When it comes to travel, we tend to lust after experiences that are a little bit different. Nobody wants to stay in exactly the same hotel and eat in exactly the same restaurants as everyone else, and there’s a reason why certain people are loathe to describe themselves as “tourists”. (“I’m a traveller,” these people will inform you, superiorly.)
This thirst for a genuinely unique travel experience is what led to the creation of new “ephemeral vacation service” Blink. The brainchild of luxury travel company Black Tomato, Blink allows guests to design their own experience from the ground up, anywhere in the world.
The process is simple. You choose a country or region anywhere in the world – from the Bolivian salt flats to Namabia’s Kalahari Desert, the Arctic to Morocco, Iceland to Rajasthan – and Black Tomato will find an untouched piece of land on which to build you a luxury pop-up hotel.
The hotels come complete with staff, meals and excursions, and can be designed exactly the way you want it. True to their pop-up name, all Blink hotels are semi-permanent tents – but this isn’t camping as you’ve experienced it before. Guests can choose from a range of styles including bell tents, domes, bubbles, yurts and tropical tent villas.
Inside your bubble/dome/yurt, you can customise “everything from the view to the bed linens to the bottles in your pop-up wine cellar”, according to a report in Bloomberg. In other words, it’s kind of like making a house on the Sims, except this isn’t a computer game.
Once your holiday comes to an end, so does your accommodation. Every pop-up hotel is dismantled after guests depart, leaving no trace of your visit behind.
Blink’s founder, Tom Marchant, came up with the idea for the service after being inspired by pop-up shops. He tells Bloomberg that his idea of luxury is something truly unique, exclusive and impossible to replicate. By his calculations, guests creating a Blink trip will have a total of 751,074,508,800 combinations to choose from once all the tiny details are factored in.
“People use the words ‘tailor made’ so ubiquitously these days. What does that even mean anymore?” he says. “Temporary experiences really excite people. They create a sense of urgency.”
As you might expect, a holiday like this doesn’t come cheap. According to Marchant, prices for a bespoke group trip for six people could range from approximately £51,700 (a cool £8,616 each) to around £139,600 (£23,266 each), and that’s not including airfare.
Unless we win the lottery, we’ll have to content ourselves with daydreaming about spending the night in a bubble tent under the Northern Lights. But if you happen to have a spare £8,616 lying around, do let us know how you get on, won’t you?
Photos: Blink / Black Tomato