Gothenburg opens homeless hotel

Sweden flagA unique hotel in Gothenburg has received a lot of attention from the global press for its deliberately uncomfortable and unusual ‘street sleeping’ service. Faktum Hotels in Gothenburg offers its paying guests a visitor experience like no other. Instead of comfortable beds and luxurious bathrooms the unique hotel emulates what it’s like to sleep rough on the streets. And it charges for the privilege.

There are ten rooms available, each offering a different experience. From sleeping on a dirty mattress below a bridge or in an old sleeping bag in the park to resting on a filthy, newspaper-lined floor at ‘an abandoned paper mill’.

According to their marketing information, these rooms allow guests to experience the cold and the fear of sleeping in the nooks and crannies of the urban landscape, a reality that many of the city’s estimated 3,400 homeless residents face almost every night.

Acting for the hotel, Aaron Israelson, editor of Faktum magazine, says, “We asked several of our homeless contacts where they often slept, then we set up the rooms.”

The aim of the hotel is not to make money but to highlight the problem of homelessness in Gothenburg. Since the hotel opened in November 2012 around 1,000 people have booked a room, paying 100 kronor ($15) a night.

When discussing how the hotel has been received, Israelson said, “I’m afraid the local government has shown very little enthusiasm for Faktum Hotels or our street paper,” adding “They like to think that everything is fine in our city.”

Pictures of the different rooms in the Homeless Hotel can be found here.