Soaking up unique experiences is an essential part of traveling. In Portland, wander-lusters can do just that at Caravan, the world's first, tiny house hotel. Small-living enthusiasts, Kol Peterson and Deb Delman, launched the creative community in 2013 in an urban lot within Portland's Alberta Arts District.
Stationed on individual trailers, Caravan features six locally built, leased homes, ranging from 80 to 160 square feet. These dwellings may be petite, but they come fully stocked with kitchens, bathrooms, sleeping quarters, and a living area.
Amenities—such as, lofted beds, mini refrigerators, and merged living and dining quarters—differ from the standard home. Most patrons hardly mind, though, because it’s all part of the small-space experience. Caravan’s circular community also hosts a central gathering space, where guests enjoy barbecues, hammocks, a fire pit, and an array of local art.
The vision for these rare vacation rentals spawned out of the desire to demonstrate the functional reality of living in a tiny home. Deb, the site manager and co-founder, has spent her adult life residing in unconventional quarters like yurts, trailers, and cabins. Her partner and co-founder, Kol, comes with a background in environmental planning and design. Together they transformed a former car repo lot into an urban campground of sorts, where each mini house hooks up to hot running water, as well as flushable toilets. Below are a few examples of the houses that make up their tiny hotel.
Rates: $125/night without tax; $145/night after May 1, 2015.
This whimsical home came to Caravan from Salem resident Hal McClendon. Its 80-square-feet can sleep up to three people between the lofted queen bed and a single twin. The Roly Poly also features handmade accents like cobble-wood floors, decorative kitchen tile, and window-framed bar seating.
Built by Portland resident Benn Kovco in 2014, this traditional 170-square-foot abode comes with a blue pine interior and a lofted, memory foam mattress for three.
Between its bright red paint and second story ‘cupola,’ The Caboose glows with character. Its living room, lofted bed, and pair of twin bunks easily accommodate four people, making it a family favorite. The 134-square-foot home was built by McClendon in 2013 and harbors mason jar lighting, copper piping, and cobbled wood flooring.
This 160-square-foot wood-shingled casa intermingles both metal and wood. Portland resident Eric Bohne built the tiny home in 2014, using salvaged decking for flooring and re-purposed refrigerator paneling for the roof. The double-decker queen beds sleep up to four people.
Designed with an open 160-square-foot floor plan, this large pop-up home feels especially spacious. The day bed and lofted sleeping space border the home, leaving plenty of lounging room in between. The absent dividing wall makes it best for close friends or families of 2 to 4, as well pet lovers with petite pooches.
Named for Portland’s abundance of roses, this 120-square-foot, dog-friendly home evokes a cabin-like feel with its simple, wood interior. The first of McClendon’s creations, Rosebud came to Caravan in its founding days of 2013, and has been wowing guests ever since.