New Hotel Where Every Room Is Performance Art

At the U.K.’s Art B&B in Blackpool, each of the 19 rooms is a piece of performance art. A different artist designed each room, and the one by Christopher Samuel isn’t meant for you to have a comfortable stay. It’s meant for your stay to be uncomfortable.

The bed is difficult to get onto and has barely enough space to squeeze around. The bathroom door doesn’t shut, and gets in the way when you reach for the toilet roll dispenser.

This may sound like a pretty typical TripAdvisor review.

But if you stay in the hotel bedroom created by Christopher Samuel, don’t rush to post a scathing review. He has actually designed it to be as annoying as possible (while remaining just about habitable).

“You probably wouldn’t spend more than a night in it in reality,” says Michael Trainor, creative director of the Art B&B in Blackpool. “I think the novelty would soon wear off.”

Samuel is one of 19 artists who have kitted out a room in the seaside B&B. And it’s hard not to chuckle at the fiendishness of Samuel’s adaptations every time you spot another deliberately awkward feature (the upside-down shower gel dispenser is a particular triumph of user-unfriendliness).

…In his room – titled Welcome Inn – the bed is surrounded by a 3ft lip, which you must scramble over every time you want to get in or out. The bathroom door doesn’t close because it hits the toilet, meaning there’s no privacy.

Staying in this room gives guests a sense for what it’s like traveling with “the access problems faced by many disabled people.” The artist’s inspiration is drawn from his own challenges spending three months living in an inaccessible hotel room.

A twin bunk room starts at £49 and an ocean suite runs £129. The seafront hotel is part lodging accommodation, part art gallery, and strikes me as a plausible idea for Hilton’s next brand for new affluents.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not sure if use “performance” art to describe the rooms. Maybe just “art”? Or “experiential” art?

    In any event, the concept isn’t unique to this place, eg the Carlton Arms in my NYC.

  2. Let’s make our own “performance art rooms”

    I’ll start:

    “The Trump Experience”
    Everything is goldplated, even the sheets/blankets and washcloths, there are no windows, every wall is a giant screen tuned to a different 24 hour news channel, all the aspect ratios suck, close caption is on and the volumes are just loud enough to be annoying, but too quiet to understand. Whenever Trump tweets a foghorn and strobelight start and they don’t stop until you look up the tweet and retype it word for word on the golden keyboard in the bathroom.

    “The Thunberg How Dare You Stay Here” room
    Ceiling is covered in protraits on that sneering young lady with eyes that follow you.
    Room is torn down to the studs, except for the “firing squad” spatter wall.
    Cuckoo Clock that announces time until climate change is totally irreversible for real this time guys (always twelve years) on the hour along with a hearty “how dare you”. Bed is inside a fiberglass pod, there is a complimentary bug protein dispenser on the wall. The bathroom amenity is a 5 gallon bucket. Complimenter phone charger is a Chinese child laborer with a crank charger (Since most pollution is coming from and affecting Asia)

    “The Travel Blogger’s bolt hole”
    The wall is covered with a mosaic of churned credit cards, the sheets/blankets have troll comments printed on them. The room is otherwise normal except for being haunted by the ghosts of every negative change caused by people acting in poor faith and trying to game the system. SSSSSSSPPPPPPPPPPPOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKKYYYYYY

    “The completely normal room’
    Looks like a normal room, but there is an evil twist, it records your snoring and replays it for you in the morning

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