The world’s first sand hotels just closed for the year in the Holland cities of Oss and Sneek, but due to the overwhelming interest in both venues, owners are considering a repeat performance for next year. Structural elements like walls and floors were made of sand with wood reinforcement, all furnished with standard pieces (no, you won’t be sleeping in a bed of sand).
The hotels were built as a promotion for local sand sculpture festivals, but some of the tenants say they have long dreamt of staying in a real sand castle, as hotel manager Maud van Leeuwen explained, “I think for some people it’s a childhood fantasy to sleep in a sandcastle, while for others it’s a bit like going on an adventure, or for a special occasion.”
In contrast to the $1,000-plus rates of the Swedish ice hotel that spawned the idea, rooms here go for as low as $170 a night and even feature a drawbridge and turrets. In order to prevent the structure from crumbling away, the sand is fixed using a special lime binder.
Van Leeuwen says that guests need not worry about the comfort level in her sand hotel, “People say: ‘It’s a sand hotel, it’s going to be a like a muddy puddle’ but in fact it’s very luxurious.”
The theme for Oss this year was “journey through time,” with each room featuring several sculptures of medieval figures, dinosaurs and robots.
Due to the great success of both hotels, there is interest in expanding into Britain and Germany for next year.
“We have many artists who work with both sand and ice and suddenly we thought — why not build a sand hotel?” Van Leeuwen told AFP.
Those who can’t wait until next year to stay in a fantasy hotel can seek a room in the 26th rendition of the Jukkasjärvi ice hotel in Sweden, opening December 11th.