I’ve slept in my old Beetle before. It wasn’t great, but it worked, in the sense that I ended up unconscious for at least a little while. You’d think that, rationally, the idea of paying someone to let me sleep in another old Beetle wouldn’t be remotely appealing, right? That’d be crazy. Except now that I know about this hotel made from an old Beetle in the Jordanian desert, I kinda want to spend a night there. What’s wrong with me?
Yes, the smallest hotel in the world (the Guinness Book of World Records disagrees, saying this place in Germany is the smallest hotel) is basically just a Volkswagen Beetle with a gutted interior and filled with hand-embroidered sheets and pillows on a bed that pretty much fills up the car.
The Beetle is definitely a post ‘71 car, which you can tell thanks to the little parentheses-shaped flow-through vents behind the rear side windows. It’s hard to get more specific since so much of the bodywork (fenders, bumpers, lights, etc.) is removed, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s a ‘73.
The Beetle-hotel was started in 2011 by now 64-year-old Mohammed Al Malaheem, in the tiny Jordanian village of Al Jaya.
Most of the village’s population has left for more modern city life, but for a tourist, Al Jaya offers lovely, stark desert landscapes and is near a Crusader castle known as Montreal.
The Beetle sleeps two, and is only $56 a night, which includes a traditional Jordanian breakfast or lunch, and excellent service from Al Malaheem and his wife and daughter, who also crafted the Beetle’s interior furnishings.
Al Malaheem is planning to get more VWs to add ‘rooms’ to his growing hotel. He should find an old Microbus in case anyone wants to have a wedding or convention there, I think.
If you’ll excuse me, I have to see how much cash I can get AirB&Bing my Volkswagen now.