Hotel Living As A Tiny House Option

You wake up, put on your house shoes, throw on last night’s clothes that still lay in a pile on the floor, amble down to the lobby (of course stopping to speak to the college co-ed manning the front desk), grab a paper from the lobby coffee table, and stop at the occasional table behind one of the oversized couches, just long enough to get a cup of coffee and say good morning to a couple other familiar faces. And so begins life as a full-time resident in a hotel. Okay, so the hotel sounds a bit more posh than perhaps what you or I may be able to swing. But it does sound pretty amazing, no?

Adina Hotel

photo of the Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest in Baulkham Hills, Australia

I can easily think of a number of perks that living in a hotel might provide including free and reliable WiFi, on-site fitness room, access to a pool, fresh towels upon request, in-house laundry service, and even an on-site restaurant/bar! The idea of living in a hotel is not so far fetched either. In fact, a number of celebrities have called hotels home though the years.

New York’s Hotel Chelsea – a Queen Anne-style landmark that first opened as an apartment cooperative in 1883 –  served as home for the likes of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Arthur Miller. Overlooking L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau Marmont has been home, sweet, home for people like Greta Garbo, Robert DeNiro, and Johnny Depp while the St. Regis in Washington, DC counts among its past residents, Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire. And those are just a few.

On a more practical note though hotel living is a style of tiny house living on its own. Most rooms available for long-term lease are only about 325 square feet according to BoardingArea.com and feature a small kitchen, a bathroom (usually with tub/shower kit), a master bedroom (2 queens or 1 king), a sitting area, and some sort of workspace be it a simple desk or a fully dedicated corner. It features the essentials; typically nothing more and nothing less. But is it feasible? Can one truly live in a hotel? Absolutely!

NOTE: The hotels talked about in this post are usually called “apartment-style” hotels. Rates are based on a minimum of a month’s stay (30 days).

POTENTIAL PERKS OF HOTEL LIVING

  • No long term commitment. Perhaps you have been bitten by the traveling bug and have a location-independent job? Maybe you don’t want to build a tiny house trailer or live in an RV or even sublet a room in a house. This might be the best arrangement. It offers privacy, small amounts of luxury, and a lot of freedom.
  • Choice. When I moved to Brooklyn some years ago I was limited to my budget in a major way. I could choose between a 7th floor apartment with only two windows and bathroom at the end of the hall or a garden apartment that literally faced The Garden; a sushi restaurant that was open 24-hours.  Luckily something else came along out of the blue. But when when you live in a hotel you can decide what you want to be close to, what kind of atmosphere you want, and how large/small you want your accommodations. Remember, this is not a long term commitment so it can be changed quite regularly with no penalty.
  • On-Site Services. While most full-time hotel dwellers don’t abuse this service there is still housekeeping and room service available. You can have fresh towels as you need/want them. You can have someone else make your bed. You can have someone replace your dirty dishes. The list goes on. It is important to note though that because you are living there you will gain some sort of reputation (be it good or bad) and tipping is STILL polite. Skipping this and doing things on your own could save you money and make you great friends in the building.
  • Free newspapers, coffee/tea and/or breakfast. This is typically included in your rate so feel free to take advantage of them. No more excuses for running late to your next appointment either!
  • Having your own kitchen. Just like a sticks ‘n bricks or your own tiny house trailer, with a hotel room/suite you have a kitchen or at least a kitchenette which – more often than not – comes with plates, bowls, silverware, glasses, mugs, strainer, chef’s knife, etc. You still have to grocery shop but at least you can cook your own meals whenever you like.
  • Front Desk Support. Looking for a donut shop in the neighborhood? Need a cab to take you to an event neighborhoods away? Waiting on a package from UPS that will arrive just moments after you leave? No worries. The desk clerk is there….24/7!
  • Handyman Support. Your coffee pot is not brewing? Your TV stopped turning on? No problem. Every hotel employs a small staff of handymen and service personnel. Call them. Tip them.
  • Security. This is huge! Between lobby cameras, hallway cameras, key card elevators, etc. security is usually top notch at a hotel.

UPS DeliveryUsing the desk services at a hotel will keep you from ever missing one of these again. 

POTENTIAL PRATFALLS OF HOTEL LIVING

  • Nowhere to call “home”. While it is true that home is where you park it or home is where you hang your heart or a number of other cliches living in a hotel means you won’t have a physical address. While hotels will allow you to have mail delivered there in care of their direct address they – nor the government – will allow you to claim the location as your permanent address.
  • Loneliness. Like living in a campground or other community-type setting there are in-seasons, off-seasons, perk weekends, and quiet times. On normal days and nights it is likely that you won’t see many guests at a hotel so you’re interaction will be limited. Living in a hotel may also keep you at some distance from friends and family unless you are huddled down in your home town.
  • Lack of personality. Don’t like the artwork on your bedroom walls? Does that picture over your bed make you think of clowns parading through lollipop factories singing a chorus of degenerate laughter? Too bed. Without causing damage to the room there is nothing you can do about the overall appearance. The colors, pillows, comforters, and dishware are there to stay. This is however a good exercise in adding personality to your surroundings. You can use colorful scarves, small houseplants, live flowers, digital photo frames, etc to add a personal yet portable comfort to your accommodations.
  • Space. A hotel room/suite is usually a standard, corporate design with furniture designed or purchased to fit in an exact spot. There are few options, if any. If you feel cramped with the desk in a certain spot chances are you can’t move it anywhere because there is nowhere to move it. The space is laid out for you. You are the guest in this situation. The furniture is there for good.

Living in a hotel room or suite is not conventional at all. It is not part of the American Dream so many of us grew up to understand and look forward to. But it is an adventure like no other and could possibly make your next tiny house. Don’t ever be afraid to hang your heart anywhere there is a good cup of free coffee!

 

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

 

Lloyd Gray and the Mini 12 CT Stove

gray stove

As many of you know I am a big fan of tiny wood stoves. I have promoted the Kimberly Stove designed and built by Roger Lehet here on the Tiny House Blog and highly recommend it for a high end stove. Unfortunately not everyone can afford this stove and about a year ago I discovered Lloyd Gray and his Mini CT stove. Lloyd has had a few business bumps this last year but is excited to reintroduce the Mini 12 CT Survivor Stove. Here is what Lloyd has to say:

My work is just beginning. It’s heating season and people need stoves. My welding friends need extra work and I’m more that happy to help them fire up those welding machines and grinders to produce the MINI 12 tiny stove.

So here we are, trying to regain what was lost and starting from scratch. There are so many wonderful people who have followed our progress and buying our stoves not really knowing our defeats, setbacks and problems. The odds are against us. People can buy cheaply made imported stoves that say US stove on them (arrrgh) for less than one of ours at any home store. I won’t have these made overseas or import anything. I feel that is why America is in trouble today. We are trying to compete with cheap imports and build 100% USA made, putting welders to work to create a product that will last a lifetime and could possibly save lives when the power grid goes down.

Gray Stove is a veteran owned LLC providing great American value and craftsmanship. Our tiny, powerful MINI 12 stove is 100% built by hand in America by skilled craftsmen.

The MINI 12 was designed and built as a practical and affordable means for heating and cooking in Tiny Homes, RVs, Campers and Boats where space is limited.

The original MINI 12 CT Survival stove from Gray Stove. Features: Compact Design, Secondary Combustion, Flat Cooktop, Burns small 9″ pieces or chunks of solid wood. Rugged all welded steel construction and refractory lined for decades of reliable use. High Temp black finish. Pyro Ceramic arch-top viewing window. 1-touch air control. Split firebrick lining. 100% USA made in PA Specifications: 14″W x 14″D x 21″ tall. Heats 800 sq.ft. Average output: 8000 btu/hr Firebox: 9.5″wide x 10″deep x 8″ tall Solid wood or charcoal multi fuel. Flue size 3″ Weight 110# ships UPS in box.

Current price as of October 2014 $970. Shipping Included!

Following are two testimonies by Shane and David on how they have used the Mini 12 CT in their RVs. This is an example of how they would work in a tiny house.

If you would like to learn more or purchase your own stove please visit Gray Stove at http://www.graystove.com/ and be sure and mention Coupon Code THB12 and you will receive the multi tool designed just for the Mini 12 CT as a gift when you purchase your stove. You can also follow Gray Stove on their Facebook page here.

Shane shares with us a movie he created below.

I can’t tell you how much fun I had working on this project  and everyone that has seen it is amazed at the transformation. I was researching wood stoves online, the main reason is because propane heaters release moisture inside the camper and creates a lot of condensation.  

I also like the ambiance of a wood burning stove. At first the only place I could find small wood burning stoves were either in Europe or made by a marine stove company, which were very costly. I finally found the mini 12 and after researching it, I knew it was what I was looking for. It was in my price range, and the dimensions were what I needed for my small camper. I then talked to a friend who installs wood stoves and he was impressed with the ease of installation. Finally after using it a few times and getting used to it I am happy that I made this choice, not only did I get a great product, I also developed a friendship with Lloyd Gray.  

This past weekend I used the camper and the temperatures outside were below freezing,  I just got my fire going in the mini 12 and kept it a balmy 80 degrees inside the camper, Lloyd says you need to feed it every couple of hours, however I was able to only feed it every 3 1/2 hrs to stay comfortable. It truly is a great product and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a small stove with a great look, and it can really put out the heat. -Shane

shane's mini 12

David also has a Mini 12 CT in his motorhome here are a few photos and his thoughts on this little stove.

I wanted to try simplifying my life: down size, clear out the clutter, actual and metaphorical. In doing so, I sold my Harley (still tearing up over that) and bought a  circa 1988 26ft RV…aka “The Mobile Command Center” and I set out to live in it for a year. Did I mention I live in Minnesota? I grew up in a house that was heated with a wood burning stove and I wanted one in my RV. I quickly learned through the “Internets” that the stoves available were not exactly what I was looking for and overly expensive…that is until I discovered the Mini 12. It was love at first “You Tube” viewing of the burning little wood stove. I was sold.

After talking with Lloyd and discussing some details, I ordered my stove. When it arrived, I installed it myself with some professional advice. All I can say is that I love it even more now. It works perfectly as a wood burning stove to heat my RV and it is a thing of beauty to watch in action. I have used it in winter weather and in milder weather and it functions fantastically for both. In the colder times it has been used as my main source of heat and once it is fired up the stove can be loaded and burns for hours without reloading and I have been toasty warm. Thanks to the boys at Gray Stove for a great stove at a great price! -David Hoban

david's mini 12

Alex’s Hovel

hovel1

Alex lives in Northern Illinois and is building a hovel tiny house. The Hovel is a 481 cubic foot house, built from local stone and some salvaged materials. It is a very unique structure and I’m looking forward to seeing Alex complete it.

Alex is trying to raise some funds to get the hovel winterized and has set up a Facebook Fan Page to share more info on his progress. Here is what Alex has to say about his project:

Hello Brethren! Finally, I’ve made a page for the Hovel. I haven’t worked on it since July, due to unforeseen problems (income). I figured the approximate cost for materials needed to finish the project before the rain and snow come down. Thus, I can move in and light the First Fire! I would need $500 +/- for materials. I have included the list on my photo-compilation. I will be elated by any support. As work progresses on the project, I will upload new photos of it. Thank you!! Also, heres a link, if you wish to help fund The Hovel. Any amount help, and all funds will go towards materials. ~~Alex G.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hovel/591628344281315

hovel 2