Think outside the box – Aylott + Van Tromp’s adaptable modular cabin is a real game-changer for hotel operators

After two years that saw the hospitality industry severely impacted by the global pandemic, contemporary interior design and branding studio Aylott + Van Tromp created Nokken; the world’s most adaptable modular cabin ecosystem, purpose-built to help hotel operators get started and scale easily.

Marking itself as a true game-changer in the rapidly expanding modular cabin market, Nokken provides complete turnkey cabin solutions along with a host of business support elements, creating the most efficient and cost-effective way for hotel operators and property owners to establish a successful retirement hospitality offering. , whether it is a fledgling start-up, an experienced operator or an existing multinational.

Unlike other cabin brands new to the market, Nokken does not just provide cabins. Aylott + Van Tromp’s unique experience as hotel designers allows potential operators to tap into their network of management services, marketing assets and strategic partners to help propel their operations to success.


In the not too distant past, there were hotels and campsites. Then, innovative hoteliers found a way to combine the two: Glamping. Today, the retirement hospitality market is one of the hottest trends in travel, attracting hoteliers and travelers alike, with the industry expected to grow 17.5% CAGR over the next 5 years.

However, from remote locations to large, dispersed footprints to growing customer demands, managing a glamping or retirement site introduces a unique set of complexities.“The retirement cabin industry is definitely not going away,” says Nokken co-founder James Van Tromp. “The taste for glamping will grow and we will soon see expectation levels rise, with the quality of stay and experience becoming comparable to that of an urban boutique hotel.”


Nokken offers both off-the-shelf designs and bespoke co-branded cabins, offering adaptable functionality and bolt-on options to deliver a product unique to each hotel operator’s customer base and location. This is further supported by Aylott + Van Tromp’s extensive expertise in building brands and strategies for Hilton, Choice and Radisson, through the implementation of bespoke hotel branding elements and options. personalized.

“The modular cabin is beneficial because it allows developers to control product quality, budget and consistency from a single manufacturing site. We have taken this philosophy and taken it up a notch or two by pre-designing 15 base footprints, which through a series of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) can then be infinitely adapted to any need. or requirement” said Van Tromp.

“Developers can start small with a handful of units and then scale up to create a small village-like community. Units can even be stacked vertically to accommodate sites with restrictive physical footprints. Additional support is provided through our network of carefully selected specialists to deliver out-of-the-box property management systems and comprehensive technology integrations. Our partners can provide remote door access, digital check-in, cloud-based property management systems, off-grid digital power solutions, and even e-bike rental integration. We believe this makes Nokken a complete answer to what operators really need today, and what sets it apart from all other offerings on the market today.

“We’ve designed many permanent hotel spaces and know it’s not just about the rooms or the look, it’s about the whole experience and day-to-day management as a business.” continues Van Tromp. “Cabin retreats are no different, and Nokken has been specifically developed to enhance the relationship between guest, management team, and the surrounding cabin landscape, regardless of location.”

Nokken Cabin by Aylott Van Tromp, Mediterranean Edition — Photo by Aylott + Van Tromp
Nokken Cabin by Aylott Van Tromp, Mediterranean Edition — Photo by Aylott + Van Tromp

Room capsules to super cabins

Adaptability and scalability are key to outdoor hospitality and are a core element of Nokken design. The building structures revolve around two main forms – the living space and the bedroom capsules – which come in different sizes and scales to be fully adaptable to the location and number of rooms required. Each cabin is individually designed by trained modular experts, with every aspect carefully curated, constructed and detailed using only top quality, honest eco-friendly materials.

The Standard Edition cabin features dark stained softwood panels and natural softwood ceilings and floors to contrast with the black tones, but bespoke cabins can be produced using a range of materials, d accessories and accessories to best suit the requirements and location of the operator. taking into account factors such as terrain, climate and on- or off-grid positioning.

The units also allow for bespoke spatial configurations meaning that if a spa, fitness room or retail store is required, floor plans can be easily accommodated. Likewise, if a larger-scale indoor space is required – to house an organic farm-to-fork initiative for example – this can be arranged by joining two large units together to form a cozy open dining space with a kitchen. of accompaniment.

Faster build time

Modular construction offers hospitality and leisure operators many advantages over traditional site construction, not only helping to control budgets, but also helping to set up a hospitality business 25-50% faster than a standard build. Each Nokken unit is delivered to its destination on the back of a one piece low bed trailer, allowing the cab to be positioned almost anywhere. Once secured, the services are simply plugged into the socket at the base of the unit and the site is ready to go.

Third model of hospitality

Aylott + Van Tromp typically strategize and design for the mainstream market, but through the Nokken brand, they want to use their studio’s unique skill set to create something dynamic that meets the needs of today’s market.

“We know that the leisure and tourism industry is currently undergoing significant change and we are beginning to see the ‘third hotel model’ tree bear fruit.” said Aylott. “The successes of Sonder, Locke, life house, and now the Numa brand, are driving the urban alternative accommodation market forward, however, we have also seen parallel demand in the retirement and wellness sector. large numbers of individuals and investors are looking for solutions and looking to expand their business base into the great outdoors, where the returns on investment are perhaps even higher than urban models.This market resonates especially with younger generations , following the massive exodus of resignations caused by the last 2 years of upheaval.

“Design-driven, retirement-focused cabins have become extremely desirable, but those that are actually purpose-built for the hospitality industry are almost non-existent,” continues Aylott. “Granted, we haven’t really seen today’s hotel designers move in and create a dedicated product for this burgeoning industry. To solve this problem, we decided to create one from scratch, to make sure that all the needs of the operators are taken into account.

About Aylott + Van Tromp

The background of the founders of Aylott + Van Tromp is unique, with Nathan Aylott and James Van Tromp coming from the commercial sector, focusing on brand activation, retail, fashion, product launches, customer engagement and even automotive design. In 2013, the Interior and Brand Design Studio was established to harness this diverse skill set and create a multi-disciplinary offering for the fast-paced and changing world of leisure and hospitality design. Bringing something new to what was a traditional and fairly small market, they have always viewed buildings, and hotels in particular, as perfectly packaged brand spaces. An extension of our lives – you stay there, you eat there, you exercise there, you relax there. They should cater to your every whim, while always striving to exceed expectations or provide appropriate emotion. A firm believer in the need for the hospitality industry to connect with an audience and “be relevant”, the Nokken brand was a natural extension of their ideals and opened up the possibility of creating something innovative, at a not mainstream brands they mainly work for

Kate Baxter
Public relations consultant
Aylott + Van Tromp

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