LOTR-Inspired Sabah Airbnb By B-Inspired Abode
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LOTR) has become a beloved classic everywhere, enjoyed both as books and as movies.
He also serves as a big inspiration for a lot of LOTR-themed things, as seen in cosplays, weddings and this little hobbit-themed Airbnb house in Kundasang, Sabah.
Rightly called the Humble Hobbit Home (HHH), the housing design and architecture is based on Bag End, the cozy home of Bilbo Baggin (and later Frodo) in the Shire.
B-Inspired Abode, the Kundasang-based host family responsible for creating HHH, has also built several other host families in the same neighborhood, but the hobbit house is the first fictional-themed one that they did.
“We don’t specialize in building themed houses, but rather our initial goal is to provide clean, reasonable and accessible housing for all and to welcome customers with excellent service,” said Kang, who built the HHH.
B-Inspired Abode is run by Kang’s sister’s family and her parents, and the previous accommodations have been built around the concept of the abode: unity in diversity.
The existing homes had always been built with the budget and customer needs in mind, equipped with different features and named after a virtue, such as fame, charm and servitude.
The HHH was the first establishment not to follow the tradition.
Ironically, Kang didn’t come up with the idea directly for LOTR, nor did he consider himself a huge fan of the series.
Instead, he drew inspiration from a TED Talk by Jon Jandai, a famous earth builder from Thailand.
“The part that struck me the most is that he compares himself to a college colleague who would have to work for 30 years to own a house, while Jon jokingly said he had a hard time choosing between the many houses he had built. sleep that night, ”Kang said.
A lover of the idea of building a house from natural resources, he had begun to take an interest in houses made of cob, log cabins and other natural building materials.
From these frequent Pinterest excursions, the HHH slowly took shape. When completed it can accommodate 5 people and costs RM217 / night.
They didn’t use any plan
Kang was lucky, because the perfect place to build a hobbit-themed house was right under his nose – or rather in front of his parents’ house in the form of a small slope.
Building it, however, was a whole different matter.
“To be blunt, I don’t have any experience or experience in civil engineering or architecture,” Kang admitted.
He had already learned basic house building and loved carpentry, so he thought building a house wouldn’t be that difficult. He was wrong.
“I made several mistakes, some of them costly, so at the end of the project I couldn’t find any motivation to recalculate the exact cost required to build the hobbit house,” Kang said, adding that the estimated cost was of about RM30,000.
The construction of the HHH was quite sketchy – Kang described it as an art project, where colors and textures were added based on their emotions and inspirations.
“We never started construction with a precise plan, just a few sketches and a vision,” he explained.
“Most of the ideas came along the way and we implemented them. It is not a very efficient building method, so building more than one unit would be a real challenge. “
It was a success even before its launch
The HHH was such a success, it had its first guest ahead of its planned smooth launch in March 2019.
“I remember the opening date very well: February 26, 2019,” Kang said.
The guest had seen the HHH and insisted she try it while she was there, and quickly changed the reservation from her previous unit.
However, the homestay was not over yet, so they had to rush their work. In the end, they were successful with the help of the whole family and the staff.
HHH then picked up speed in June, drawing in both LOTR fans and regular guests alike.
Since then, Kang has lost count of the total number of guests he has hosted.
“There were a few guests who asked us about the One Ring, and there were also guests who didn’t know what LOTR was,” Kang revealed.
“I believe what most of our guests appreciate is the cute and unique design and the feeling of living in a natural space, not to mention the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu and its surroundings.
Channel the desire to travel to local destinations
Most of the guests at B-Inspired Abode are Malaysians, and with the RMCO announcement they were inundated with requests for stays, especially during weekends and holidays.
“I have a feeling that people have been confined to their homes for some time and now feel like traveling again,” Kang said.
As travel abroad is always risky, local tourism is booming.
Knowing this, B-Inspired Abode has put together a reopening promotion for the entire host family and is currently experiencing a busy period, especially during the weekends.
“As far as HHH goes, we used to have guests on a daily basis before the pandemic, and now it looks like business is back to business as usual,” Kang said.
He expects to see a profit of RM3,000 per month from the Hobbit House itself, and is raising awareness through social media and word of mouth.
Kang also expressed interest in expanding the Humble Hobbit house into an entire Hobbit village, with each house uniquely designed.
“I am very interested in creative, natural and minimalist designs and am always on the lookout for unique ideas for building homes,” he says.
However, it must consider not only the cost of time, but also the space they will need to build more.
So Kang said, “We are considering expanding our options to build more homes on other properties whose owners are open to collaborating.”
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Featured Image Credit: B-Inspired Abode
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