.
Lastly what I love about this hotel is that it combines both the future and tradition which is exactly what Japan encapsulates. The staff wear traditional kimonos and inside the pods they are fitted with futons and tatami mats.
Check out this wonderfully quirky hotel bringing its unique features as inspiration closer to home https://ninehours.co.jp/en/.
3. The Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore
Now this hotel is really cool! This hotel is part of the ‘Unlisted Collection:’ which are award winning boutique hotels. There are a total of 27 properties including Singapore, Shanghai and London. The whole idea of these hotels are to be quirky and wish to leave the hotels design and features to the guest imagination and interpretation. They focus on each individual property maintaining its unique identity. I find this really important if you are travelling sometimes you can go to hotel and it is really basic and when you are there you feel like you could be anywhere in the world.
The Wanderlust hotel has particularly caught my eye with the industrial yet glamorous design. The property itself used to be where Indian immigrants used to rear their cattle and other livestock.
The reason I put this hotel under my futuristic list is the way that every floor in the hotel was designed by a different agency and I really hope to see this more in hotels in the future for amazing artists to come together and make hotels that really utilise the building for its history and also represent where you are staying!
These are the different floors:
Pantone (Floor 2) designed by Phunk Studio. Each room represents a single colour with song titles relating to that colour.
Pantone Deluxe Room (Floor 2) designed by Phunk Studio. This whole room is based on the colour Yellow and of course pays tribute to the wonderful Yellow Submarine by The Beatles.
Mono (Floor 3) designed by DP Architects. There are total of 8 Mono Rooms on Floor 3 split up into 4 ‘Origami Rooms’ and 4 ‘Pop-Art Rooms’. The Origami rooms are crisp white inspired by paper with strip lights where guests can choose from 4 colours in order to basically paint your own room. The Pop-Art Rooms are differently themed with ‘Princess, Flowers, Big and Directionless’.
Mono Deluxe (Floor 3) designed by DP Architects. This room is another Pop Art room and has a more simplistic bedroom feel with pop art feature such as a lip sofa and an illusion window! With this deluxe room you also get an added feature of a glass encased bathtub.
Whimsical (Loft Rooms) designed by fFurious. The theme of these rooms are nicknamed as ‘Creature Comforts’. These rooms are hands down my favourites as they are so unique!
These 9 rooms on this floor have 5 different themes ‘Bling, ASCII, Space, Tree and
Typewriter’. The main theme being creature comforts helps to cast an illusion of friendly monsters down the corridors. With friendly creatures being found in the rooms to keep any lonely travellers company.
4. Ice Hotel
The ICE Hotel was first founded in 1989 and is the first hotel made of ice and snow. It is remade every year in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi.
Back in 2016 the Ice Hotel became Ice Hotel 365… this means that you can have this incredible experience 365 days a year. This amazing structure will run solely on solar power throughout the summer months and during winter will join the original feature of the classic Ice Hotel.
The fact that you can stay here 365 days a year is such an incredible idea whether you be seeing the northern lights or witnessing the midnight sun you can incorporate this incredible hotel into your experience.
Prices start from around 1,275 Swedish Krone which is approximately £115 per person per night.
You also have the option of staying in a Cold Room or a Warm Room. Personally I would choose the cold room because it has such an iconic image. Each cold room is hand carved and you are provided with a loan of snowsuit, boots, mittens and balaclava with a thermal sleeping bag to keep you warm in the -5 to -8 degrees Celsius. The warm rooms are all designed with a calm warming feel and each rooms has a ceiling to floor window letting in as much natural light as possible.
Free entry into the sauna is included with both rooms as well as a guided tour of the Ice Hotel and it is recommended that if you wish to stay in a cold room that you combine this with at least a couple of nights in the warm room or stay in the warm room between 2 nights of cold. There are also several other room options that you can check out on their website which are truly stunning and an absolute masterpiece.
You also will have access to visit the Icebar originally set up in 1994 and is remade every year with a unique design. Your drinks will of course be served in ice.
The reason I have included this hotel into my ‘futuristic top 5’ is that it is such a unique concept which is has now become a permanent structure accompanying this incredible annual hotel masterpiece. Every year the temporary Ice Hotel is is hand crafted by around 40 artists across the world. Now being able to sustain this and appreciate the natural environment is a wish I have for hotels of the future. Being able to stay in an eco-friendly way in the environment and in such a unique way definitely represents the future of accommodation in not just the typical way of robots and space.
Go give it a look, trust me it is worth it even if you just take a day visit (http://www.icehotel.com).
5. Free Spirit Spheres
The Free Spirit Spheres are suspended tree-houses where you can stay in Vancouver Island Rainforest. Tom Chudleigh is the creator of this excellent experience. The whole idea is to provide people with a completely unique experience within a completely natural environment.
They even state on their website that their overall vision for this experience is to expand this into a ‘world class resort’ and partner up to include this amongst forests all over the world as they work together to help carry on this conservation.
There are currently 3 spheres to choose from:
Eve: contains 1 single bed and can fit up to 2 people if you fancy being a bit cosy and is sat amongst a cedar and maple tree grove. You can stay in these sphere from 175 Canadian Dollars per night (1 person) and 210 Canadian Dollars per night (2 person).
Eyrn: contains a double bed and a single in the loft which is very fitting for 3 people. Eyrn sits amongst a grove of cedar and fir trees. You can stay in this sphere from 299 Canadian Dollars with 50 dollars adding onto the price for the 3rd person.
Melody: this sphere can sleep up to 2 people and the unique space turns into a great working area. I love this idea as being in the middle of this natural environment would be perfect inspiration for artists, musicians & writers. You can stay in these sphere from 314 Canadian Dollars per night.
2 new spheres are currently in the works named Luna and Flora.
Now this is such a great idea but it is definitely for those that are happy to go ‘Au Naturel’. There is a central-heated bathroom which is located at the base of each sphere with a compost toilet. Those guests staying in the spheres would be sharing the cooking facilities.
Again this is in my ‘Top 5 Futuristic Hotels’ as it is such a unique idea and is a concept which is perfect for the future in my eyes as combining a quirky place to stay with conserving the environment, bring on more of these I say!!
Go and give them a check out and keep an eye out for Luna and Flora to be built (http://freespiritspheres.com).
I hope you enjoyed this post and my different take on the future of vacations in regards to where to stay. I combined my top 5 with a mix of ‘robots, pods, art and the natural environment.’
I know it was a long one and I definitely will be doing a new post so keep an eye out as I will be posting my top 5 historic hotels (including one in an old prison)…
Thanks for Reading,