Blog February 12, 2013

Container Hotels – too quirky or the latest trend?

By Nicola Byers
The next time you book a hotel, would you consider staying in a converted sea container? Here at Intermodal Eye, we have seen the container emerge as a star of TV and film, it has become the latest restaurant design, a shop and and even a hall of residents for students but now it is becoming more popular as a hotel design. Not even just a cheap alternative! We have listed our favourites here on the blog, ranging from five star luxury to portable temporary accommodation.

Xiang Hotel

This five star shipping container hotel ‘xiang xiang pray house’ (also pictured above) was designed by Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design and is located in the rural village of nan dazhan cun, China. It opened in August 2012. The design consisting of a compilation of 35 individual shipping containers includes 21 luxury guest rooms of either 20ft or 40ft, a lobby and restaurant. This type of construction reduced the amount of water and concrete required by 60% and the process produced only 30% of the normal waste. It also took only 3 months to build.


Snoozebox is a new and exciting innovation in transportable, temporary hotel accommodation. It offers flexible configurations from 40 to 400 rooms, and can be fully operational and ready to welcome guests within 48 hours of arriving at almost any event or location around the world. During 2013, Snoozebox will provide accommodation at The Open Golf tournament in Muirfield, Thorpe Park (a UK theme park) and has previously provided accommodation at the Edinburgh Festival and the London Olympics.


It’s possible that you may have stayed in a hotel made of containers and not even known it! Back in 2008, Travelodge opened a hotel in Uxbridge, England that was constructed entirely from prefabricated shipping containers. The design used eighty-six containers of various sizes that were retrofitted into bedrooms and bolted together onsite.

Travelodge Hotel

The exterior was then clad and fitted with windows to create a seamless 120 bedroom hotel. Verbus Systems estimated that the structure’s prefab composition saved the hotel chain more than half a million pounds and at least 10 weeks of construction.