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4 Insane Hotel Concepts That Need to Be Built Right Now

Tetra hotel
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Hotels often target the lowest common denominator. By definition, they need to be all things to all guests. While more forward-thinking architects have are thinking outside the very square box recently, most modern hotels are still pretty damn bland. But what if hotel designers were to imagine big — very big? Here are the most insane hotel concepts we’d love to see built right now.

Tetra Hotel

Tetra hotel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sleeping in a “pod” hardly seems like a luxurious way to spend a night. There’s a reason Japanese capsule hotels aren’t exactly a “big get” for travelers. However, David Ajasa-Adekunle has reimagined what it could mean to vacation in such a structure. His Tetra Hotel envisions symmetrical rows of vague, cube-like geometric “pods” lining the banks of a glacial river in Iceland? Jasper National Park? It’s hard to say for sure, but it’s damn beautiful wherever it is. Every room features a multi-story layout starting with a work area on the ground floor, moving through an entertaining space on the second, and finally up to a top-floor bedroom and shower situated beneath a massive skylight. If Jared Leto’s trillionaire industrialist character in Blade Runner 2049 had a vacation cabin, it might look something like this.

Waterworld Hotel

Waterworld hotel china
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Aside from its unfortunate name, Waterworld Hotel has nothing in common with that disaster of a Kevin Costner movie from the ’90s.  The project is envisioned for Songjiang, China, in a stunning quarry, making the property both subterranean and waterfront. The massive, 400-bed complex would house all the amenities of a Caribbean luxury resort, including underwater common areas and multiple restaurants, cafes, and swimming pools. Atkins Architecture Group, the award-winning firm behind the concept, also imagines making smart use of the surrounding quarry with numerous sporting facilities such as bungee-jumping, rock climbing, and other adventure sports.

Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort

Hydropolis hotel
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Imagine a hotel three-quarters the size of New York’s Central Park — underwater. It’s a concept so large and so fantastic that designers have been trying since 2006 to devise a way to build it without affecting the tides in the surrounding Persian Gulf too much. The Dubai-based Hydropolis hotel would consist of three zones: a land station to welcome guests, a connecting passage to usher guests from reception to the main area by train, and 220 underwater suites. The construction price tag is estimated to top €600 million (approximately USD $750 million), making it one of the most expensive hotels ever devised. Nightly rates are expected to run north of USD $10,000, but at least you’ll be treated to the hotel’s self-proclaimed “10-star service.”

Aeroscraft Luxury Airship “Hotel”

Aeroscraft Luxury Airship
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Future hotels may not be built on land at all. The Aeroscraft is a luxury flying hotel concept designed to take guests to the furthest reaches of our planet — places where traditional planes, helicopters, and boats just can’t go. The 400-ton blimp could be up to two football fields long and capable of carrying 250 passengers in luxurious comfort. Planned onboard amenities include a casino and multiple restaurants. The best part? This concept is the closest on this list to seeing the light of day. The design is the descendant of a massive airship already tested and fully functional for cargo transport.

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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