Travel's Latest Design Craze
While spending the night inside a shipping container may not sound like a dream vacation, a growing crop of converted cargo hotels brings a new wave of upcycled design across the globe. Best of all? Container hotels are taking travel into new terrain, offering overnight experiences where traditional construction might otherwise not be possible, even moving nomad-style through countries like Australia and Belgium.
Located in the Vietnamese resort town of Nha Trang, a three-minute walk from the beach, Ccasa Hostel stacks recycled cargo containers to create a colorful, indoor/outdoor environment that encourages casual connection among travelers. Group and private container rooms are designed to evoke elegant train wagons, with beds, reading lights, power plugs and privacy curtains; while shared spaces include a modern outdoor kitchen and rooftop bar lounge outfitted with a series of net beds for night-sky gazing.
“Re-used containers not only allow more cost-effective and sustainable development, they also help build social cohesion and a compelling sense of place to help strengthen community.”
—Michael Bohn, AIA, Studio One Eleven Senior Principal
A maritime theme runs throughout Dock Inn, where solar-powered containers are located within a shipyard in Warnemünde, Germany. Most of the 60+ rooms come with harbor views, while shipping pallets second-act as long-slung seating in the lounge. Surrounded by shipping vessels and shipyard cranes, the hostel echoes its industrial Baltic Sea context with sleek, dorm-style spaces sporting crisp linens and huge windows. The property also includes a movie theater, rooftop spa, climbing wall and bar.
By the Numbers
Eat, Drink, Repeat
Long Beach-based Studio One Eleven architects is taking the food hall concept into new terrain with a series of Southern California culinary outposts built out of cargo containers. At the The Roost in Santa Ana, recycled containers house a bar and restaurant arranged into a central beer garden. Additional container food halls will roll out this year in Bellflower, Garden Grove and Anaheim, where the architects installed shipping containers within Leisuretown, an innovative culinary campus that will include Modern Timesbrewery, a coffee roaster and a vegan Mexican food restaurant all surrounded by gardens and a swimming pool.
Spend the night at container compound Flophouze Hotel in Round Top, Texas (where downhome design meets luxurious details like Matteo linens in all rooms) and you can test drive another cargo concept: shipping container swimming pools. Partnering with Modpools, which converts shipping containers into above- and below-ground pools, the hotel gives guests a chance to experience the pool while earning a credit towards purchase in the process.