Shipping containers take on new life as hotel suites in Singapore

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SINGAPORE – This upscale boutique hotel, located in the picturesque Gardens by the Bay, can relocate anywhere in Singapore or even overseas.

The Garden Pod, a retreat with four duplex suites, is housed in repurposed shipping containers approximately 12.2m long each.

The hotel, which can be moved to other locations with its plumbing and electrical systems intact using cranes, opened on September 1. Rates start at $450 a night.

While its mobility sets it apart from conventional hotels, what this property prides itself on is sustainability.

In addition to giving new life to shipping containers, the hotel’s rooftops operate photovoltaic panels that convert solar energy into electricity, contributing up to 80% of its energy needs.

The hotel’s terrarium displays and drinking glasses are made from recycled glass.

Garden Pod, a short distance from the Bayfront MRT station, is the third hotel project of the small and medium-sized company Shipping Container Hotel. He is expected to stay at Gardens by the Bay for at least two years.

The company’s founder, Mr Seah Liang Chiang, said he would consider moving the hotel eventually “to give Singaporeans the choice to stay in different parts of the island”.

Its first two hotels, also made from shipping containers, are at one-north and Haw Par Villa. They each consist of two containers and have been operating since January 2020 and December 2021 respectively.

Mr Seah said bookings have remained constant at around 90% for these two hotels over the past few years.

The idea of ​​building hotels from recycled materials seems to be gaining ground in Singapore. Just days before the launch of the Garden Pod, travel agency WTS Travel announced that it would build a resort in the village of Changi, using 20 disused public buses as guest rooms.

WTS Travel said Aug. 28 that the project, tentatively called The Bus Resort, will be ready by the second quarter of 2023.

It will be located next to the popular Changi Village Hawker Center and will cover some 8,600 m², an area slightly larger than a football field. Rates are estimated between $300 and $400 per night.

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