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From Vacant to Vibrant: Hotel Mottainai

Mottainai: A Japanese word used to express a feeling of regret when something is put to waste without deriving its value.


A fusion of art, sustainability, and social responsibility, Hotel Mottanai is a revolution in the concept of temporary accommodations. Hotel Mottainai’s unique initiative breathes new life into unused office spaces by transforming them into an immersive art gallery experience like no other.

Hotel Mottainai is more than just a hotel; it’s an artistic journey waiting to be explored. The primary goal? To repurpose vacant office spaces and transform them into havens of creativity.

What sets Hotel Mottainai apart from traditional hotels is its dedication to showcasing the work of local artists, designers, and makers. Each “installation” is carefully curated by a collective of creative minds, resulting in a unique and ever-evolving gallery of experiences.

Step inside and you’ll find a space with an eco-conscious ethos at its core. Repurposed materials, second-hand furniture, donated decor, and recycled elements come together to create a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing environment. The walls are adorned with carefully selected artwork from local talents. All of these pieces available for purchase, giving guests the chance to take home a tangible piece of their unique stay.

COX Director, Ronan Moss

Above all Hotel Mottainai calls attention to an empty space in an age of homelessness and escalating house prices. Recycling in an age of excess. Art in an age of disconnection. All powered by the strength of community mobilisation.

But Hotel Mottainai’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond its design. Every collaborator involved in this project has embraced a cyclical economy, a barter system, or generously made pro-bono contributions to support this innovative venture. It’s not just a hotel; it’s a community-driven movement.

All profits generated from accommodation fees are channelled towards the YWCA Canberra who are dedicated to tackling homelessness and advocating for safe and affordable housing for all.

Hotel Mottainai’s concept serves as a poignant commentary on the ever-increasing issue of vacant office spaces amidst a backdrop of homelessness and surging property prices. It’s a call to action in an age where recycling is vital to combat excess, and art serves as a bridge in a society often plagued by disconnection. Above all, Hotel Mottainai exemplifies the power of community mobilisation in creating meaningful change.

Hotel Mottainai reimagines the role of temporary accommodations, it invites guests not only to experience art in a novel way but to be part of a movement that repurposes, renews, and rejuvenates both spaces and lives. With each stay, Hotel Mottainai reminds us that kindness, sustainability, and artistry can come together to transform the world for the better.