Hospitality Net


While the construction of hotels and resorts is still progressing at a fast pace, new trends are appearing with the ever stronger need for innovation initiated by guests.

Glamping started already some years ago with tented accommodations and the like offering all the comfort to enjoy an amazing stay while allowing a very sustainable approach to hospitality operations in sometimes very remote and untouched locations. 


The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge’s finals sponsored by NEOM was held in Dubai on 19 September during the Future Hospitality Summit. This event has been the opportunity for industry leaders to hear  what young generations feel the hospitality of tomorrow should look like. Five teams of students from major hospitality universities were participating to these finals and the organizers also invited one more team to present their idea despite they were no longer competing.  Out of these 6 groups of students, 3 came-up with a very similar business model: modular-non-real-estate type of accommodations. They are named DUNYA, NIMBUS and PANI ISLAND  by ANTHENEA.

As Sarah Cojocaru, Sharron Vanessa and Roxane Poncin of Swiss Hotel Management School explain, DUNYA is a sustainable and circular living concept providing modern comforts while preserving the natural environment. The experience of an elevated level of compact, minimalist and tech-driven living that DUNYA offers, is unique and has never been seen before. The spherical shape of DUNYA provides resistance against harsh weather conditions and facilitates a natural indoor climate, which makes DUNYA perfect in any type of environment. Dunya represents a solution for sustainable flexibility, blurring out the line between nature outside and the comfort inside as well as offering endless possibilities.

Eden Brachot and her teammates Devashish Sharma, Uddhav Prasad and Eddy Kohlmann C. all studying at Cornell University pushed the concept high up in the air with NIMBUS™. NIMBUS is a collection of luxury hotel rooms that soar by hot air balloon, delivering the traveler to remote and spectacular destinations with ease. Enjoy unique experiences, uncompromising service, and the highest luxury standards powered by clean technology and local expertise. Land softly, and leave no trace behind.

To be noted that the NIMBUS team is the actual winner of the Challenge with this beautiful project!

Last but not least, Emily Bourgois, Rocksun Mathurin and Kenita Henville from National Kaoshiung University of Hospitality and Tourism who were kindly invited outside of the competition framework had an amazing opportunity to disclose their PANI ISLAND  By ANTHENEA which brings a new vision of tourism by deploying something else than yachts on the maritime environment . Luxury Glamping on the water.  Call it Wamping! PANI ISLAND  gathers luxury, wamping and wellness accompanied by your favorite activities. And our water wooms – the Wooms by ANTHENEA-  will offer you the most personalized stay on your very own private island. Mobile or attached to the mothership, the whole infrastructure comes with zero footprint. One of our major target is to avoid any damage on the natural environment, this is why we wanted the Mothership to be a nomadic floating structure without anchors as Emily explains.


Interestingly, each of these groups decided to work on one of the 4 classical elements. Earth, Air and Water are all represented in these projects which obviously – and if it was so required – shows the huge considerations of the younger generations for the environment. But more surprising is the fact that none of these projects require any sort of on-site construction. This is a major key to this environment-consciousness and it should ring the bell! Is real-estate over? 

Probably not but we see here that there are alternatives when evaluating a resort extension. There are ways to make it in a complete eco-friendly manner, without any footprint and allowing guests to enjoy their stay in whichever middle they wish to: On the ground, in the air or on the sea!


Of course innovations have a cost and such devices are likely to be pretty pricey especially they are not only luxurious but also tech-driven. This might turn them inadequate if the industry remains on a conventional per-sqm calculation of their ROI, be this only due to the R&D work required ahead of the realization of the project itself. Can such investment be considered in a  different manner by hoteliers? Why should investors take a closer look to such expensive devices? 

Customers behaviors have changed a lot recently and hospitality players have to adapt to these ever-changing needs. By plugging such assets into their, some niche-hoteliers could probably charge their guests with a decent premium but for sure they will a]ract the spotlight on their resorts an increase their online visibility.


Some of these concepts are very likely to become real with the winning team of the Challenge pursuing NIMBUS full time and the PANI ISLAND team was lucky enough to find the product they needed for their concept with ANTHENEA. This floating module’s first prototype was actually launched back in 2017 and the production is now running full steam ahead in France, with first deliveries expected in the coming months. ANTHENEA is a floating module designed and made for seaside hospitality projects. The pods can be arranged as a luxury Suite for 2 persons, a Spa or a Lounge to give a few examples of the almost- endless possibilities.

©Yannick Littoux – ANTHENEA SAS

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