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
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Journals, luggage tags, Panama hats? Yawn. We've got a selection of gifts travelers will actually use.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Global events, new attractions and anniversary celebrations will put these destinations on travel radars next year. Question is, which one(s) to visit?
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Of all Christmas traditions out there, one has an All-American pedigree: electric Christmas tree lights.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Looking for snow porn? This helicopter ski adventure will fly you into the Coast Mountains for the freshest runs.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
From Singapore to Norway, there are plenty of reasons to plan your next trip around a fabulous hotel opening its doors next year.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Step aside Mount Everest, this mountain country is home to cool cafes, crazy drinks and ancient Buddhist tradition.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.