The Loft: A Hotel Room That Can Travel Around The World
You get the impression you’re sleeping under the stars, but it’s not camping. You can tow it on a trailer, but it’s not a caravan. It’s decked out with stately double beds, a kitchen, shower, terrace and all manner of a la mode mod cons, but it’s not a boutique hotel. What we have here is The Loft, a hotel room that can travel around the world, taking its guests to sporting events, festivals and business meetings, the latest creation from the French group Accor Hotels, whose Innovations Lab have spent the last few years experimenting with nomadic accommodation that ticks everything on the buzzword checklist—conceptual, disruptive, immersive, autonomous, transformative. To that, we might add a little bit bonkers, in the nicest possible way.
“At sporting, cultural or professional events, it regularly happens that hotel capacity is non-existent or unsuitable,” an Accor spokesperson says. “It’s often necessary to make a choice between distance and comfort. Few solutions exist to combine comfort with practicality.”
In 2017 Accor’s Innovations Lab created Flying Nest, a 12 square meter room that resembled a shipping container but felt like a ski chalet, finished as it was in eco-friendly wood and sporting an intentionally enormous picture window that framed the landscape, giving you a widescreen view from the horizontal comfort of your own bed. Flying Nest landed at events including Le Mans, the Bordeaux Biennale and the Rencontres d’Arles, the summer photography exhibition in southern France.
Building on this success The Loft sleeps up to six people in double-bedded, cotton sheeted upscale style, the result of the Lab’s internal experts in design and strategy collaborating with the British architecture and design studio Penson and the American firm D&B Interiors. Working to a weight constraint of 3.5 tonnes—the towable limit—the team have managed to eek out a handful of living spaces—bedrooms, fitted kitchen, bathroom—that feel roomy and genuinely separate, while using every nook and cranny to conceal extra storage for luggage, shower, bathroom shelving, wardrobe ‘solutions’, Dyson appliances, the works. There’s a terrace that unfolds, increasing your footage and—the showstopper this—one-way glass covering the entire front, which serves to accentuate “the porosity between accommodation and the environment, plunging the customer to the heart of the place,” according to Accor. Or: allowing you and your roommates floor-to-ceiling gawps at the world as it passes by, in complete privacy.
This summer the still-in-beta-testing Loft pitched up at events including Glastonbury in Somerset and Sziget in Budapest, allowing its guests to roll out of bed and on-site with something that’s an anathema to the festival experience: a good night’s sleep that puts one in mind of having been in a very nice hotel.
The Loft should be ready to roll out in the coming months and feels genuinely revolutionary. Glamping, your time is up.
From: Esquire UK