A company is turning refrigerator semi-trailers into mobile hotel rooms on wheels starting at $50 a night - see what it's like inside

·7 min read
the Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się
  • Poland-based Good Spot has started what it calls the "first mobile hotel chain in Poland."

  • The company uses hotel rooms built inside of defunct refrigerator semi-trailers.

  • Nightly rates range from $50 to $150 depending on the location, the founder of Good Spot told Insider.

Lately, semi-permanent Instagram friendly hotel concepts have been popping up around the world in destinations like New York and Spain.

the rear of a Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

Source: Insider (1) (2)

At the same time, more travelers have been craving vacations in unconventional accommodations, whether it be in tiny homes or converted Airstreams, according to data from Airbnb.

renderings of  Good Spot mobile hotel units in different environments
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

Source: Airbnb

Now, in a bid to attract this increasingly popular niche, Polish company Good Spot has debuted its environmentally friendly hotel room on wheels.

floor plans for four Good Spot mobile hotel rooms
The floor plans for the Good Spot mobile hotel rooms. Znamy się

According to Good Spot, it's the "first mobile hotel chain in Poland."

the Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

Source: Good Spot

Good Spot may be operating in a lone field, but it has already proven the concept's success: This summer, every room was booked out, Roman Sokolowski, the founder of the Good Spot, told Insider in an email interview.

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

"The arrival of the pandemic had completely changed the perception of my project," Sokolowski said."It was recognised as innovative and timeless."

the kitchen inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

The hotel rooms on wheels were designed by Polish architecture firm Znamy się.

renderings of  Good Spot mobile hotel units in different environments
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

Source: Znamy się

In the past, some companies have used upcycled empty shipping containers - which are currently facing a shortage - as the base of their tiny homes.

shipping container home Josh McBee.JPG
The outside of Josh McBee's shipping container home. Courtesy of Josh McBee

Source: Insider

But Good Spot and Znamy się are taking a slightly different approach by using retired refrigerator semi-trailers once used to deliver goods like food. These trailers then serve as the base of their tiny homes, making the hotel rooms completely mobile (as opposed to just portable).

close up of a window on a Good Spot mobile hotel while it's on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The semi-trailer hotel rooms have the same nostalgic appearance of a "silver bullet" Airstream trailer with an interior layout that mimics the functionality of a camper van, according to its maker.

the Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

Source: Znamy się

But besides the flashy appearance and "tiny living" appeal, using semi-trailers has several functional purposes. For one, the trailers are already insulated, allowing them to withstand below-freezing temperatures.

the bathroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

It also cuts the production time and costs while making the hotel rooms more sustainable, Sokolowski said.

the terrace of a Good Spot mobile hotel while it's on a field
The terrace on a Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

"While semi-trailer manufacturers have developed refrigerated trailers for the sole purpose of transporting goods, we have found a new use for them in the tourism industry, thus changing it from a linear waste management system to a circular one," Sokolowski said.

the kitchen inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

And because the units are mobile, they can follow tourists through the changing regional and seasonal demands, ensuring that the units are always profitable.

the Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

"[Good Spot] responds to the needs of a modern user who is constantly on the move," Znamy się told Insider in an email interview.

the rear of a Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The trailer will likely crush the grass it's been placed on, but other than that, the hotel rooms won't leave much of a physical impact on the environment, according to Sokolowski.

the Good Spot mobile hotel on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The team also wants to make the final model completely solar and collected rainwater powered, which means the environmentally friendly units won't need any electrical or plumbing connections.

the kitchen, bedroom, and seating area inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Sourcing shipping containers may be difficult amid the ongoing supply chain nightmare, but luckily for Good Spot, refrigerated semi-trailers have been easy for the Poland-based team to access.

two  Good Spot mobile hotel units outside
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The country has a robust road transport system, more so than other modes of goods transport, according to a 2019 report from Nippon Express.

the kitchen, bedroom, and seating area inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Source: Nippon Express

As a result, "Poland's share in freight turnover (excluding sea and air transport) has remained relatively stable … therefore the refrigerated trailer fleet is almost unlimited," Sokolowski explained.

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Once acquired, Good Spot transforms the trailers into four different models: the twin, standard, accessibility, and single units. These options all have a varying number of bedrooms.

floor plans for four Good Spot mobile hotel rooms
The floor plans for the Good Spot mobile hotel rooms. Znamy się

Source: Good Spot

All four designs include a bathroom, terrace, a smart television, closet, air conditioner, and kitchenette with appliances like a refrigerator and stovetop.

the terrace of a Good Spot mobile hotel while it's on a field
The terrace on a Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The team also has a "restaurant" model that can operate like a communal space for hotel guests.

the kitchen inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

The twin model can sleep two people on a double or two single beds. It's also the smallest unit, standing at 183 square feet while all the other models are 355 square feet.

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

The larger units each cost about $80,000 to convert.

the bathroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Unlike the twin, the standard unit can hold a family of six. To accommodate this many people, the trailer has two fold-out beds in the living room and two bedrooms that either have one double or two single beds each.

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Up next, the accessibility apartment can hold up to five people. Similar to the standard, there are two bedrooms plus an additional fold-out bed.

the bathroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

The last unit, the single, can accommodate four guests within its two bedrooms.

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

So far, Good Spot's twin room model has been the most popular, especially among young couples traveling from bigger cities, according to Sokolowski.

the kitchen, bedroom, and seating area inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

In the future, the company may sell its units to private customers who want a tiny home.

renderings of  Good Spot mobile hotel units in different environments
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

But for now, it isn't actively exploring this option. Instead, Good Spot is looking into different investment models for its upcoming round, whether it be franchising or investing in "partial shares of a unit," Sokolowski explained.

the bathroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

By the end of next year, the team wants to build 100 hotel rooms depending on its first investment round.

close up of the windows on a Good Spot mobile hotel while it's on a field
The Good Spot mobile hotel. Znamy się

The chain currently has two seasonal locations with plans to expand in the future. A night's stay currently costs anywhere between $50 to $150 depending on the location of the hotel.

a room inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Source: GoodSpot

"We know that our model works and there is a large group of people [that sees] Good Spot as an interesting alternative to traditional hotels," Sokolowski said, noting that the US is the "perfect market for this type of concept."

a bedroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

But Sokolowski and the designers don't believe their units are better than the classic brick and mortar hotel complexes.

the kitchen inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

Instead, Znamy się believes that the "mobile hotel industry will successfully coexist with the traditional one," the company told Insider in an email statement. "We look at the future of the Good Spot with optimism."

the bathroom inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit
Inside a Good Spot mobile hotel unit. Znamy się

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