From clifftop conceptual designs to pedalling for free meals, bicycles are centre stage

It seems that hotel designers and operators are waking up to the potential of cycling to create a point of differential, with news of a conceptual design for one overlooking Italy’s Lake Garda that is only accessible by bicycle, and a luxury hotel in Copenhagen where guests have the opportunity to pedal for their dinner.

Designed by Philip Modest Schambelan and Anton Fromm as a project called Hiding In Triangles for their architectural degrees in Dresden, the Italian hotel sits on a mountainside 500 metres above the lake, with all inclines limited to 12 degrees to make it as friendly as possible to mountain bikers returning from a hard day on the bike.

Although the design may never make it beyond the drawing board, according to the San Francisco-based futurology blog io9, it does “provide a snapshot of tomorrow’s tourist industry.”

A full brochure of the project, including plans and mock-ups of how it would look once built, can be found on Schambelan’s website.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel, which opened ahead of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in the city and has won awards for its eco friendy approach, rewards guests with a meal worth DKK200 (£23.58) every time they generate 10 watt hours of electricity through using its exercise bikes, with their output stored in a battery then fed back into the hotel’s power supply.

Guests can check their progress through a dedicated app on an Apple iPhone conveniently attached to the exercise bike’s handlebars. According to the BBC, Crowne Plaza, which reckons that someone pedalling at an average of 30km an hour for one hour will generate 100 watt hours of electricity – ten meals, in other words - is considering extending the initiative to the UK.

And all in rather more luxury than that experienced by the inmates of an Arizona prison who, as we reported recently, are pedalling to generate electricity in return for TV-watching priviliges.

Should World and Olympic Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara, who of course rides for the Denmark-based Team Saxo Bank, decide to use the hotel as a base next time he visits the country’s capital, he might be advised to book his room under an assumed name. 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.