Would you pay £100 a night to stay in a 1974 Bedford van?

Enterprising farming couple Paul and Anne Ormond have converted a rusting Bedford horsebox into a £100-per-night 'hotel'. Their hotel - which has hosted soap stars from Corrie and Emmerdale - gives stunning displays onto the local Oxfordshire countryside.

Downsides? It's decidedly on the diminutive side and a composting toilet will put off some. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Extra cosy

However, there's a wood burner, decking area, small sideboard and dining room table, plus a sofa bed that can accommodate a couple of guests if you want things extra-snug.

"We have 250 acres, but the going rate for renting agricultural land is only £60 a year,' Paul Ormond told the Mail. 'That's not a lot of money when you think about it, so we've had to be a bit creative."

The Ormond enterprise seems part-glamping, part boutique-van (though the 'boutique' bit is arguable). Originally the 1974 TK Bedford van was bought off eBay. The Ormond's have already given a similar treatment to a gypsy caravan and a shepherd's hut.

The idea's an evolving British trend to generate income from land, whatever way. But how many people though would stump up £100 a night to stay in a 1970s van? £700 a week, for example, could buy you a trip to Greece or Turkey.

Survivor pods

Tiny, novel hotels aren't new. The Austrians have pioneered tiny hotel accommodation from industrial sewer pipes with the dasparkhotel concept - with a pay-what-you-can ethos. (And fresh meaning to sleeping in a - insert rude word - hole.)

Then there's the Capsule Hotel in the Netherlands where guests sleep inside dark orange, 133-square-foot oil-rig survivor pods, originally built in 1972. Moored in the Hague they sleep up to three.

Closer to the spirit of of the Ormond's though are the refurbished trailer homes of El Cosmico in Texas. "El Cosmico takes its inspiration from a long American history of hippies, nomads, bohemians and those living a life of self-determination," claims its website.

Like the Ormond's, there's nothing hippy-ish about the prices with some stays costing $170 a night at weekends. No open fires or outside alcohol allowed, spoiling the fun somewhat.

However the world's smallest hotel could well be Central Cafe that recently opened in Copenhagen, with just one eight foot by ten foot room in the fashionable Vesterbro district. Cost? Yours for just £170 per night.

The five worst holiday disasters
See Gallery
Would you pay £100 a night to stay in a 1974 Bedford van?

If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.

If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.

This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered. 

If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company. 

Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.  

Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.

If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.

If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.

The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.

The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.

If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.


Read Full Story