Business Traveller

Will your next hotel room be delivered by drone?

Daisy Carrington, for CNNUpdated 26th July 2016
(CNN) — It used to be that guests associated hotels with a physical address: a static, brick-and-mortar establishment to which they could always return.
That concept is becoming outmoded, as evidenced by the finalists of this year's Radical Innovation Award, which highlights unique concepts in hospitality design.
The winner of the annual award receives $10,000 to further their idea and will be announced on October 5.
"We don't need another new brand that can be replicated 200 times. We need qualitative improvements in hospitality concepts and travel experiences for the industry," says John Hardy, founder of Radical Innovation.
HOK, one of this year's finalists, imagines a world where hotel pods will be delivered by drone.
Courtesy Radical Innovation
This year's two professional finalists each submitted a pop-up concept whereby rooms are set up in hard-to-reach or underutilized spaces.
Driftscape, submitted by the Toronto office of award-winning architecture firm HOK, is a mobile, self-sustaining hotel delivered by drone.
It can be dropped off anywhere, even in the most remote stretches of the planet.
Driftscape consists of several modular units, including a food and beverage element and a single guestroom that offers up 360-degree views.
Paris-based MM Architects, another finalist, submitted a pop-up concept called Nesting, which introduces customizable units which -- like Lego bricks -- can connect and grow, and be placed into parks and other underfunded public spaces.
MM Architects won the Grand Prize in 2012, with their concept Koi, a bridge-hotel hybrid that is currently being considered for development in London.
This year's student finalist, Juan Orduz from the University of Nevada, submitted a concept that is, literally, out of this world.
The student finalist crafted a concept that could see guests spending the night in space.
Courtesy Radical Innovation
Space View Inn aims to make space travel less confined by using an expanded truss system to give the hotel guests of the future more space to roam while orbiting the earth.
It's pretty sci-fi, but the idea is that guests would be able to experience the stunning extraterrestrial views and microgravity that makes space so appealing, without being cooped up.
It would also be based on a lottery system, so the experience could be enjoyed by ordinary earthlings rather than just a super-rich elite.
Some of these ideas may seem out there, but Hardy says that feasibility is a major factor in choosing finalists.
"The student winner would not have been considered ten years ago, but today it is not so hard to see how it could work," says Hardy.
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