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Forget glamping, these pop-up hotel rooms are the new rough luxury

Plush bedding, a rooftop deck, and A/C: What more do you really need?

Forget glamping, these pop-up hotel rooms are the new rough luxury
[Photo: AccorHotels]

What if instead of going to stay at a hotel, the hotel came to you?

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That’s the premise of the Flying Nest, a project being pioneered by Accor Hotels, parent company to brands like Sofitel, Fairmont, and Ibis. Designed for live events, like remote music festivals and conferences, the Flying Nest consists of modular rooms that can be set up in a matter of hours to comfortably house attendees almost anywhere. An event like Coachella, for instance, would pay Accor to set up the rooms, and you’d rent a spot directly from Coachella.

The rooms themselves were designed by French product and space designer Ora-ïto and the French company Capsa, which specializes in repurposing shipping containers as dwellings. Constructed in groups of six modules, each grouping is made up of five private hotel rooms and a large rooftop balcony, while the remaining module is filled with technical equipment to support the rooms.

[Photo: AccorHotels]

The first thing you’ll notice is that these rooms don’t have the industrial look that most converted shipping containers never shake. Instead, they’re retrofit with natural, sustainable wood finishes, which creates a cozier atmosphere. A floor-to-ceiling window caps one wall of each unit, with a fold-down shade to balance one’s needs for both natural light and privacy. Each unit also has the sort of perks you’d want in any hotel room: plush bedding, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. A combination of gray-water collection and LED lighting helps the rooms operate with a relatively low-resource footprint. Each island is self-sustainable for two days before requiring service.

Of course, the rooms themselves are perfectly fine–but it’s where they can go that’s so appealing. Last year, Accor Hotels set up several Flying Nest rooms just 18 feet from the racetrack hosting the famous, day-long 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Having proven the concept, it plans to expand the project with more business-to-business markets–it’s easy to imagine festivals offering these rooms as an alternative to glamping–and is considering offering the service directly to consumers in some form before the end of 2019.

Now if Accor Hotels can just manage to squeeze a Taco Bell into one of the modules we’ll be all set.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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