Who wouldn’t want to stay in a hotel that’s located on the sea floor, serviced by airships, precariously perched on a cliffside or adorned with a 10-story statue of a robotic Michael Jackson? These 14 hotel concepts are imaginative, futuristic and sometimes humorously wacky, but not all of them are destined to be unbuilt forever; some may actually be constructed in the Never Land known as Dubai.
Full Moon Bay, Azerbaijan
This stunning concept hotel by Heerim Architects takes a little inspiration from Star Wars and a lot from the moon. Designed for the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, the duo of futuristic structures are individually named Hotel Full Moon and Hotel Crescent. Their appearance changes drastically depending on the viewer’s location; Inhabitat points out that the Hotel Full Moon resembles the Death Star when seen from below.
The Graft Tower
This isn’t concept art from a new movie set on another planet – it’s The Graft Tower, an eco-hotel and vertical farm designed by Diego Taccioli, Sizhe Chen and Tyler Wallace. Imagined as a ‘net-plus resource building’ providing food, water and energy for a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the eco-tourism hotel resembles a living being and literally ‘grows’ by grafting fibers around skeletal frames. Pod-like hotel rooms and other habitable spaces nestle in the tower like egg sacs in a cobweb.
Hotel Sphere on a Cliffside
Designer Milla Rezanova imagines a spherical hotel dramatically set into a cliffside over the ocean, which would certainly provide unparalleled views. The Sphere Hotel was conceived for – where else – Dubai, and would be located 300 meters from the shore on an artificial island connected to the mainland with a bridge.
Poseidon Undersea Resort
Originally set to open in 2009, the Poseidon Undersea Resort is now in limbo and may not be ready for guests for years yet – if ever. But the concept art sure is fun to look at. Imagined as the world s first seafloor resort where you can relax in the lap of luxury 40 feet below the surface of the sea, the Poseidon features 24 suites, one luxury apartment and 48 bungalows in glass pods that give guests astounding views of the crystal-clear waters of a Fiji lagoon. A 7-day trip for 2 costs more than $30,000.
Aerotel Russian Floating Hotel
A lace-like hotel on the sea, complete with a “web park”, is serviced by airships in this fantastical futuristic concept by Russian architect Alexander Asadov. Very little of the hotel actually touches the water, protecting sea life, and the open net structure holds parks, roads and hanging gardens.
The Michael Jackson Robot Hotel
Eccentric and over-the-top just like the man the design is dedicated to, the ‘Michael Jackson Robot Hotel’ features a massive sculpture of – well – Michael Jackson. As a robot. An entry in the Michael Jackson Monument Design Competition, this concept, by Timothy Patterson, is a multimedia entertainment complex in Las Vegas with guest rooms and a shopping center.
The MORPHotel was inspired by a spinal cord, able to adapt its shape to the weather conditions and the geography of various ports and harbors. Designer Gianluca Santosuosso made the design mobile, so that it can travel all over the world moving tourists from one spot to another much in the same way as a cruise ship. However, self-sufficient MORPHotels move constantly at a much slower speed, making the experience of dwelling on the ocean the highlight of the trip.
The Ark Hotel
If the apocalypse occurred while you were on vacation in the Ark Hotel, you’d be lucky indeed. The Ark, by Russian architectural firm Remistudio, is a man-made biosphere that can withstand floods, tidal waves, rising sea levels, earthquakes and other natural disasters. It was designed to be set into the ground, and would float when the water rose. The internal garden would provide food for guests.
Mimicking a waterfall at the edge of a quarry, the Water world Hotel won first prize in an international design competition for Songjiang, China. Practically a self-contained city, the 400-bed resort hotel features cafes, restaurants, swimming pools, shopping and sporting facilities. It even offers activities that take advantage of the unique landscape, like rock climbing and bungee jumping.
The Diamond Ring Hotel
While it’s not clear whether this unusual hotel concept is just an idea or, as occasionally reported, actually under construction in Abu Dhabi, it’s an interesting and unique idea. Located on a man-made island, the hotel arches into the center of a spinning ferris-wheel type of overlook with enclosed pods, reminiscent of the London Eye.
Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort
Planned for Dubai, the Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort probably won’t become reality for a long time. The hotel was to be submerged in the Persian Gulf with an entrance on the surface of the sea and the main hotel structure on the sea floor. Meant to ‘reproduce the human organism in an architectural design’, the structure mimics the motor functions and the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
The Apeiron Hotel
Another stalled project meant for Dubai, the Apeiron Hotel is a fan-shaped 7-star hotel on an artificial island. At a cost of $500 million (U.S.), the hotel would have featured 350 luxury suites that would only be accessible by yacht and helicopter. The hotel has its own lagoon, beaches, and movie theater and art gallery.
Helix Hotel for Zayed Bay, Abu Dhabi
The Helix Hotel is the winning design in a competition for a five-star luxury hotel in the Zayed Bay of Abu Dhabi. Staggered asymmetrical forms give it its off-kilter appearance, and the hotel would partially float in the water adjacent to the Zaha Hadid-designed Sheik Zayed Bridge. Leeser Architecture gave the hotel 208 guest rooms and suites arranged around a helical floor, doing away with closed-off halls and opening each guest room to a large atrium.
Hotel Blue Wave
Fittingly called Hotel Blue Wave, this hotel is made of stacked, curving concrete forms painted bright azure. Inside, the floors flow into one another with stairways providing access; there’s not a right angle in sight. Says designer Andreas Angelidakis, “The project studies modes of temporary habitation such as the beach (put your towel down and claim your spot), and the squat (choose your room, stay for a few months), and they way they can socially and aesthetically enrich the hotel experience.”