12 Dec Can the extreme hotels support our environment?
As the heat of the summer is reaching it’s peak, holiday goers are jetting off to destinations all over the world trying to make the most of every second of holiday pay they have! This trend of disappearing to increasingly impressive locations has caught my travel loving attention and led me to search for the new weird and wonderful experiences the design world has injected into the travel industry.
The first destination that caught my eye is the proposed snowflake shaped hotel, off the coast of Norway. The Krystall Hotel by Waterstudio, enhances the extreme ice experience by capturing the magic of the sea and showcasing the northern lights in all their glory. Only accessible by boat, this giant structure would hold 86 rooms, complete with glass ceilings, so residents could watch the Northern Lights from their beds.
Different to any vessel, this hotel is floating real estate and will not move’ said Dutch architect and Waterstudio founder Koen Olthuis.
This really does push the boundaries of what you expect not only for a hotel but for the whole holiday experience. Carefully considering the user experience and highlighting specific elements unique to that particular area of natural beauty, this is a perfect example where man made can work with, not against, nature.
A problem I have always had with large hotel complexes is the eye sores they create and the destruction path they leave, aesthetically, politically and socially. From shipping money straight out of the holiday destination, to monopolising spots of natural beauty with high rise blocks, it would take something incredible to change my views on multi complexes. With further research into incredible holiday destinations, I found the Cave Hotel by Atkins. At first glance this is a colossal construction like that of the high rise hotels that have emerged all over the rest of China. With further observation this is actually an amazing stint of engineering which is recycling an abandoned Quarry. As a home for extreme sports and a design Mecca, this unbelievable hotel looks to make use of an environment that would have been inhabitable, transforming the landscape and featuring an industrialised space in quite a different light! The 19 storey architectural phenomenon will also boast not one, but two floors completely submerged underwater further capturing the imaginations of thousand of visitors that will flood (excuse the pun!) this hotel opens its doors in 2015.
From a Quarry in China to the Chillian Valdivian Ecoregions, unique hotels are now supporting areas that would otherwise be damaged or even destroyed. Huilo Huilo, in the Pantagonian Andes, is now home to seven ecohotels that work with three main charities to protect and reveal some of the most extraordinary wildlife of anywhere in the world. Nothofagus Hotel & Spa is one of the hotels nestled into the treetops of the Biological Reserve, following an ancient watercourse and features a waterfall following right through the centre of the ring shaped construction. By ensuring tourism is monitored and controlled these environments can thrive and be correctly maintained, highlighting a undeniably positive effect of the industry.
As customers all over the world become more aware of the inner working of a company, it is now, more than ever before, our job to ensure we are running clean and green. As a designer it is my job to become your best friend so I can create something that you would create yourself, with the resources. How can you trust me and enjoy working with me if I am not honest with you about the company? One thing that was drawn to my attention throughout the research for this blog is that the companies that seem to thrive are the ones that are simple, open and honest. The Cave hotel, China, was not trying to hide it’s past as a Quarry, just as the Krystall Hotel did not try to distract you from the Northern Lights, each of the examples I have discussed have found their unique selling point (USP) and flaunted it!
If these businesses can thrive in these extreme environments, how can you apply this to yours? What is your USP?
By Sophie Hambling