Saturday 1 of October, 2022
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This Stripped-Down Beetle in Jordan is the World's Smallest Hotel

Located in Al Jaya, a tiny village in Al Shobak Municipality 190 kilometres south of Jordan’s capital, Amman, this little beetle car has been drawing global visitors for over a decade.

Fadila Khalid

Somewhere in the middle of the Jordanian desert lies a dead white Volkswagen beetle, killed and stripped-down since 2011. Its owner, Mohamed Al Malaheem, known to most as Abu Ali, realised that his vintage beetle was unsalvageable as a car, so he decided to deconstruct it and…turn it into a hotel.

Located in Al Jaya, a tiny village in Al Shobak Municipality 190 kilometres south of Jordan’s capital, Amman, this little beetle car has been drawing global visitors for over a decade. Abu Ali’s love for his village and his people was so profound that he wanted visitors to truly experience the beauty of desert life.

So, with what little resources he had, Abu Ali decked his beetle in traditional hand-embroidered patchwork quilts and pillow cases. The making of these interiors is an obvious labour of love, and a tradition passed down through generations of Al Jaya inhabitants’ women. In fact, it was Abu Ali’s own daughter who gave his car that much-needed TLC.

And although at first glance it does appear to be in the middle of absolutely nowhere, guests soon discover that it is in fact overlooking the archeological site of Montreal Castle, providing a stunning view when you’re hanging out the car window.

Oh, and staying a night in Abu Ali’s world-famous crib costs USD 70. The booking process is just as minimalist as the hotel itself, with the easiest method being simply showing up and hoping it’s not already occupied.