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05 December 2023

Rubbish hotel opens in Madrid

The Beach Garbage Hotel in central Madrid, was built using 12 tonnes of garbage collected from the beaches, rubbish dumps and flea markets. (REUTERS)


A new hotel has opened in the heart of Madrid proudly declaring that it is complete rubbish.

The Beach Garbage Hotel is more of a wooden shack than a five-star establishment with walls made of debris dragged up by the tide, recovered from landfills or snapped up at flea markets.

Among the wall decorations: plastic drums, wooden frames, musical instruments, striped socks, tyres and children's books.

Located in the city centre's Plaza de Callao, the hotel is the work of German artist Ha Schult timed to coincide with Madrid's hosting of the annual international tourism trade fair.

"I created the Beach Garbage Hotel because the oceans of our planet are the biggest garbage dump," he said.

In the five rooms there are street lights, wobbly sideboards and torn Persian rugs, ready to welcome the lucky winners of a Facebook competition whose prize is a free stay.

Out front, there is a small patch of sand and palm trees.

Rosa Piqueras, spokeswoman for the environmental project, says the idea was to show something a little different from the ideal destinations touted by the tourism industry.

"We wanted to show what our holidays could become if we don't clean our beaches," she said.

About 30 to 40 per cent of the objects adorning the hotel were picked up from beaches in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The dirtiest were the beaches in southern Italy, according to Ms Piqueras.

The hotel closes January 23.