Entirely self-sufficient facilities aren’t anything particularly new. Think cashier-less stores a la Amazon Go, or unmanned fitness containers like The Gym Pod accessible by app. It was inevitable then, that someone would think of translating that idea into minimalist hotels.
Enter District Hive’s capsule hotels. Not unlike Anthenea’s floating, eco-friendly pods, these hotels are designed for travellers that want to get away from it all – other humans included, thank you very much. Simply pack your bags and head to your off-grid destination of choice – access is granted via an app on your smartphone, without the need for further faffing about.
The first of these recently revealed off-grid locations is Granada, Spain, where a 35 sqm capsule hotel has been dropped off in the middle of the Gorafe desert. We say dropped off, as the pods, designed by Spain-based Moho Arquitectos, are made for a blend of self-sufficiency and portability.
According to the press release, the eco-hotel is purpose-built and designed for independent living. It’s capable of harvesting potable water from the air, as long as the pod still has juice – drawn from solar cells, with a battery that lasts around four days should the sun stop shining in the Gorafe. The pod also has its own waste-to-ash management and grey water filtration system.
In all, these systems mean that the District Hive pod hotels don’t need to be hooked up to any complementary system to function – not sewage, nor the power grid, nor any other utility. In fact, the hotel itself is raised above the ground on six legs in a bid to leave as small a footprint as humanely possible.
The pod’s interiors adhere to the same design sensibilities. Space for four, with a bathroom, kitchen-and-dining room, bedroom and storage space, along with an open terrace for unbeatable views.
Every system in the pod, including water and solar energy production, temperature, lighting and, ahem, purchase of food and drink, are handled by the District Hive app. While it’s touted as an artificial intelligence system, think of it more as a smart monitoring system designed to make your stay that much easier.
While decidedly low maintenance, the pods aren’t completely maintenance-free – the waste management system can run for about five days before needing some attention, but they’re meant for tourists, not hermits.
Novelty aside, District Hive’s value proposition is also in its scalability. Multiple pods make for mini-resorts, while pods can be purchased prefab to be placed at any remote location of choice.
While further locations are still in the works – pending demand from partners or customers to deploy the pods for their own use – turnkey, deployable modules might be the new frontier in travel as guests explore how to satisfy their wanderlust in wonderfully isolated locales.
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