You know you’ve checked into a budget hotel when your room overlooks an industrial estate and the vending machine in the lobby is the closest thing to room service.
Love them or hate them, budget hotels have come into their own during the recession and just like no-frills airlines, have opened up a world of options for travellers on a shoestring.
But despite their popularity, budget hotels lack design innovation, says the UK’s architecture newspaper BD, which ran a competition inviting architects to reinvent today’s budget hotel room. The brief: to make a tiny space (12sqm) feel spacious and luxurious.
12 conceptual room designs have been shortlisted, which we’ve featured in our slideshow, below.
Some of the creative ideas include a sliding bed that can hide a sunken bath and a windowless room that has been transformed with an interactive screen showing real-time views of the city.
The Infinity Room
In the Infinity Room a sunken bath steps up to the sleeping area, which has a floating bed to give the room a sense of airiness.
Floor-to-ceiling windows open up this compact space and enhance the skyscraper views. But could budget hotels ever occupy prime locations like this in future?
By: Nicos Yiatros & Konstantinos ZaverDinos
A Room as a View
Can a budget hotel room be simple and stylish at the same time? This designer thinks so, if you start with a blank canvas – quite literally. 'A Room as a View' has been kept deliberately simple so that hotels can personalise the look to fit a local style.
The Myplace concept
This concept taps the power of crowdsourcing and social media, putting guests in control of their cheap lodging needs. You choose the time and place and this portable hotel room could in theory be transported there on the back of a truck. But could the petrol bill cost more than a night in the pod itself?
By: Ian Springford Architects
A mini bar may not be a standard feature in a budget hotel room, but it's one of the perks that's been added inside this concrete space, as well as an old steamer trunk for hanging clothes. The room pulls off a (purposely) distressed look with a built-in bed made from reclaimed floorboards and a shabby carpet. Distressed interiors may be in, but how long before the beaten up look goes out of fashion?
By: Project Orange
Plugin and Play hotel
Could this idea take Japan's famous capsule hotels to a new level of service and comfort? The hotel features two pods, one for sleeping ('service' pod) and one for entertainment ('play' pod). The pods interlock to create flexible rooms and the play pod offers a customised experience through the online check-in system, which uses social media to predict what the guest may want to do.
By: Bright Space Architects
Why stick to one room layout when you can free up space in a more interesting way by shuffling a few things around? That's the idea behind the Configurator hotel room, which uses simple moving parts to create a series of different arrangements to make the best use of space.
The room's most unique feature? A sunken bath that's covered by a sliding bed, designed along the lines of a stage set.
By: Coupdeville Architects
Make a room
The traditional hotel room layout has been rethought in this concept design. 'Make a room' removes the usual walls that separate work, sleep, relax and wash spaces to create a room without clutter. It also uses durable and comfortable materials.
By: De Matos Ryan
The static room
This room has been designed so that guests can change the layout to suit their needs. The oval space containing the washing facilities in the middle of the room can be adapted to vary the level of privacy in the room.
By: G1 Architecture
By Andrew Mulroy Architects
The bathroom in this room looks smaller than a phone box. But this is a deliberate move by the designers to squeeze in a 2-metre wide bed that doubles as a lounge area in the heart of the room.
By Ninian MacQueen
High ceilings revive this boxy room by creating an illusion of space. The room also features space saving elements including a fold-out bed and a glass screen wet room that can be hidden away when not in use.
Bland and bare-bones or a blueprint for the future? The designers want guests to put their own stamp on this room. A prefabricated box made out of an engineered wood, it can be divided up into sleep, wash and work areas by pulling a floor-to-ceiling curtain around the space.
'Hotel Obscura' tries to deal with the problem of a windowless room with a giant interactive projector that shows real-time views of the city. The big screen also doubles as a platform on which to watch films or surf the Internet. The bed also takes centre stage in the room, ensuring that guests get a front row seat when tuning in.
By: Michael Trentham architects
BD will announce the winner on November 23.
What do you think of these designs? Drop us a comment, below.