02
Feb

2010

Overwater Bungalows

Post by Steven Dale

Hotel Palafitte

The Hotel Palafitte

The Hotel Palafitte is what the tourism industry calls an “overwater bungalow.” For those who don’t know (and I certainly didn’t), overwater bungalows are a rare commodity in the resort industry. That rarity commands top dollar. Rooms at the Hotel Palafitte can easily eclipse (US)$1,000 per night. The hotel receives unanimously positive reviews and reservations are highly recommended.

So here’s the thing . . . The Hotel Palafitte is not located in Bora Bora, Bermuda or some other tropical paradise. No. It looks like it should be, but it’s not. The Hotel Palafitte is located on the edge of icy cold Lake Neuchatel in Central Switzerland.

Before it’s opening in 2002, overwater bungalows were located almost exclusively in tropical, equatorial regions. Like this one:

Like this.

Such designs had been a part of Polynesian culture for centuries and a mainstay of their tourism industry for decades. And yet, while the concept could have been exported to almost any environment, for some reason it remained confined to tropical regions. The idea spread slowly but almost always to other tropical destinations like the Caribbean or the Maldives.

Until, that is, the Hotel Palafitte came along.

The proprietors of Hotel Palafitte could’ve just built a hotel in the city like everyone else. Or they could’ve opened an overwater bungalow resort in Tahiti like every other European hotel cartel. In either situation, they’d have paid top-dollar in an overcrowded marketplace.

Instead, they chose to do something different. They didn’t invent a new model, they just adapted an old one. They took something tried, tested and proven and adapted it from one environment to another. And it worked beautifully. In other words, they innovated.

Innovation’s almost always better than invention. There’s less risk, less R&D and more people who already know how to help you accomplish what you want. It’s also cheaper. Like they say, don’t re-invent the wheel.

Successful ideas don’t reinvent the wheel. Successful ideas adapt the wheel for their own purposes.

Creative Commons images by Tambako the Jaguar and Duncan Rawlinson.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Oddities / Thoughts / Urban Planning & Design
Comments Off on Overwater Bungalows
Comments Off on Overwater Bungalows

Comments