TuboHotel: Would You Pay to Sleep Inside a Concrete Pipe?

Gives a whole new meaning to the word 'penthouse.' (Photo: TuboHotel)
Jul 5, 2011· 1 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

Every Tuesday, we work with the deep-thinkers over at SoulPancake to choose a TakePart story and discuss the Life’s Big Question it brings to mind. This week we look at concrete tubes as tourist destinations—a hotel in a hole. Look for this week's Big Question at the end of the story, then join the conversation!

And the list of freggin’ weird non-traditional vacation accommodations gets bigger by one.

First there was New Zealand’s Hobbit Hostel, then this jumbo jet hotel in Costa Rica, followed soon thereafter by this German hut palace.

Now, ­a popular Mexican tourist destination is offering budget vacationers the chance of a lifetime—to sleep inside a concrete tube.

Billed as an affordable way to visit the quaint, walkable town of Tepoztlan, the TuboHotel uses actual recycled concrete tubing for its rooms.

Each tube costs 500 pesos, or $43 per night. For that, travelers get a queen size bed, a window for protection, a curtain for privacy, and unlimited access to two on-site, private bathrooms.

The concrete pipes are situated in such a way that each has a panoramic view of the local mountain range, Sierra del Tepozteco, once described by the Los Angeles Times as appearing “to have been smuggled out of a Chinese landscape painting.”

ArchDaily reports that the inventors of the hotel (or is it a hostel?) drew inspiration from architect Andreas Strauss’ 2005 DasParkHotel.

Letting the concrete breathe. (Photo: Luis Gordoa/TuboHotel)

While the hotel certainly deserves props for ingenuity, we’d be remiss if we didn’t toss two red flags onto the love-fest.

One: safety. Is a glass front door and a curtain enough to protect you from, well, anything? Sure, Tepoztlan, a town that time forgot, is far away from the violence at the U.S./Mexico border. One website even goes so far as to call it “one of the safest places in the world,” where even the pettiest of crimes are not tolerated. Still, for all intents and purposes, this is akin to camping outside.

Two: sustainability. Concrete is an energy vampire, its enormous, eco-unfriendly fangs responsible for a significant amount of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, the hotel’s tubes are made from recycled concrete, but concrete is concrete is concrete.

Book your reservation at the TuboHotel here—or don’t. Your call.

This week's Big Question from the deep-thinkers at SoulPancake: Where's the strangest place you've ever laid your head?

Join the conversation!