Post-Covid, "touchless", "minimizing contact" or "social distancing" gradually became the new standard in tourism and travel. Therefore, hotels are likely to nest this “touchless” criterion into the innovative models of mobile hotel rooms to minimize all risks of interpersonal contact for their guests.

What is the design of mobile hotel rooms?

The first idea of ​​mobile hotel rooms was introduced in 2014 by the Hongkong-based OVA Studio with its “hive-inn”. This idea of ​​OVA Studio, which was positioned to optimize absolute flexibility of hotels, utilizing the compartments inside the container for guest rooms and overlapping them to save space, was sent to the Innovation Awards 2014 to compete for the Radical Innovation Awards 2014. Despite being highly appreciated for its creativity and uniqueness, this idea, unfortunately, was unable to make it to the next round.

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It was not until 2018 that Steve Lee, a designer at Toronto-based Aprilli Design Studio in Canada came up with an idea that could be realizable – the Autonomous Travel Suite.

The Autonomous Travel Suite can be considered as a hotel room on wheels. This model of driverless mobile hotel rooms includes a sleeping area with mattress, a washroom facility with a toilet and sitting shower, a space for work or entertainment, and even a kitchenette. According to the designer, a mobile hotel room like this can accommodate up to 5 people. This battery-powered vehicle can pick up travels at home and take them to the destination as their wish and travel up to 10 hours.

At that time, driverless cars were already being tested on several roads in the U.S. and London, U.K.; Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, also said that by 2019, the complete version of the driverless car would probably be launched to the market. Therefore, this design is appraised for its practical values.

“It is basically a hotel room so it has everything inside it. Whether it is 6 hours or 10 hours, you will feel comfortable inside it,” Steve Lee said, predicting his Autonomous Travel Suite design could be realized on the road by 2030.

The Autonomous Travel Suite won the Radical Innovation Award 2018 for the design category in the hospitality industry.

By 2020, under the impact and pressure of the pandemic on the tourism industry in general and the hospitality industry in particular, the idea of ​​a mobile hotel room once again became the highlight of the press. This time, hotel design and development firm Getty Group came up with a radical concept based on recreational vehicles. Previously, the rental van company Cabana also pursued this idea, but in the futuristic upgrade of the Getty Group, the mobile hotel room features a fleet of autonomous R.V.s, each of which is equipped with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchens and can rove from one location to another, owned and maintained by the hotel.

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According to The Getty Group, guests will be driven from one hotel to the next on a deluxe road tip, parking at affiliated hotels to use the facilities that are not attached to the vehicles such as the swimming pool, dining or having it serviced by housekeeping.

"The basic idea is to uncouple the hospitality experience from the hotel and set it out on the road," said CIO Ron Swidler of The Getty Group.

The prospect of mobile hotel room design

Mobile hotel rooms are likely to be a major contributor to the recovery of business travel. One of the reasons why companies restrict their employees from traveling on business is that there is a high possibility their employees may be infected on the trip and spread the virus to the rest of the company. So once the employees are guaranteed not to have face-to-face contact with anyone (except for the clients they have to meet), it is very likely that business travel will be resumed.

Provided the model of mobile hotel rooms is designed with advanced technologies that help it to self-drive on the road according to a pre-selected route, guests will be even more satisfied as they can save up quite an amount for travel costs while being absolutely safe as they do not have to contact with drivers or strangers on public transportation. At the same time, they can also take advantage of the commute between locations to relax or work in the spacious, comfortable and private space.

Source: Destination Review

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