When talking about deserts in national territory, the well-known desert of Almería comes to mind, the scene of multiple western films. Or the Monegros, in Aragon, but very few know the desert of Gorafe, in Granada. In fact, there are many locals who have never heard of this place where one will not find film sets, but many dusty roads that seem to lead nowhere, canyons, cave houses and one of the largest concentrations of megalithism in Europe, with 240 specimens spread over ten different necropolises. They also call it the Gorafe Megalithic Park.
What one will find in this place of singular beauty that at times reminds us of Mars, is silence and an overwhelming sky. Silence because there is absolutely nothing around and that can be shocking to an urbanite, sometimes even disturbing. And sky because without a doubt, without light pollution, if perhaps a distant town, it is a great location to enjoy the stars.
It is not surprising, seeing how wild the landscape is, that this place has been chosen to install what is the first capsule hotel (podtel) that is 100% autonomous and self-sufficient. Is named DistrictHive and it is, allow us the license, One last: Not only because it is located in a unique place that will leave you speechless, but because the architecture and design of the cabin are also impressive. We are talking about a construction, we could say that it is ephemeral because it does not touch the ground nor does it have a foundation (it rests on six legs as if it were a spaceship), nor does it have canals, pipes, sanitation… That is to say, zero impact on the environment.
Self-sufficient and sustainable
“DistrictHive has become the first 100% self-sufficient and sustainable module that values nature by accessing it without leaving a trace. The incidence in the territory is null since no resource of the place is consumed. Once removed, the location would remain in the same state it was in. This eco-hotel is capable of generating its own water from the humidity of the environment and air, its own electricity from solar energy, it has its own sewage management system, transforming waste into ashes, and gray water is filtered through two filtering processes so that the water serves as irrigation water. The total autonomy of the module means that common and complementary services are not necessary, thus optimizing resources and guaranteeing a reduction in the carbon footprint”, he explains. Priyesh Patel, CEO of Districthive LDApromoter and creator of this accommodation.
The truth is that the passenger compartment draws attention and not only because of the above, but also because of the most elegant exterior and interior design: we are talking about a black rectangle (it is the color chosen for the interior design as well), fully glazed, with a single room (although there is an extra bed) from which to contemplate the sunrise in all its splendor. There are 35 square meters divided into the bedroom, a bathroom with shower and toilet (which turns waste into ashes) and a kitchen-living room-dining room. As if it were a doll’s house, the accommodation has multifunctional modular cabinets and hidden storage spaces. A German studio, Novono, has worked on the interior design, while the architects in charge of designing the cabin are Spanish, Mold Architects.
Everything thought out and measured in detail
Due to the size of the hotel, the project has been carried out with millimeter precision: “This has been the biggest challenge. Architecture normally admits certain tolerances, but in this type of construction there can be no deviations”, he explains. Charles Abbey, founder of the studio. “Such a small project contains great complexities that must be solved without losing sight of the quality of the projected design. This way of working is a little different from the professional practice that takes place in our office and when the rules of the game change, small resistances appear, but the key, as always, is to adapt and enjoy the journey”.
“Transportation was one of the most difficult parts of all, climbing a mountain through some incredibly difficult terrain to locate the podtel,” says Patel. But there it is, on the edge of a cliff in Granada…
Will there be other hotels? Where? Above all, remote points of the planet are sought: “We are already working on the search for the next location for the installation of the next podtel. There will never be two podtels in the same country, we seek that the destinations are always of a unique and extreme beauty. Remote and unique places on the planet”, adds Patel.
This summer they installed a panoramic pool and a wonderful outdoor shower that makes us forget about the one inside. Another small luxury of the establishment is the outdoor terrace to enjoy the stars and a thunderous silence at night. The passenger compartment and the interior are controlled by an application that the guest must download before entering (opening doors, air conditioning, diffusion of aromas, etc.) and in the town of Gorafe, the only nucleus close to the location, there is a support person in case any inconvenience arises.
Price to enjoy this unique experience in an extreme place with absolutely no one around? From 300 to 500 euros per night depending on whether it is high or low season. The place deserves it but yes: make sure you get along very well with your companion because there will be no one else…
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DistrictHive, the most innovative and extreme hotel in Spain is in the Gorafe desert of Granada
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