Have you ever been to the kind of family reunion where your great-aunt Shirley picks out a vacation home, hotel, or campground for everyone to stay in, and when you get there, you realize you’ll have zero peace and quiet? Finding the right balance of social interaction and privacy can be tough. After a while, you’re ready to chill out alone or in a smaller group, but you’re still right across the hall from everyone else, and any of them can come knocking on your door at any time. It’s enough to make you wish you could just sail away from it all for a little while.
Luckily, The Floating Hotel by Salt & Water lets you do just that. Designed for lakes and other inland bodies of water, the hotel consists of individual catamaran “apartments,” a floating dock, and a stationary central volume full of common spaces. The idea is that you can enjoy the hotel’s café, meeting rooms, and other public areas whenever you want, and then retreat back into your own private luxury vacation pod, either remaining at the dock or floating off to another section of the lake to be alone.
That makes it ideal for both group getaways and solo/couple trips. You get to enjoy nature and all the water-based recreational activities you can handle from a boat that doubles as a hotel suite, and you’ll have total control over how much you interact with other travelers. Each catamaran fits two to four people and contains its own bathroom, salon, galley, hall with storage space, and sleeping area. The beach platform on the back of the boat lets you swim, dive, fish or sunbathe to your heart’s content. If you don’t feel comfortable piloting the electric-powered catamaran yourself, you can hire a skipper to navigate for you.
Salt & Water says it envisioned the project as a way to “promote tourism on inland waters and to reach intact parts of (often neglected) nature.” Unfortunately, that statement conjures visions of tourists making a lot of noise and producing waste and pollution in previously untouched natural environments, which doesn’t sound ideal, but it does seem like The Floating Hotel would work nicely on bodies of water that are already frequented by human visitors. After all, lakes and bays that aren’t popular with tourists aren’t so much “neglected” as they are protected.
Still, the concept is an intriguing one, and it would be fun to see it built in the real world. Salt & Water design director Svetlana Mojic hopes to bring the idea to life sooner rather than later, explaining: “We are open to working closely with potential investors to bring this project into reality. Though it is not currently in production, we hope that it soon will be!”
If built, The Floating Hotel would join a number of other mobile water-based hotel operations, including the stunning Boat Hotel in Cocoa Island, Maldives. Salt & Water’s concept won the 2015 Millennium Yacht Design Award (MYDA) in the “Dream Boat” category, with the jury praising it for “an elegant interpretation and enhancement of a houseboat in an intelligent housing solution. Maximum utilization of the interior layout.”