How did the idea for Flotel come about?
The idea came from living by the sea and wanting to create something where people could live and stay on the water. I wanted to create something with the views and the feel of a boat but with all of the space of a hotel room.
How long did the construction take and what was the process?
Construction of the prototype took around 6 months in total from the initial design to the completed product, fitting production time around other business commitments to finish the build, we now have a production scheduled tim of around 6-10 weeks per unit.
What did you learn from the process that you might do differently next time?
During the build process there was some changes we had to make to be able to create exactly what we needed, we now have ironed out all of the issues and have a production model we are now proud to bring to the Glamping market.
What is your connection with the marina?
Robertson Marine Group worked with Hartlepool Marina to be able to bring the model to market, offering help when needed and assisting in manoeuvreing and lifting the pod. They are now operating and running the rental of the pod for guests to Hartlepool Marina.
Are there any planning/mooring issues?
No, we did not have any issues with mooring, we designed the pod and deck area so that we could moor it from the sides or the rear depending on the views and the preference of the lake or marina. In terms of planning we did not need any planning permission which is usually the case with our floating pods. However, we do advise to contact your local authority before hand to ensure your waterways comply with any planning permission which may be required for moorings.
How have customers reacted?
We had an open day/ launch event in Hartlepool on the 5th-6th May during the busy bank holiday weekend and the response has been so positive, we could not have asked for a better reaction. Everyone who boarded over the two days loved the pods design and all where surprised at just how big the pod felt on the interior and how much we had managed to fit into such a compact space without making it feel small or cramped.
Have you got plans for further flotel units and if so what?
Yes, we have plans for a larger version of the prototype, which is currently 12m2 internally and the next pod will have an internal space of 18m2. Robertson Marine are also planning a villa style floating accommodation which will be suited for hotter climates throughout Europe boasting a larger decking area and open plan bi-folding doors. Larger structures are planned for mid 2019 including floating homes and also a floating bar all designed around our principals we have devised from creating out prototype model. firstname.lastname@example.org