Themed hotels rarely feel like more than a gimmick. There’s a reason The Bell (Taco Bell’s pop-up hotel and resort) and Nutella’s limited-run Hotella Nutella were designed as fleeting PR stunts. However, retro video games are way cooler than chalupas and breakfast spreads. That’s why Atari just announced the world’s first, permanent video-game-themed hotel chain.
Official details for Atari Hotels are thin at the moment. The latest artist renderings show a blocky architecture reminiscent of a futuristic parking garage made of stacked cubes. Long stretches of what appears to be brushed metal — inspired by the triple lines in Atari’s famous logomark — sweep over and waterfall down the side of the building, along with the brand’s signature red logo. It’s an understated aesthetic that feels future-forward without trying too hard.
Inside, Atari Hotels promises all the usual upscale hotel amenities. In addition, however, every location will boast a long list of state-of-the-art, gamer-focused tech features. So far, they’re guaranteeing bleeding-edge virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology throughout, plus high-tech studios and venues for esporting events. We imagine every hotel will also offer lightning-fast fiber optic internet connections.
The concept isn’t entirely new. Amsterdam’s The Arcade Hotel has been around for years, and even claims to be “the world’s first video game hotel.” The Curtis in Denver offers a video-game-themed room. However, neither has the retro clout and rabid loyalty of Atari. As the creator of the most recognizable games in history, it’s among the world’s most iconic brands. With the recent rise of esports and competitive gaming, Atari Hotels was a no-brainer. Co-developer Napoleon Smith III said, “When creating this brand-new hotel concept, we knew that Atari would be the perfect way to give guests the ‘nostalgic and retro meets modern’ look and feel we were going for. Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay inside an Atari?!” Indeed.
Atari Hotels will break ground on the first location in Phoenix sometime in mid-2020 with an anticipated opening in 2022. Plans are already underway to open additional hotels around the country, including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Austin, Texas.
For endless retro video gameplay without having to leave the comfort of your basement, check out the best classic game consoles you can buy today.
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