A new way to vacation has been sweeping through France. The Carré d’Etoiles, developed by Nathalie and Louis Blanco, are small, rectangular prefabricated houses that let tourists have four-star hotel accommodations, even deep in the heart of a natural site. Portable and reversible, these houses can be transported on a truck bed and easily installed with a forklift, eliminating the need for larger, more invasive buildings.
Each house is 3 meters by 3 meters and can accommodate four people. Built of wood, they were created to maintain a small physical and environmental footprint. Artfully designed with an equipped kitchen, toilet, shower, bio-ethanol chimney, and electrical and Internet hookups, these prefabs have all the conveniences of a modern hotel. The tour-de-force is a large skylight located over the mezzanine bed so you can comfortably fall asleep under the stars. Each house also comes with a telescope, star chart and astronomy games to help guests get more in touch with the natural world.
The Blancos believe that if people can get out into nature while maintaining a low impact, they’ll work to preserve natural sites. These small structures may be the vacation for people who don’t love camping.
The houses are sprinkled across France. You can find and book one, for about 140 dollars a night for a party of four, using the Carré d’etoiles website .
More about prefabs and green vacations
• Warren Buffet backs the “ i-houses ,” a new line of affordable, green, prefab homes.