TAKE A LOOK | A New York startup is creating R2 million modular portable hotel rooms
- New York-based Moliving is creating modular and movable hotel rooms.
- This portability allows landowners and hospitality companies to scale room inventories per season.
- See inside one of the 37-square-metre units, which has three "rooms" and two balconies.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Out with the conventional hotel, in with the quirky individual accommodations.
Meet Moliving, a New York-based hospitality startup that's making movable hotel rooms that'll be available to stay in as soon as this year.
The New York-based company specialises in what it calls "nomadic hospitality," which allows other hospitality groups and landowners to create and easily scale Moliving-based developments.
Travellers have been seeking out atypical accommodations more than ever before: Airbnb searches for "unique stays" like yurts and tiny homes have grown ten times over the past two years.
Now, Moliving is capitalising on this unconventional vacation trend by creating mobile standalone hotel rooms.
The company sees itself as a "compliment to the traditional hotel model" instead of a replacement of the classic hotel, Jordan Bem, founder and CEO of Moliving, told Insider in an email interview.
"While a perfect solution for many, we don't see traditional hotels going away," Bem said.
Unlike other prefab living space makers, Moliving owns all of its mobile hotel units.
The actual hotel space then serves as a partnership between the brand and the respective landowners or developers.
And once the contract has expired with no intention to renew, Moliving can remove its units and tow them elsewhere.
This mobility also allows companies to tweak their room inventories to match the varying levels of demand throughout the year, eliminating what Bem calls "the biggest pain point for every seasonal hotel."
For example, a beach town property can increase the number of units during high traffic summer months and then scale back during the winter travel slump.
And unlike a typical hotel building that could take years of construction, a Moliving unit can be built in three to five months.
Each unit then starts at $150,000 (R2.1 million), the company told Insider in an email statement.
The initial 60 units for Moliving's first project will be built by SG Blocks, a modular prefab construction company.
Source: SG Blocks
But moving forward, Moliving will be partnering with local "modular factories" - specifically factories near future clusters of Moliving units - to cut back on delivery costs and carbon emissions.
Each (customisable) unit stands at 14 metres long and 37 square metres, not including the 11-metre-square deck space that'll hang off the front and back of each unit.
The indoor space then includes a bathroom, living room, and bedroom.
The bedroom is lined with floor-to-ceiling windowed doors that open out into the back deck.
The beds can also be converted from king size to two twin beds.
Let's move on to the bathroom, which has the typical amenities like a shower, sink, and vanity, according to the renderings of the unit.
There's also a skylight in the bathroom, as well as several windows in the living room for a brighter stay inside the mobile hotel.
All units come with amenities like a 55-inch smart television, speakers, charging ports, a bar, WiFi, and electronic shades, creating a luxury living room space.
All of this is powered using lithium batteries and solar panels, which allow the hotel rooms to run off-grid with the help of water holding tanks.
The standalone hotel rooms can also use UV sanitation to recycle grey water, therefore reducing freshwater consumption ...
… and can be stacked to create a multi-floor unit.
The first Moliving units will be used in the upcoming Hurley House, an "eco-resort" in Hudson Valley, New York that's set to open this winter at $259 (R3,700) per night, Tim McKeough reported for the New York Times.
Moving forward, Moliving wants to open more developments in locations like Miami, Hamptons, New York, Lake Tahoe, Vail, Colorado, and potentially international spots like Italy and Spain.
The catch? For now, Moliving units are only accessible to landowners and developers. So if you want a Moliving hotel room for your own personal use, you're out of luck.
"Our current focus is on pursuing joint ventures with landowners, national parks, and campgrounds, not just future hotel sites," Bem said.