At first glance, Faktum Hotels’ website looks like your classic design-hotel website – sharp sans serif fonts, design school photography and enticing descriptions of rooms that are “just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer’s Quay” or provide “a waterside vista in the heart of the city”.
The kicker is the “rooms” are actually places where homeless people in Gothenburg, Sweden, regularly sleep rough. For US$10 (NOK60) a night you can sleep under a bridge in Gullbergsvass, by the banks of the River Göta, or under the trees in the park at Haga.
Of course, sleeping outdoors isn’t all warm light and dreamy views, and this is ultimately a publicity campaign to raise awareness of – and funds for – an ongoing problem in Gothenburg. The money raised supports Faktum, a long-running street publication that helps some of the city’s 3,000-plus homeless people generate an income.
“People have loved the concept and some have even tried the ‘rooms’ out,” says Faktum editor-in-chief Aaron Israelson. “But it’s been cold and no one has lasted more than three hours.” Now it’s warmer you might be tempted to try one of the 10 “rooms”. Just don’t expect a friendly smile at reception.
More unlikely sleeps
In the 19th century, Het Arresthuis in Roermond (one hour from Cologne/Bonn) was one of the Netherlands’ most fearsome prisons, a place where a good night’s sleep wasn’t part of the deal. Today it’s a luxury hotel where the warden’s suite is perfect for a romantic weekend.
At the world’s worst hotel
Rather than invest in renovations at Amsterdam’s grotty Hans Brinker, the management chose to market it as the “world’s worst hotel”. They promise filth, squalor, and the possibility of radiation poisoning and terminal illness. It’s not that bad.
In a sewage pipe
Stay in a concrete tube in Ottensheim, 90 minutes’ drive from Salzburg. Each “room” fits a double bed, with facilities nearby. Guests pay what they want and profits go towards expanding the project – there’s a new outlet near Essen, in Germany.