The floating hotel

Updated: Nov 2 2014, 07:29am hrs
IT LOOKS like the most streamlined and sleek sailboat ever built, resembling a partially submerged bright-white star, or the swooping, symmetrical flow of a seabirds wings. Its called the Star and is built to look like one, thanks to transparent glass sheets that London-based yacht designer Igor Lobanov has used in the construction. This futuristic-looking superyacht is intended to be a floating luxury hotel with eight decks or floors connected by four glass elevators and viewing platforms. On the top deck is a private helipad for guests. Right now, its still under construction, but it looks stunning. Potential buyers can check out the accommodation and other facilities. It has been built to a hotels specifications. It can accommodate over 200 guests to sail around through the day and enjoy the restaurants and other retail facilities, and at night, 36 very rich people can book rooms or suites for the night. There has never been a luxury boat like it, considering it will cost around half-a-billion dollars when complete.

Star is 432-ft-long and over 200-ft-high, but what makes it different is its unique look and design. Outside the marine industry, all yachts look the same: it seems that modern architecture, product design and car design have no influence on yachts, said Lobanov in a statement. The designer originally came up with the idea for Star with the FIRMA branding agency and later collaborated with the Southampton-based firm BMT Nigel Gee as consultants on naval architecture and technical aspects. The front and rear, fore and aft have beautiful decks, which, coupled with the design of the windows from various rooms and built-in LED panels, makes it look like something that Apple may have made. Unlike other mega-yachts, decks and balconies do not jut out, but merge seamlessly into the futuristic lines, so that nothing interrupts its curving beauty. To create and maintain the flowing lines, the superstructure is made of aluminum with a steel hull and a special keel to keep it upright in rough weather. Because of its brilliant white colour, there is no visible dividing line between the hull and superstructure.

This is the biggest yacht that Lobonov has attempted, his earlier effort was an 110-m yacht. From design to completion, a luxury yacht like Star with such a unique design can take years to build, and Star is nowhere near completion, but the design has caught the attention of boat builders and yacht owners, and, hopefully, potential buyers. The idea of a floating hotel is that the Star will be berthed in a harbour or marina possibly in the Middle East or somewhere like Hong Kong, Singapore or Macao where it would act as a landmark.