Imagine a hotel designed like a gigantic terrarium, set in the center of a modern metropolis. No, wait, make it an oceanfront resort where your guestroom is also a houseboat that can be sailed around the local waters. Oh, what the heck, how about a high-rise that hangs down from the Antarctic ice sheet?

Actually, they’ve already been imagined for you, courtesy of the winners of a just-concluded design competition called, “Hospitality Transformed: Resort Hotels in 2055.”

Sure, they’re imaginary, but they offer insights on how the travel trends of today may give rise to the hotels and resorts of tomorrow.

The competition invited entrants to explore how and where hotels and resorts might be built in an age of advanced technology and customizable consumer experiences. Using advanced building-modeling software, architecture students from 84 universities in 24 countries set out to answer the question: “What will our vacation experience be like in the year 2055?”

“I was impressed with the students’ ability to envision technology that has yet to be invented,” says Howard Wolff, senior vice president at Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, a destination design firm that helped sponsor the contest. “They tackled some tough issues like sustainable design and urban revitalization without losing sight of the guest experience and the human desire for personalization and customization.”

Get the full story at MSNBC