Hotel lets travelers rest their weary, discerning heads in rehabbed Airstreams

ditulis oleh : Jomblo Terhormat 06 November 2013
Eco-architect-turned-full-time vintage aluminum trailer renovator Matthew Hofmann reveals his latest project: An Airstream hotel that's just a quick bike ride away from beautiful downtown Santa Barbara.

The last I checked in with Matthew Hofmann, the LEED AP architect and vintage Airstream rehabber extraordinaire had recently completed a cozy little guesthouse-on-wheels project for an avocado rancher seeking a retreat where guests could feel “comfortable and not worry about staining the carpet.”

The hospitality-minded leanings of that client must have rubbed off on the principal of Santa Barbara-based HofArc, as Hofmann recently dropped me a note sharing photos and details of his latest rounded aluminum shell-centric project: A luxury boutique hotel property composed entirely of lovingly restored vintage Airstream trailers — all manufactured in 1950s through the mid-1980s — dubbed the Santa Barbara Auto Camp.

To be clear, the Santa Barbara Auto Camp was in existence long before 29-year-old Hofmann and his business partner Neil Dipaola, the young, sustainability-minded developer behind the Loop Isla Vista project that I featured this past summer, stepped in. Serving as a “gateway to the American Riviera,” the Santa Barbara Auto Camp was actually founded in 1922 as a campground for visiting motorists by Santa Barbara city councilman A.W. Dozier. His vision was that travelers would “lay in a supply of groceries, take in our theaters, spend a little money, and get an idea of what Santa Barbara really is.”

Earlier this year in celebration of the park's 90th anniversary, the property experienced a rebirth of sorts with the introduction of five sleek, shiny, and glamp-worthy Airstreams all refurbished by Hofmann. The tricked-out trailers join about 30 existing vehicles in an adjacent RV park that's home to many full-time residents.

Says Dipaola: “The SB Auto Camp’s mission is to be true to a time when travelers were drawn by the simplicity of life. From the vintage Airstreams, to the d├ęcor, to friendly local color, our goal is to honor the authenticity of the past.  This quiet cluster of oaks, located within the heart of local shopping and eateries, allows guests to rediscover the magic.”

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