Vlotkamp, the innovative form of Belgian floating hotel business


La Cuisine International
© Vlotkamp


Vlotkamp is a clever form of hotel business that has become trendy among nature lovers. The concept that means ‘camping in a raft,’ is part of the Polderwind hotel located on Lake Flanders, Belgium.


The idea that Tobias Knockaert and Kika Merlin developed is the floating wing of the aforementioned hotel. This consists of 8 rafts with tents, which can only be accessed through a boat or canoe.


This initiative focused on adventure is quite similar to the one called Boomkamp, which the couple of creators opened last year along a forest road near Bruges, in the Pyrenees area. This ingenious form of hospitality invites guests to relive their childhood dreams while creating original tourist attractions in Belgium that serve as an escape from the whole pandemic nightmare and the rigid patterns it has forced on the hotel industry.



24 Square meters of adventure

Thanks to the success of their Boomkamp initiative (a hotel that recreates the treehouse experience) Tobias Knockaert and Kika Merlin realized that people are interested in alternative accommodations that offer them a unique experience that goes beyond a place to sleep.

La Cuisine International
© Vlotkamp

With that in mind, Knockaert and Merlin decided to develop this hotel concept consisting of 8 rafts, on which 24 square meter tents are installed. The idea was to create a simple accommodation that would offer a different and unforgettable option for visitors to the Polderwind Hotel.


The result is a sort of floating wing of the hotel, in the form of a small village in the middle of the lake. Each raft/room is made of 5 floating modules with a Sibley tent.



Testing the creativity

The creative entrepreneurs designed a custom exoskeleton, strong enough to withstand the most extreme summer conditions. Manufactured with recycled wood and rims, the floating devices are stable and shock-resistant.


La Cuisine International
© Vlotkamp

However, the couple had to overcome several technical problems to make this new hotel proposal a reality. First, they had to solve the anchoring problem, and in addition to this the lighting and comfort details (bed, bathroom, etc.).


To solve the first issue, they decided to anchor only one corner of the raft, managing to minimize the forces of the wind. The result? The entire raft acts as a flag and rotates away from the direction of the wind.


In terms of comfort, the interior of the raft has a double king size circular mattress, with nice cushions and lots of cozy decorative elements, which provide plenty of comfort to the guests. Additionally, on the outside, the raft has 2 outdoor seats and a small table, for those who want to enjoy a romantic evening or a starry night on the swaying lake.


As for the “bathroom,” each raft has a toilet on board, for nighttime emergencies. However, the Polderwind hotel has full bathrooms on land with showers and sinks, as well as a restaurant with buffet service and a bar for those guests who have chosen this adventurous option.


As an additional feature, the Vlotkamp of the Polderwind has a wheelchair accessible unit, which is nearby on the shore. So, if you want to start entering the world of adventure, this can be a very stylish gateway.


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