We’ve heard about small hotels before but ‘skinny’ is not a term we’d usually associate with the travel business. However, there’s a first time for everything. In Java, Indonesia, architecture studio Sahabat Selojene has just revealed their newest design PituRooms, or what they claim is “the skinniest hotel in the world”.
The special design of the hotel has everything to do with the size of the plot it sits on. In Salatiga, a lot of land between an alleyway and a couple of houses had been proven difficult to sell since it only measured 2.8 meters in width. But Sahabat Selojene’s founder, Ary Indra, took on the challenge with the goal of showing how “limitation can be turned into potential”. Against all odds, he created a building many of us wouldn’t mind living in.
Aside from the technical difficulties, the biggest challenge was the typical mindset surrounding the hospitality industry that is used to superlative words: biggest, tallest, most luxurious. Here we are skinniest.
Ary Indra, Sahabat Selojene Founder, in an interview with Dezeen
Small yet impactful
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that with such a small area to work with, Indra chose to take to the sky. Even though the hotel only has seven rooms (Pitu means seven in Indonesian), the building is no less than five floors high. Every room has its own, small yet practical, bathroom and a unique design, given the fact that Indra used the works of several artists to give each room a twist.
But Indra’s goal wasn’t just architectural. Having grown up in Salatiga himself, he chose to return to his hometown after debuting his career elsewhere, while trying to change Salatiga’s image. “I want people to experience Salatiga in a new way”, Indra told CNN. “I own, designed and operate PituRooms with my own team. It has become my new platform to generate a new type of tourism which involves local communities.”
Since its opening in December 2022, PituRooms only registered 5% international bookings, all other guests being Indonesian. Indra hopes Salatiga will soon become a destination for international guests too, with the hotel, its restaurant and the upcoming events organised on-site being small yet important steps towards that goal.