5 Facts about the World’s First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolished

The first part that is built into the structure of a building is the foundation. This is the part of the structure that is in direct contact with the ground, and becomes the ‘leg’ of a building. However, some buildings, such as houses and hotels, do not have these ‘legs’ because they are not built on the ground, but float on the surface of the water.

The floating buildings are very eye-catching. Not only because special techniques are needed to build it, but also because the number of floating buildings is still relatively small. One of the floating buildings that attracts attention is the Haegumgang hotel.

Haegumgang is a very unique hotel, because it offers the sensation of living on the surface of the water. In addition, because of its position in the water, the scenery presented is also very interesting. Check out other facts about the Haegumgang hotel in the following list.

1. Built on the idea of ​​a diver

5 Facts about the World's First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolishedportrait of Doug Tarca and the floating hotel model (twitter.com/Pedro_Torrijos)

The idea to build a floating hotel was sparked by an Italian-born diver and entrepreneur named Doug Tarca. From Italy, Doug moved to Australia in 1935. As an adult he settled in Townsville, a city close to the sea. He is a professional diver who really admires the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

The man who was born in 1929’s love for the Great Barrier Reef also led to the idea of ​​​​making a hotel that floats. His admiration for the location of the coral reef conservation made him want others to be able to enjoy the beauty of coral reefs safely and comfortably. In the mid-1980s, plans to build a floating hotel began.

2. Hotel designed and built in Singapore

5 Facts about the World's First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolishedportrait of the floating hotel Four Seasons Barrier Reef Resort (tekdeeps.com)

Although the hotel was opened in Australia, the design and construction of the floating hotel was carried out in Singapore. Reported Financial Review, the hotel was designed by Consafe Engineering (Far East) Pty Ltd., while the construction was carried out by Bethlehem Singapore Pte Ltd. The construction of the world’s first floating hotel is said to have cost 30-40 million US dollars at the time.

After the hotel was built, the Haegumgang hotel was then transported to Australia by boat, where the distance was estimated at 5,000 km. After a cruise that took about 12 days, the hotel arrived in Australia. The hotel is located on John Brewer Reef, 72 km northeast of Townsville. The hotel is moored at a predetermined location using eight large anchors. In March 1988, the hotel finally opened to the public. Hotel Haegumgang is said to have 200 rooms, and features facilities such as a tennis court, swimming pool, two restaurants and meeting rooms.

3. The hotel has changed hands twice

5 Facts about the World's First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolisheda portrait of the Haegumgang hotel in 1991 (commons.wikimedia.org/HH58)

Shortly after arriving in Australia in January 1988, the Haegumgang hotel ran into problems, mainly due to the hotel’s location. Prior to opening, the hotel was hit by a storm and suffered damage, delaying the opening of the hotel for two months.

In addition, the location of the hotel is difficult to reach, hotel guests have to travel by air or sea as far as 70 km to arrive at the hotel from Townsville. Unstable sea conditions often make hotel guests feel nauseous and dizzy due to seasickness.

Although the cost of building a floating hotel is said to be much more economical than the standard cost of building a hotel on land, the operational costs of a floating hotel are quite expensive. Finally in 1989 the hotel went bankrupt and was sold to a company in Vietnam, and the hotel returned to ‘sail’ to Vietnam, to be precise to Saigon.

In Vietnam, the hotel is quite famous and attracts many visitors and is nicknamed the floaters. However, financial problems again forced the hotel to close. After 10 years anchored in Vietnam, the floating hotel was again sold. This time the Haegumgang hotel was bought by a South Korean company, Hyundai Asan.

Also Read: 10 Unique Design Ideas for Footpaths in Home Gardens, Just Like in a Hotel!

4. The hotel name was changed twice

5 Facts about the World's First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolishedclose-up of Haegumgang floating hotel (twitter.com//Pedro_Torrijosu)

Management and financial problems forced the hotel to change hands twice and change countries three times since it was completed. The hotel move also affects the name of the hotel.

When it first opened in Australia, the floating hotel was named the Four Seasons Barrier Reef Resort. The name is taken from the name of the manager, Four Seasons. When it was sold to Vietnam and docked in Saigon, the hotel was again renamed Saigon Floating Hotel.

In 1997, the company changed hands again. A businessman from South Korea bought the Saigon Floating Hotel, and brought it to North Korea, precisely at the tourist location of Mount Kumgang. The new ownership has made this hotel also bear a new name, namely the Haegumgang hotel, until now.

5.Kim Jong Un intends to demolish the hotel

5 Facts about the World's First Floating Hotel, Threatened to be Demolishedclose-up of Haegumgang floating hotel (twitter.com/aristarau)

The Haegumgang Hotel, which has a length of 90 meters and a width of 27 meters, was originally considered a form of collaboration between North and South Korea. Business Insider launched the hotel to be a place for people and family members separated from both parts of Korea to meet.

But the shooting incident of a South Korean woman by a North Korean soldier in 2008 made the hotel closed to visitors from South Korea. Currently, the hotel, which has been operating for more than 30 years, is abandoned. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to demolish the hotel.

Kim Jong Un considers the hotel’s design to be too old-fashioned, unsightly and useless to North Korea. He plans to build a new facility on the site of the hotel, which has traveled tens of thousands of kilometers with something more indicative of North Korean values.

After the construction of the Haegumgang hotel, several floating hotels were built all over the world. In addition to floating hotels, nowadays people can also enjoy the sensation of staying in the middle of the sea through cruise ship tours.

Also Read: Here’s the Concept of the Floating Market and Sekanak Market in Palembang

IDN Times Community is a medium that provides a platform for writing. All written works are the sole responsibility of the author.