Even as hotels around the world clamor to be the biggest and most beautiful, one man prides himself on being the owner of what he claims is the world’s smallest.
Meet Mohammed Al Malaheem, 64, who has transformed his battered Volkswagen Beetle into a cozy night’s stay. According to the man, who goes by the name Abu Ali, the experience is akin to a night in a five-star hotel.
Furbished with the help of his daughter, the re-purposed vehicle is decorated with handmade embroidered sheets and pillows adorned with traditional embellishments and colorful beads. Set against the backdrop of the Jordanian desert village of Al Jaya, the roadside hotel’s rusting doors have welcomed visitors since 2011.
Throwback!! Jordan 2016. I am sitting the worlds smallest hotel; the car was so beautifully done up from inside. Behind me is the daunting Showbak Castle. As we tolerate sweltering summers in Delhi, these pictures with wind in my hair remind me of happy shivery times. Winter come soon. Also the hotel is managed by an uncle who is as popular as the King of Jordan. He is a repository of ancient coins and artefacts and also some amazing metal pendants. I picked up 3 from him for an amazing bargain of 10 JD 💃. JORDAN I MISS YOU.
A sign by the Volkswagen declares proudly, “smallest hotel in the world”, despite the official Guinness World Records title being held by the 2.5 meter wide Eh’häusl Hotel in Amberg, Germany.
Abu Ali says, “I wanted to start a project that improves its situation and places it on the tourism map, because it truly overlooks some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.”
His passion project accommodates no more than two people at any one time, with the option of enjoying a Jordanian breakfast or lunch. A night in this tiny hotel with full board costs 40 Jordanian Dinars (around USD$56).
In case you’re wondering if it’s worth it, the many notes and photographs gracing the hotel’s wall is testimony to the happy guests it has served. You’ll also find a guest book filled with kind words promising a second return.
Meanwhile, Abu Ali is looking to add more Volkswagens in a bid to expand his unusual hotel.