March 14, 2017

Shipping Container Hotels: Types and Benefits of Building with Containers

shipping container hotels

Shipping container hotels have taken the hospitality industry by storm. From the Flophouze Hotel in Texas to the CCASA Hostel in Vietnam, it’s safe to say these modern accommodations aren’t going out of fashion anytime soon.

With some creative planning, shipping containers can be converted into any number of things, from hotel rooms, restaurants, offices, and even hospitals. Keep reading to learn more about how your business can benefit from shipping container hotels.

Rental Disclaimer: Containers for rent cannot be modified/converted.

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Why Has the Container Hotel Become a Trend?

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Container hotels are faster to build, eco-friendlier and more innovative, and a whole lot more affordable than your regular brick-and-mortar hotels.  

The shipping container hotels also have travelers and lodgers intrigued. What people love about this idea is the eco-conscious upcycling and creative design. After all, turning a steel box structure into a design masterpiece is no easy feat.





Some of the Most Popular Shipping Container Hotels Around the World

Ccasa Hostel, Nha Trang, Vietnam

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This hostel brings old shipping containers to life, drawing inspiration from the interiors of train cabins.

You'll find boldly painted container rooms stacked on either side of suspended walkways and intricate tiling and patterned wood finishing in this container hotel space. The design of the rooms resembles an exclusive, fully-furnished cabin. Guests can experience laid-back, communal interactions in a creative space.



Quadrum Ski and Yoga Resort, Gudauri, Georgia

Nestled high in the Caucasus mountains, this container hotel prides itself on being built of locally sourced materials and recycled containers. The containers provide cozy insulated quarters that have sliding glass doors and a panoramic mountain view. The juxtaposition of rustic industrial charm with luxury accommodations continues to draw tourists to this space.





Flophouze Shipping Container Hotel, Round Top, Texas

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This container hotel comprises eclectically designed 'houzes' made using old schoolhouses, a distillery, old bowling lanes, and even have cabinet bases from an FDA lab! This hotel takes glamping to another level with its cozy and inviting hotel rooms, fire pits, and an above-ground shipping container pool.






Dock Inn, Warnemünde, Germany

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Dubbed the first luxury hostel in Germany, the Dock Inn is the epitome of sustainability. Sitting on the Warnemünde quay in Germany, this container hotel features solar-powered recycled shipping containers with private rooms, bigger suites, and even four-bed dorms.

This hostel is a holiday retreat with nautical views outside large glass windows, funky interiors, a movie theater, and a rooftop sauna.





ContainHotel, Czech Republic

Source - ContainHotel

This unique pop-up boutique hotel by Artikul Architects is all over social media. It’s also been spotted in a few different areas, including a railway station, and alongside the Elbe river. This container hotel intrigues guests with its eco-friendly design of three stacked containers that provide room for up to 13 guests.

This self-sufficient and portable container hotel contains minimalist decor that is both cozy and inviting.







The Benefits of Using Shipping Containers for Building

There are certain drawbacks to using shipping containers for building. However, architects, builders, and designers alike tend to agree that, if built correctly, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Here are some benefits of using shipping containers to build hotels:

  1. Cost-effective: Probably the most significant advantage of container hotels is affordability. With the outer shell already available, it's far less expensive to repurpose a container than building from scratch.
  2. Eco-friendly: By choosing to build with recycled shipping containers, you're upcycling what would otherwise be dumped or expensively demolished for steel. You also use fewer resources in building the container hotel and almost entirely do away with concrete and other resources.
  3. Easy: Building a housing or commercial structure out of recycled shipping containers mostly requires assembly,  refurbishing, and modifications. You don't have to worry about major construction issues like laying a foundation.
  4.  Faster: Using shipping containers to build a hotel takes a fraction of the time you need to build a regular hotel. A traditional house can take many months to construct, but a shipping container house takes just a few weeks.
  5. Automatic USP for hotels: Your hotel will draw customers due to the novelty and ingenuity involved in upcycling shipping containers - this becomes a unique selling point in itself.
  6. Portability: With shipping container structures being portable, the possibilities for portable office spaces, moving hospitals, hotels, and even schools open up. Pop-up container hotels open up opportunities like moving to strategic locations or events and help make heads turn.
  7. Creative expression: Though they're originally storage boxes, there's a variety of things designers can turn shipping containers into stunning works of architecture and interior design.

Types of Container Hotels

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  1. Beach box hotels: These hotels, like the famous Beach Box Hotel in Goa, India, offer a holiday retreat and an unforgettable experience to beach lovers, right on the sand.
  2. Boutique hotels: You can set up a container hotel near the city center or a major music event. Containers are ideal for small hotel chains with about a few dozen rooms each. They are also a perfect canvas for creating a themed boutique hotel.
  3. Pop-up hotels: Container hotels are easily portable and probably the best pop-up hotel option to implement without hassles.
  4. Glamping hotels: Containers offer separate units in themselves that you can convert into quaint, luxurious rooms at scenic landscapes. They can offer a retreat experience similar to glamping.

What Custom Facilities Can You Have in Container Hotels?

Depending on your location, available space, and local regulations, you can incorporate comfortable and luxurious features into container hotels. You can work with an architect to install designer shelves, a swimming pool, or a fire pit, for instance. In short, there’s a lot you can do with containers to offer guests a unique getaway.

Take the Tiny Urban Escapes in Indianapolis, for example. This luxury hotel features five uber-luxe container cabins, each featuring an over-the-bed chandelier. Container hotels can also accommodate lounge seating, a fitness room, and a meeting room for a more communal experience.

Tips For Buying Containers Hotels


Remember to check for corrosion and rust (beyond surface rust).

Check if the container stored toxic chemicals or uses paint that may adversely impact people. Such units would need special treatment to make them ready for use.

Only buy containers that pass structural integrity tests.






Do You Need Permission to Use Containers at Your Site?

Containers are special structures. Some locations do not allow them, while others permit them as long as the container construction meets certain guidelines. Talk to local municipal or city authorities to understand the regulations you need to meet to bring a container to your site and to build a container hotel.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Container Hotel?

This depends on how large the hotel is. The cost will vary based on the containers’ size, the number of containers you plan to use, modifications to exteriors, decor, furniture, and utilities. Call 866-459-7600 to discuss your plans with our experts.

How Do You Move a Shipping Container Yourself?

You will need the right expertise and the equipment (like cranes) to load containers on trucks. In most cases, your shipping container provider will ship the container and load and unload it with delivery charges. Seasoned drivers make moving containers easy as they can navigate tight corners, inclines, gravel and install your container where you need it.

How We Can Help as a Shipping Container Provider

  1. Used containers: If you're looking to upcycle a container into a building or home, we provide a variety of used containers for sale in different sizes.
  2. Quick and safe delivery: With our own fleet of trucks, we can deliver containers to your location on time with smooth installations.
  3. Accessories: Our in-house design and sales teams will guide you, right from buying containers to customizing the container unit as per your needs.

We will guide you while buying new or used containers that suit your specific building needs.

Call 866-459-7600 to find the right type and size container unit for your own container hotel.

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