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Floating Pod Company Seeks Hoteliers To Create Luxury Resorts

A French naval architect, Jean-Michel Ducancelle, has designed a prototype of a luxury floating pod, inspired by James Bond's abode in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Now, his team from Anthénea is looking to partner with hoteliers in select locations around the world to create floating resorts by linking up multiple individual pods.

An Anthénea pod suite has a rooftop lounge, solarium, kitchen and submarine windows.

"The product is extremely unique," said Alexandre Volland, who is spearheading business development and outreach in South Florida, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

"It's completely sustainable and eco-friendly. It's not doing anything bad to the underwater environment," he said. "It can be simply attached to a pontoon at a marina or it can be basically floating on the water."

With a 31-foot diameter, a pod can be docked like a normal boat, tied to a mooring or anchored with a standard anchor. Models come with or without engines. With propulsion, a pod can be driven with a joystick, controllable even by amateurs. It can also be towed.

There's solar power, saltwater filtration, air conditioning and a U.S. Coast Guard-approved waste treatment system that allows wastewater to be dumped with no holding tanks required. Maintenance can all be done remotely, via computer systems, Volland said. A pod remains stable in Force 6 winds or 22-27 knots.

The basic model was conceived to have sleeping quarters for two, or two adults and two children. A pod can also be customized as a floating spa, restaurant or lounge.

Anthénea floating hotel pods could be connected to make a floating resort.

A basic model starts at €300K ($365K USD), and a spa model is about €600K ($730K USD). Pods could also function as luxury Airbnbs. A pod would be shipped to its destination in one piece on a cargo ship, and if ordered today, arrive from across the Atlantic by December, Volland said.

It took about 15 years for Ducancelle to perfect his model. He built the first prototype that's located in France about a year ago, Volland said. Anthénea has potential interest from hospitality leaders in Dubai and Switzerland, but new partners could still be the first, or among the first, to launch.  

"The amount of buzz that it would create for one of the first owners — we're extremely confident that it will have a huge impact on social media and TV," Volland said.  

Anthénea wants to remain on the manufacturing side and team with people who have expertise in hospitality and maritime laws in specific jurisdictions, Volland said. 

Anthénea joins other entrepreneurs who have been inventive with water-based building concepts. In Miami, Arkup pioneered a $5.5M, 4K SF floating home concept, or "livable yacht." Numerous other "floating condo" projects are in development.