Hotels are Going Down - Literally

Hoteliers might want to consider going below ground for their next property investment project, as it seems the new trend in the luxury market is under the sea. According to the BBC, the most exclusive accommodation may soon be 20 feet or more beneath the sea...

Hoteliers might want to consider going below ground for their next property investment project, as it seems the new trend in the luxury market is under the sea. According to the BBC, the most exclusive accommodation may soon be 20 feet or more beneath the deep blue. Indeed, new technologies are making such a feat possible and tourists are likely to jump at the chance for the unique experience.

Robert Bursiewicz, a project manager at Polish company Deep Ocean Technology, (featured in a previous article here) told the news provider: "Nowadays it is possible to build submarines which go deeper than 500m (1,640ft) below the sea surface, so building an underwater hotel is not a problem." In fact, Deep Ocean Technology is planning an underwater hotel called Water Discus, which can be towed to the desired location and placed on supports located on the sea bed.

When complete, the exclusive underwater hotel will contain 22 bedrooms with sea views. These are connected by a lift and stairs to a similar disc above the surface that will house other hotel facilities. "We are aiming to have rooms at a depth of about ten metres (33ft), as that provides a good colour environment in sunlight," Mr Bursiewicz explained to the BBC.

Hotels with a novelty element are certainly rising to prominence. This year the Policy Exchange put forward plans for a series of "super prisons" to house as many as 3,000 inmates, freeing up some of the country's oldest jails to be transformed into boutique hotels. The Guardian reported that institutions like Dartmoor, Wormwood Scrubs and Pentonville could be turned into luxury getaways. The Malmaison boutique hotel company has already reopened an Oxford prison as accommodation, promoting the experience as a 'night in the nick'. Original 19th century cells were knocked together to create smart rooms with sound-proof walls, high windows and iron bars.

There is a logic to turning existing prisons into hotels too. The Policy Exchange explained that a quarter of prisons are Victorian or older, while a further quarter were built in the 1960s and 1970s. These buildings were often constructed to poor standards and designed with sub-standard materials, meaning a lot of the country's prison stock isn't fit for purpose as part of the penal system.

- Wednesday 11 December 2013

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