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.

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.

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