February 7, 2023

Montabaur: First hotel made of shipping containers in Rhineland-Palatinate

By Christoph Bröder – SWR News

Construction of a hotel from sea freight containers has begun in Montabaur in the Westerwald region. According to the developers, it is the first of its kind in Rhineland-Palatinate.

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In the end, there will be 34 shipping containers, stacked on top of each other like Lego blocks. On Tuesday morning, the first containers arrived at the former barracks site in Montabaur.

Today containers – formerly parking space for tanks

A large yellow crane has one of the shipping containers on its hook. A construction worker guides him to the right position with a rope. Tanks used to park where the container hotel is now being built. An advantage for the operating family Mays, because the property was thus already fully concreted.

Natalie and Ralf Mays build the new container hotel in Montabaur.

Natalie Mays had known the property for several years. Then one night she woke up and woke her husband. “I said, ‘Honey, we’re building a container hotel!’ And he answered: But please not tonight,” Natalie Mays recalls and laughs. This is how the idea of the container hotel came about.

Container hotel is built quickly

The modular construction method with the shipping containers has a decisive advantage: it is built quite quickly. “The containers are already equipped with air conditioning and televisions at the factory, for example, and then placed on top of each other here on site,” explains Ralf Mays.

TIN INN Hotel Room
This is roughly what the hotel’s rooms should look like in the end.

41 rooms with 61 beds will have the hotel in the end, including barrier-free rooms. In addition, there is a breakfast room. The container hotel should be ready as early as the beginning of next year. The hotel beds are also urgently needed in Montabaur, says Natalie Mays. This is because the city continues to grow, but there are too few overnight accommodations. The city mayor had therefore been behind the project from the beginning.

Focus on sustainability at the container hotel

According to the Mays family, sustainability is a priority in the construction of the hotel. “We have rugs made from old fishing nets and use bamboo wood because it grows back quickly,” Natalie Mays explains. In addition, the hotel has a heat pump and a photovoltaic system on the roof. The containers, on the other hand, are fairly new and have not been used much before.

Container hotel manages without much staff

In times of an increasing shortage of skilled workers, the container hotel has another advantage, according to Natalie Mays: “The hotel is completely digitalized, so we don’t need a lot of staff.” Guests could check in and out online. The bill comes by mail. A reception desk is thus superfluous.

Land promotes the construction of the hotel

The Mays family already operates a second hotel in downtown Montabaur. They say they are investing around 3.5 million euros in the new container hotel. The Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Economics is funding the construction with about 700,000 euros.