Here’s one of the more unusual projects we’ve come across in a while – and trust us, we come across some pretty far-out ideas on a regular basis. What we have for you today is La Villa Hamster in Nantes, France. Even though this might sound like a pampered retreat for your pet hamster, we assure you it is quite the opposite: the guests at this themed hotel are all human. What makes this hotel experience so unusual is that the rooms are designed like hamster cages, complete with running wheel and water spout.
Why would anyone pay to spend the night caged up like a hamster? La Villa Hamster owners, Frederic Tabary and Yann Falquerho, are wondering the same thing: “We always ask [guests], ‘Why do you want to come into our house?’ And every time they tell us, well, ‘It was so strange so we wanted to see this house. We’ve never seen a place where we can transform into a hamster,’” Falquerho is quoted as saying over at OddityCentral.
There seems to be more than just an interest in seeing a strange place drawing visitors to this customized 18th century villa in Nantes. The appeal of this hotel experience appears to be the transformation from one’s ordinary self into something entirely different. At the same time, there is a sense of familiarity for those who have raised hamsters as pets. How many times have we looked at our dog, cat, or hamster and wondered what it would be like to live life in their shoes (or paws)? Or wished that we could trade in our complicated lives for the simple life of our pet after a particularly stressful day. La Villa Hamster gives us the opportunity to finally answer questions such as these and herein lies the appeal of the hotel.
Most guests are familiar with the habits of hamsters and know exactly how to behave once they check into their rooms. Apparently, some guests even take to all fours during their stay at La Villa Hamster. If you prefer to walk upright, but still want to feel more like a hamster, you can throw on one of the cute hamster hoods provided by the hotel. Inside the rooms, guests will find all the standard fixtures of a hamster cage. A human-sized running wheel is affixed to one wall and doubles as the dinning area when a table is inserted between the crossbars. As far as dinner goes, your meal of organic grains is served inside a plastic feed bowl. You then wash your grains down with water from a spout activated by a foot petal. And when it’s time to turn in for the night, you’ll climb up to the loft where your bed of hay awaits.
As funny as this all sounds, Falquerho and Tabary are on to something. The hotel has received nothing but positive responses since it opened in 2009. Having met with such success in their hamster-themed venture, the duo is now looking into opening other animal-themed hotel experiences, starting with cats and dogs.