Part of complete coverage on
South Africa's 'slum-themed' luxury hotel slammed worldwide
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1009 GMT (1809 HKT)
At this controversial South Africa hotel, guests stay in a re-creation of the shacks inhabited by the poor. Each shanty sleeps four and goes for $82 per night.
'Luxury Shanty Town,' South Africa
'Full African Experience'
Private game reserve
Donkey geysers and long drops
- Emoya Luxury Hotel offers "the only Shanty Town in the world with under-floor heating and wireless Internet access"
- Hotel re-creates millions of shacks of South Africa's poor
- Media response has been incredulity and outrage
(CNN) -- Emoya Luxury Hotel in Bloemfontein, South Africa, has been all over the blogosphere in recent weeks.
But the exposure might not be the type that the "unique accommodation experience" had bargained for.
Gizmodo called the hotel "A Fake Slum for Luxury Tourists Who Don't Want to See Real Poverty."
Steven Colbert coined the word "glumming" -- glamorous slumming -- in his on-air dressing down.
Christiane Amanpour examined it in the context of "poorism," or poverty tourism.
The hotel does sound like something out of a Saturday Night Live sketch.
At Emoya's Shanty Town, guests stay in a re-creation of an "informal settlement" -- shacks made of corrugated iron sheets.
Is poverty the new luxury?
"Millions of people are living in informal settlements across South Africa," reads the Shanty Town homepage.
"Now you can experience staying in a Shanty within the safe environment of a private game reserve," continues the website.
"This is the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless internet access!"
Read: Underwater hotel room opens on remote African island
Each shanty in the "town" goes for 850 South African rand ($82) a night, sleeps four people and has electricity and running water.
In a clumsy play for verisimilitude, rooms are equipped with donkey geysers (water heaters) and long drops (outdoor toilets).
Scorn and outrage
The hotel promises to deliver "the full African Experience."
The concept hotel launched in March, according to the Emoya Estate's Facebook page, but the backlash is recent.
"What were the creators of this thinking?" wrote commenter Whitney Trotta on the hotel's Facebook page on December 4.
"Have they ever seen poverty? Or lived in it? This is such a slap in the face to anyone who actually lives in a shanty town. Emoya Hotel & Spa you should explain yourselves. You are getting a horrible reputation worldwide for this."
Emoya Hotel declined CNN requests for an interview or official comment for this story.
Read: 10 things to know before visiting South Africa
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 0250 GMT (1050 HKT)
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1932 GMT (0332 HKT)
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT)
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0525 GMT (1325 HKT)
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0521 GMT (1321 HKT)
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples