by Katja Feldmeier

What are we looking for when travelling? Maybe an exciting experience in pop-up hotels? Maybe we seek urban wilderness to immerse ourselves. Maybe we crave the peace of the countryside.

For most of us, it has something to do with discovery and distance. There is that returning urge to discover a new place. To discover ourselves in being out there. And find the distance to our daily routines and a change from redundant impressions on our senses. This distance is not necessarily a question of mileage. We can easily be strangers in our own country and satisfy our longing by taking a deep dive into local culture and customs. As long as there is that shift, that transformation, we will return home feeling enriched. The transformative experience ultimately manifests itself in a basket of individual stories and tales we collected.  Hence, it comes as no surprise that a place with a strong narrative is bound to trigger and attract the story-collector present in every traveller.

//Pop-Up Hotels and Architectural Masterpieces attract the New Traveler


A Room For London. A pop-up hotel room on a boat on a ship in the heart of London. Created by the British project Living Architecture who bring stunning architectural gems to remote areas of the UK or fill unusual gaps in the city. Travellers receive the rare opportunity to live in a design masterpiece for a limited period of time. An experience to have before the location transforms again to serve another purpose.

Spaces in London


The Shingle House is sited on one of the most unusual and poetic landscapes in England, on the shingle beach of Dungeness, near Romney Marsh. The entire beach is classified as a nature reserve and is filled with unusual flora, and is a haven for a plethora of birdlife.

//Make Us Feel Special

One of the latest buzzwords in the tourism and hospitality sectors is strongly connected to this idea of a narrative: destination building. The concept focuses on creating a unique story for a destination. This goes beyond any classical expectations that travellers might have, like great service or location, primarily focusing on more emotional factors. These factors build on the same dynamics that have been shaping other industries in recent years: ultra-localism, curated authenticity and transience.  As a logical consequence, the pop-up idea has been slowly seeping through from the world of retail into the world of hospitality. It makes travellers feel they can experience something special that everybody else won’t replicate. A magical, mystical space that is there and then gone again, making us feel special.


The architecture collective PINKCLOUD developed a pop-up hotel that works as an adaptable set of building blocks. Empty office spaces in New York’s skyscrapers, which would otherwise be wasted, can be easily transformed into luxurious hotel suites in no time and with little cost.



//The Comfort of Home in the Wilderness of the World

Pop-up hotels let us experience the world beyond any fixed architectural infrastructure. In the form of containers or boxes, they can be transported anywhere, anytime. In recent years they have been widely popular in music festivals. Offering visitors the ultimate glamping experience.


Snoozebox. A hotel popping up at major festivals across the UK.


Sleeping Around. A compact yet luxurious hotel room, equipped with all the mod cons: a box-spring bed, rain shower, iPod docking station and air conditioning – all contained in a 20ft recycled sea container.

There are very clear-cut signs for a shift in the hospitality industry, and pop-up hotels are among the latest trends. Interpreting and translating these week signals into a strategy is a challenge the industry will face soon.

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