If you’ve always wanted to visit exotic locales in a fully-equipped Airstream trailer yet don’t like driving, this hotel is for you. Located in Melbourne, Australia, Notel features a selection of six Airstream trailers on the roof of a parking garage for guests to spend the night.
The concept arose from making the most of the roof space above the car park. All guests need to do is check in via app and the trailer is theirs for the evening. “Every hotel has the same setup,” James Fry, who owns the three-level car park with his dad, says. “A lobby, a reception, a lift. So I decided, let’s remove those bloody things!”
“It was frustrating having this beautiful rooftop, with such a beautiful view, with no use at all,” Fry says. “I was standing out there with a couple of mates and we had a six pack and we were just drinking some beers, chatting about some different uses and that’s when I came up with the idea of accommodation.”
“I had a million ideas of what I wanted to do with the space. I tossed around rooftop cinemas, restaurants, and even a pool, but I wanted something totally different,” Fry adds. "At first I thought of maybe a tent or a tram or a bus. Then I saw the caravans during a trip to the US and fell in love. They’re so sexy! Everyone who sees it looks twice.”
The vintage 1970s chrome Airstreams, which were renovated by Edwards Moore Architects, FMSA Architecture, and artist Ash Keating, feature an iPad with Netflix, a digital Melbourne city guide, a pink shower, and a mini bar stocked with local craft beers, snacks, and water. Also, there is one Airstream with its own outdoor hot tub. Rates start at $395 AUS.
The amenities also include a lounge area with WiFi, a queen-sized bed with premium Aura linen, pillows, throws, and Ettitude Organic Bamboo Lyocell sheets, and an ensuite bathroom with a full height shower and complimentary toiletries, as well as towels from Aura.
The Airstream trailers, which are available year-round, have heat and air-conditioning. Notel, which was launched in September 2016, provides guests with a virtual key that can be accessed via smartphone and a cryptic welcome message that must be interpreted to gain access to the pink stairwell to the rooftop.
Fry says that guests at the five-star hotels overlooking the car park seem jealous, “We see guests looking down and wondering why the hell they’re staying in a five-star hotel. But you have to have a sense of fun if you want to stay here.”