When most of us think of weekend getaways, ordering room service, all cozied up next to our partner, we tend to think of the good times. But a Dutch entrepreneur says the mini-break is equally suited to couples on the rocks.
Thus, 33-year-old Jim Halfens created Divorce Hotel, a venue where splitting couples share a suite and spend a few days hashing out the particulars of their impending divorce "in a more or less civil way by independent lawyers and mediators."
So far only 17 couples have booked a stay at the Divorce Hotel, with one couple leaving without the breakup done and dusted. Although Halfens is keen to take his brainchild overseas, to both Los Angeles and New York, it remains to be seen whether the gimmick is effective.
No doubt Divorce Hotel has all the makings of a rom com with a twist, and at least a reality show or two (already in the works, of course), time will tell whether the idea will fly as a business model.
First off, how many couples on the brink of divorce could handle being locked in a room together on holiday? Second: how many couples risk rekindling while away from the stresses and strains of their daily lives? Third: many divorce proceedings can't be neatly wrapped up in a single weekend, especially where child custody is involved.
No doubt the divorce industry is booming, costing couples an estimated $50 to $175 billion a year. On average, divorces in the U.S. cost between $5,000 and $20,000, so the Divorce Hotel may offer a competitive flat rate, at between $3,000 and $10,000 for a weekend stay.
Needless to say, execs are psyched about the concept which has all the makings of great reality TV. "It has all of the human drama of this significant process all condensed down into a very short period of time," says Mickey Stern, co-chief executive for Base Productions.
You tell me: is Divorce Hotel sick or savvy? Would you watch?