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
Part of complete coverage on
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1001 GMT (1801 HKT)
Photographer gives Hong Kong skyscrapers a radical new look.
August 16, 2014 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
A cage-free shark photographer gets up close and personal with the ocean's most feared predators.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
Conde Nast Traveler reader survey praises antipodean cities but gives South Africa's biggest city a wide berth.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
After the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal, here are 10 other ways to fall in love with the country.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 0349 GMT (1149 HKT)
In Taiwan, tourists pay to ride along in local cabs, letting fate -- and locals fares -- decide where they'll go.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
It's largely devoid of human life, dark, cold and subject to dangerous levels of geological volatility -- the Arctic is surely the worst possible destination for an arts festival.
It may be Switzerland's banking capital, but Zurich's real wealth lies in the village-like charm of its cobbled streets and Alpine scenery.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1854 GMT (0254 HKT)
We've all wondered what it's like to die. Now an outfit in Shanghai says it can provide the experience.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Our special report details who, what and how much it takes to bring you the best in IFE (we'll explain).
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 0632 GMT (1432 HKT)
What pizza is to New York and the cheesesteak is to Philly, the food truck has become to Los Angeles -- essential
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0903 GMT (1703 HKT)
If you've ever clicked on a list of forests to see before you die, chances are you've already seen a photo of this stunner.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 0018 GMT (0818 HKT)
The military coup in Thailand has led to a massive change in Phuket, weeding out decades of misuse and abuse at one of the world's most popular holiday destinations.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)
With a mix of Indian, African, French and Chinese influences, Mauritius represents a cultural smorgasbord.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
There's nothing like high drama on a beach.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
Home to big game, sparkling beaches, and stunning sunsets, Malawi makes for an idyllic travel destination.
Today's five most popular stories