The World's Smallest Hotels

by R. Z. Peterson

Harbour Crane, Harlingen, Netherlands

The prize for best adaptive reuse goes to Gosse Beerda, who in 2003 transformed a massive harbor crane into a unique, two-person hotel room perched 56 feet above the Wadden Sea. Don't jump to conclusions: This is not your typical stay in a harbor crane. Red stamped-metal walls and ceiling-mounted pipes give the living quarters (formerly the machine room) a chic, techno-industrial look; creature comforts include a bed, a couple of Eames chairs, a walk-in shower for two, a minibar, and a flat-screen panel to control the mood lighting. There's also a rooftop patio, where breakfast is served. If you tire of gazing at the town's pretty medieval skyline through your room's large picture window, there's a simple solution. Take a seat in the control room, grab the joystick, and rotate the crane. (Yes, that's you moving 65 tons of steel!) Staying in the crane is an apt way to experience Harlingen, where shipbuilding, fishing, and pleasure boating have been a way of life for centuries. Perhaps that explains why the owner has gone a bit overboard with maritime-inspired lodgings: He also runs a one-room hotel in Harlingen's lighthouse, as well as a '50s-era mahogany lifeboat with room for two—plus the captain.

Harbour Crane Hotel
Dokkade 5
Harlingen, Netherlands
Tel: 31 517 414 410
$445 per night, including breakfast

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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