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The Big Debate: Would you stay in Thorpe Park's "Snoozebox" hotel?Submitted by Natalie Sim on Saturday, August 25, 2012 10:27
In this week's poll, we ask whether you'd be prepared to stay in the converted shipping containers that Thorpe Park hopes to install as a temporary on-site hotel.
We reported earlier this week on the park's plans to install accommodation provided by UK firm Snoozebox in time for the 2013 season, as it waits for plans for a permanent hotel to be approved. In a quirky setup that has become a fixture at major events in recent years, each room would be housed in a recycled ISO shipping container.
Anyone who has visited a Merlin-owned theme park in recent years may have noticed that many of these shipping containers have been put to use in recent years, most noticeably for merchandise outlets for rides such as Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers and Saw - The Ride at Thorpe Park. But this is the first time we're aware of that a theme park has employed them as guest accommodation.
With an expensive large-scale, 250-bedroom hotel planned for 2015 or 2016 you can't blame Thorpe Park for wanting to test the demand for on-site hotel rooms with its audience. The park is quite different from the more family-friendly Chessington World of Adventures and LEGOLAND Windsor where hotels are natural extension to the visitor experience.
There's no denying, either, that Snoozebox has struck on a brilliant concept with its pre-packaged rooms. The ease of transportation of the shipping containers (which, obviously, was their original purpose) and their small footprint makes them ideal for temporary installations. But can they work in an industry that prides itself on immersive experiences?
Perhaps the teenage and young adult crowds that frequent Thorpe Park won't be so worried about the look and feel of the hotel, after a hard day of riding major roller coasters and thrill rides. The basics of a bed, TV and Wi-Fi may be the perfect remedy? The location is also a plus - hop out of bed, and you're virtually on The Swarm.
Price could be another consideration. On-site theme park hotels are rarely cheap, but surely Thorpe Park will price its Snoozebox rooms in line with their basic facilities? The park is yet to elaborate on its plans in this area.
You may be reading this and wondering what on earth Merlin are thinking. The Snoozebox rooms are fairly basic and can hardly be described as spacious. It may not be the premium experience you expect from a theme park, and probably not the best option for someone who suffers from claustrophobia.
This is likely to be a contentious issue, some will hate the idea and others may love it. Some may just be curious: it's certainly not everyday you have the chance to sleep in a shipping container. Let us know what you think by voting in our poll below.
Would you stay in Thorpe Park's "Snoozebox" hotel?
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