My Hotel is Smaller than YOUR Hotel.

31 Jan

I was gonna call this post;

“I’m Sleeping Around!”

But, I figured that it would probably give my buddy John Umland an aneurysm. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here on RR, we’ve discussed (many times, actually) taking 20′ ISBUs and then turning them into “self-contained” bedroom cabins.

We call them “mother-in-law quarters”, Teen-aged kid “freedom” cells (as in it grants the parents “freedom” from the kid’s loud music, video gaming and just plain youthful angst), or even “getaways”.

Essentially, these are just small “Corten Cabins”.ย  Add some LED lighting, a few Photovoltaic Panels to make power with, a solar panel to make hot water and voila… instant “Corten Magic”…

We’ve even explored using this method to build a small “Corten Village” in Montana, to serve as housing for people learning to build using ISBUs in a seminar series setting.

Sleeping Around LogoIn Antwerp, they call it a “Mobile B&B”.

We like the Belgians. They gave us waffles, fine engraved shotguns, the saxophone (Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone was a Belgian), and a 900 year old Abbey that has a monk population that still brews beer.

The Sleeping Around guys are just as cool. Their idea was similar to ours. Take a single 20′ High Cube ISBU and then add a queen sized bed, some gadget docks and a small shower bathroom. Don’t go crazy, just do the basics, with some style.

Now, do this three more times.

Pretty cool. Corten Sleeping for eight. But that wasn’t enough. Nooooooo. They got crafty…

They decided that they wanted to build a hotel without a permanent address. This requires a few more boxes. Add to it a 20′ ISBU based “lounge box” that serves as a wine bar and breakfast area and you have a small, easily relocated “bed & breakfast”.

Then, build a 20′ ISBU based Sauna, similar to the ones that we’ve shown you here on RR.

Imagine being able to move this from beach, to mountains, to events, to venue, on a whim, in a matter of hours.

These guys did exactly that.


It’s “cute”.


Okay, it’s a little bit tight, but it’s doable. Look, it’s an “adventure”, not the Ritz.


Queen Bed run against back ISBU wall.


Not bad for a “pocket bath”.


Why, YES… I would like to take a shower…


Small, private, easily movable. Reminds me of an old story about guys waiting for someone to use the “Porta-potty” so they could tip it over. Not with this baby. They’d get hernias! ๐Ÿ™‚


Would you favor a glass of Corten Cabernet? Metal Merlot? Container Chianti?

(Stop groaning. I got a million of ’em!)


Now, consider this;

Add a kitchen/”bartop dining” box that goes beyond just popping corks or opening bottles.

Add a real “Entertainment Lounge” with enough seating to allow for TV or Music.

Add that ISBU sauna that we’re all starting to crave (especially since it hasn’t stopped snowing here all day).

Consider putting dining and entertainment alcoves on the roof of the ISBUs to add some “space for observation”.

Maybe place these boxes in a “square pattern” around a covered gazebo (so you would have covered dining, etc…).

NOW, you have a “Corten Village” that could be moved seasonally to take advantage of say… Snow (skiing), rivers (fishing), Spring meadows (nature trips), Wildlife migrations…

If you did it as a “family getaway”, each family member could actually build his/her own ISBU module in the off-season.

(And, if the relative gets rowdy, you just wait until they go to bed, lock them in and then ship the box to Timbuktu.) ๐Ÿ™‚

This has some real potential.

The Renaissance Ronin


3 Responses to “My Hotel is Smaller than YOUR Hotel.”

  1. reallyoreilly January 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    That is awesome, I have been talking about a “village” type layout for our house with isbus and you just nailed it on the head. I hope to consult with you in the future about my project along these lines. Kyle

  2. susaton2uyr February 4, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Very attractive! But portable, really? The photo “sleeping-around-container-hotel-2.jpg” shows an entire side made of sliding glass doors. Is there enough support for that side of the roof to maintain dimensional stability and prevent sagging during shipping? And what about protecting those big, expensive glass panels? I’d like to think that the side walls of these containers have not been discarded but rather modified to snap back in place for shipping, to stabilize and protect the structure.

    • Renaissance Ronin February 4, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      I have the same questions about that glass. It’d be so much easier to just use box steel to build jamb systems (“doorways”) that would hold french doors.

      It’s possible that they reinforced the box at the top and bottom rails to add structural integrity. We just can’t see it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      And, I’d build a deck that folded up to cover that glass during storage (seasonal or transport) using that removed corrugated cladding on the bottom to “weatherize/people-proof the box” when it was unattended.

      Can you imagine how all that interior wall covering moves around during transport? I bet they buy sheetrock by the pallets…

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