It seems that we want everything on demand these days, be it a ride by Uber or a nearby date thanks to Tinder. Now hoteliers are responding with portable accommodation that can be set up within hours.

Hotel location remains a major deciding factor for travellers and being “in the heart” of a destination remains key. Imagine attending an event and being able to stay on-site in an actual hotel room – for instance, a Moto GP enthusiast who can sleep beside the track in a shipping container room or music festival-goer who can trade camping for an on-site cabin.

Pop-up hotels can also be add-ons to existing accommodations, helping a city meet demand during busy times such as the Olympics or peak seasons.

Then there is the valuable opportunity for adequate, temporary accommodation in relief situations such as a natural disaster.

Naturally, the hotel industry is all over the concept offering different levels of luxury and amenities.

Snoozebox in the UK delivers portable on-site event and festival hotel accommodations.

The hotel can house from 40 to 400 self-contained rooms (standard size shipping containers) that can be set up in as little as 24 hours.

Each hotel room can sleep two people, either as a double or a twin and features free Wi-Fi, an LCD TV, power sockets, air conditioning/heating and an en-suite wet room. Other configurations are available and can even include a family room.

According to the company, custom folding mechanisms maximise guest space and allow rooms to compact by 50 per cent during transportation, be it by road, rail or sea. Better yet, they can be set up anywhere in the world.

The company has set up hotels at events including the 2012 London Olympics, 2014 British Grand Prix, Glastonbury Music Festival and most recently, the Rugby World Cup.

For commercial clients, the exterior, interior and canopies can all be branded to provide marketing benefits while housing a travelling race team, music tour group or other group.

A Dutch firm has invented a similar concept with a more basic design – a collapsible hotel room  that includes a bedroom and bathroom. Developed by Hubert von Heijden, the hotel can be collapsed in 10 minutes and focuses on “fast and flexible” accommodation.

Entitled the Flexotel, it’s designed for the “glamping” client at festival type events with 100 rooms able to be installed in one day.



The walls feature acoustic insulation and are made of fire retardant materials. They also feature basic furniture, linen, towels and have air events and electricity and light.

The company’s new arm, Comfotels also have plumbing and can be connected to water and sewer lines.

Flexhotel noted that organisers who used the pop-up hotel profited from increased spending per person at the event.

When the event is over, the rooms and collapsed and up to 20 Flexotel rooms can be transported in one truck.

While on-site accommodation is ideal for some, the DROP eco-hotel caters to clients who wish to wake up in a more natural setting.

Designed by Spanish architecture firm Intenta, the prefabricated wood and steel modular hotel is designed to be placed in a beautiful spot such as a rainforest or mountaintop, and can be easily removed without any ecological damage.

The hotel is raised from the ground to protect the earthy floor and the design incorporates spherical and transparent windows that act as skylights. They bring light in and can also open to blur the boundaries of the indoor/outdoor environment.

“Its design draws inspiration from organic shapes found in nature,” said the architects. “The use of lightweight materials allows the modules to be installed on a great variety of terrains and to be transported to remote natural locations: remote forests, beaches, mountains, jungles…”

Spanning a mere 25 square metres, the hotel unit can comfortably accommodate two adults and features a bedroom, lounge space and separate bathroom. There is also a wood terrace that offers outdoor seating.

In Australia, the travelling hotel room by global hotel booking app HotelTonight is making headlines in exclusive locations across the country.

The Spontaneity Suite is made of two 20-foot shipping containers and boasts luxury amenities and features including floor to ceiling glass frontage, and a rooftop Jacuzzi, terrace and cocktail station. Inside is a multitude of modern tech facilities including smart in-room technology.

“The aim was to offer an intrepid yet comfortable experience to create the perfect night of escapism,” HotelTonight regional director for Asia Pacific, Stefan Cordiner, said in a statement. “We’re on a quest to make travelling more fun so thought it was fitting to deliver this unique luxury accommodation – worthy of a trip before the suite disappears and moves on to a new home.”

So whether for adventure, consumer demand or dire need, pop-up accommodations seem to serve our sharing economy quite well.