ÖÖD Hotels - Reshaping the guest experience with dispersed hotel modules

Tapping into the new trend, many accommodation providers have started to shift their offer and invest in a more nature-oriented and relaxation focused

A new way of experiencing nature-based stays

In the post-modern society, where time for oneself is rare and the need for relaxation and disconnecting from the hectic everyday life is rising, nature-based experiences have seen a huge rise in popularity, especially in the western countries.

A new way of experiencing nature-based stays

In the post-modern society, where time for oneself is rare and the need for relaxation and disconnecting from the hectic everyday life is rising, nature-based experiences have seen a huge rise in popularity, especially in the western countries.

Tapping into this new trend, many accommodation providers have started to shift their offer and invest in a more nature-oriented and relaxation focused offer. ÖÖD Hötels, a family-owned hotel development company based in Estonia, is an example of a forward-thinking company that has been able to intercept this need by developing a unique offer that has revolutionized the hospitality landscape.

It all started from the idea of two brothers, Andreas and Jaak Tiik, who, after an excursion in the woods of Estonia, started to look for a place that could allow them to spend the night in the middle of nature but that could be at the same time comfortable. Finding nothing but noisy family residences or expensive rooms in old private apartments, they came up with the idea of creating a new type of accommodation that could blend with the environment and give everyone a new sense of connection with nature.

They idealised a housing module made of natural materials and glass, that could be easily placed anywhere in nature with a minimal impact on the environment, and that could offer premium comfort to the guests. The idea of ÖÖD hotels was born.

Photo from oodhouse.com

A scalable business model with endless opportunities

Today ÖÖD Hotels is spread into 14 different countries across the world, with dozens of projects under development. Behind the success of the company is the innovative way of conceiving the concept of accommodation.

At the centre of the concept is the ÖÖD House: a prefabricated housing module that can be placed anywhere and easily blends with the surroundings, with a minimal environmental impact. The modules can be transported anywhere and require just 1-2 days of installation: based on simple foundation screws, the modules don’t require any concrete foundation.

Photo from oodhouse.com

The modules are designed, developed and pre-assembled entirely in-house, and are used by the company itself or sold to other accommodation providers and private individuals. As the rooms are initially developed without a specific single function or use (they can in fact be turned into a hotel room, office room, or studio) the company has a very diversified client base.

Without any doubt though, the sector where the housing modules have been most popular is that of accommodation. In fact, the hotel rooms modules allow anyone to 'jumpstart' their own hospitality business, rewarding, in particular, those who want to shape their offer around a type of accommodation different from the rest, and who consider nature and relaxation at the centre of the offer.

ÖÖD allows anyone to jumpstart their hospitality business - oodhouse.com

The housing modules allow the development of a 'diffused hotel' model, where the rooms are spread over a wider area instead of being clustered together. This model represents the perfect solution to develop a type of accommodation that highlights the surrounding natural space as well as the privacy and relaxation of the guest. The success of the model lies also on its scalability: the quick and easy-to-install room modules, in fact, allow any hospitality business to grow the number of rooms according to the individual needs.

Photo from oodhouse.com

In Estonia, where ÖÖD Hotels is born, the company has chosen the most beautiful natural locations to develop its hotels: woods, pastures and shorelines are in fact the ideal settings for any ÖÖD hotel.

This example has been followed by many hospitality businesses across the world, that is now providing a new type of accommodation to those guests looking for a more natural and immersive experience.

Disconnect to Connect - the philosophy behind ÖÖD

The philosophy behind ÖÖD hotels is simple: allowing each guest to enjoy a unique stay surrounded by nature, allowing anyone to chill, relax, and recharge batteries.

This philosophy has been summed up by ÖÖD hotels in the slogan 'disconnect to connect'. The slogan is meant to speak directly to the hearts of the guests by tapping into their need of 'disconnecting' from their frenetic lives and finding time for themselves. By experiencing nature in an immersive way, guests can finally 'reconnect' with themselves on a deeper level.

The case of ÖÖD Hotels shows us how you can as a business, leverage on a specific customer need to develop a unique offer. Especially, the concept developed by the ÖÖD house is tapping into the increasing need for finding time for oneself, which for many represents the true 'new luxury'.

Photo from oodhouse.com

Over the past few years, people have started to rethink the way a luxury stay can be experienced. In particular, they started to understand that a 'luxury' accommodation is not only made by the price or level of the service but by the uniqueness of the experience. This uniqueness is not made by the exclusivity or inaccessibility of the offer, but rather by how the experience is relevant to the guest, how it connects and respond to their needs.

The importance of finding a quiet place, where you can relax, reconnect with yourself and enjoy nature is for many a true 'luxury' and the solutions provided by ÖÖD Hotels make us understand the importance of putting the experience at the centre of the hospitality concept.

Micro-resorts and isolated lodges - new opportunities for hospitality businesses

The unique location of hotel rooms, paired with their unique design and feel, helps ÖÖD Hotels as well as any accommodation provider who has adopted the modules to create a completely new and unique experience for their guests.

The room modules have been adopted to create different kinds of hospitality complexes such as diffused hotels consisting of dispersed room modules, micro-resorts for families and groups and isolated lodges for individual accommodation.

The opportunity to expand the complex by adding extra modules consisting of rooms and common areas such as saunas, outdoor kitchens or fitness rooms, allows hospitality businesses to gradually adapt the offer to the needs of their guests.

The Nordic Maldives

The Nordic Maldives is a micro-resort situated on the shores of the Päijänne Lake, just a few hours drive from Helsinki. The lake is a popular summer destination for families and nature seekers, and its beautiful natural setting made of small islands and inlets is an ideal destination for those who want to experience the unspoiled nature o Finland.

Every corner of the complex is designed to nourish the soul and mind of the customer. - oodhouse.com

Inspired by overwater bungalows of the Maldives, the resort is made of three ÖÖD houses placed over a specially-built platform over the shores of the lake. Complemented with a nordic design made of natural wood and glass, the complex blends seamlessly with the surroundings.

Photo from oodhouse.com

Isolated in the middle of a natural area, the resort is not only an ideal spot for a romantic getaway but also for a group of friends or big families who want to experience nature and privacy.

The concept of a micro-resort is not only an innovative way of providing luxury accommodation but can become a critical success factor in situations where isolated and socially distanced experienced are a must. This has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic when the resort became extremely popular as the need for isolated and nature-based stays skyrocketed.

The Panorama Glass Lodge

Situated in the unspoiled and primordial natural landscape of southern Iceland, the Panorama Glass Lodge is a great example of a business 'jumpstarting' in the hospitality sector by using an ÖÖD house module.

The lodge can accommodate two people in and offers a 5-star hotel experience. The module's walls are mostly made of glass panels, allowing guests to look at the beautiful landscape during the day, and gaze at stars and northern lights during the night.

Photo from ÖÖD on mymodernmet.com

The owners of the lodge have cleverly placed the house in an isolated yet well-connected area, as the lodge is just a 30 minutes drive from Reykjavík. Seeing the potential of the location, they had no doubt the initiative would have been a success. What attracts guests here is not the accommodation per see, but the whole experience which is built around it.

The lodge then becomes an example of how using hotel modules can help a hospitality business to revamp its offer and make it more attractive in almost no time. If scaled up, this represents not only an opportunity for the business itself but for the whole area, which is made more attractive from a tourist point of view.

Dispersed stays and micro-tourism - a potential for both businesses and destinations

The cases of the Nordic Maldives and the Panorama Lodge and in general the hospitality concept proposed by ÖÖD Hotels, are giving us the unique opportunity to reflect on the potential of nature-based and isolated experiences within the hospitality sector from both a business and destination point of view.

A potential for businesses

From a business point of view, the modules are a great tool to reinvigorate the offer and attract the rapidly-growing market segment of nature-enthusiasts and relaxation-seekers. With its scalability, the model can be applied across different locations an properties, requiring minimal planning and implementation efforts.

Investig in a smaller and more quality-focused offer can also help the business to scale revenue (as the guest willingness to pay for a quality stay is usually higher) and reduce the volume of operations, improving efficiency and increasing manageability.

Photo from oodhouse.com

A potential for destinations

From a destination point of view, the introduction of a less mass-oriented and more quality-focused hospitality offer can be extremely beneficial to foster a more 'healthy' and sustainable tourism within the destination. In fact, the spread of diffused hotels and accommodation modules can not only help to make the destination more attractive but helps to disperse tourists more evenly in the territory.

Dispersed accommodation can also help to 'put on the map' those areas of the destination that are normally excluded from the tourist path, another factor that helps spread tourism evenly and decongest the destination.

Photo by DLC on Unsplash

Micro-tourism and the post-pandemic world

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, short trips and staycations have been exponentially rising across all destinations, a phenomenon that is often referred to as 'micro-tourism'. With this term are normally intended overnights stays or day trips to areas within 1 to 2 hours from home.

With people eager to go on holidays but staying within their region and being more cautious about social distancing, hygiene and safety rules, private and isolated accommodations such as holiday apartments and camping sites have seen a huge surge in the number of bookings, and so did ÖÖD Hötels.

Photo from ÖÖD on mymodernmet.com

In this context, the solution represented by ÖÖD proved to be extremely effective to respond to the needs of those tourists willing to enjoy a safe and socially distanced experience. Whilst being closer to their homes, guests staying over to one of the ÖÖD hotels or lodges have the chance to feel completely immersed in nature, a feeling that gives them the impression of being far from home, exactly like it would happen in a normal holiday.

Dispersed accommodations then become not only a new tool to attract more qualitative tourism but a fundamental competitive advantage for hospitality businesses in a time where domestic travel and staycations become more relevant. Even without adopting the specific solutions proposed by ÖÖD, every hospitality business in the post-pandemic world should consider the possibility of updating their offer to intercept these new needs of the market.

Key Takeaways

Published on:
May 2020
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