McDonald's attempt to enter the hotel industry wasn't exactly super-sized.

The fast food juggernaut was looking to expand its offerings by opening a pair of themed hotels in 2001. They would close less than two years later.

Inside The McDonald's Golden Arch Hotel

The Golden Arch Hotel concept launched with a pair of locations in Switzerland. Construction continued throughout 2000 with the four-star hotels opening the following Spring.

"Innovation is always on the menu at McDonald's," then-CEO Jack Greenberg said during a 2000 press conference to reveal the hotel project. "Our passion for making customers smile extends very naturally to the hotel sector."

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A Harvard Business Review article paints a picture of a hotel with golden arches stretching over the headboards in each room, shower stalls that were in full-view of the bedrooms and, of course, a McDonald's restaurant that was open 24 hours adjacent to the lobby.

Guests were charged $120 to $160 a night to stay at the Golden Arch Hotel.

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It's difficult to discern who exactly the hotel was made for. While a McDonald's-themed hotel seems like it would a family destination, the design (and see-through shower doors) indicated it was more of an adult thing.

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Unfortunately, the confusion about McDonald's vision for the hotel didn't end there.

Downfall Of The Golden Arch Hotel

The Golden Arch Hotels were never meant to open worldwide.

Deseret.com reported in 2000 that the hotels would likely never be open outside of Switzerland. A McDonald's representative told the outlet that it was "definitely a Swiss project."

It didn't matter in the end. Both of the test Golden Arch Hotels closed in 2003.

Guests didn't exactly flock to the McDonald's-themed hotels like they do to restaurants around the world. The Harvard Business Review's look at the project offered a couple explanations for why the Golden Arch Hotel didn't takeoff.

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Remember those rather revealing shower doors you read about earlier? Apparently they weren't a hit with all guests. Harvard Business Review said both families and business travelers felt the room design lacked privacy.

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Another possible reason the hotels fell short with travelers is the Golden Arch name. Harvard Business Review noted the "golden arches" are typically not part of McDonald's marketing campaigns in German-speaking countries.

"Even worse, as the owner of a hospitality consulting firm pointed out, was the word 'arch,' when pronounced by German speakers, sounds a lot like a vulgar word for another person's posterior."

LOOK: Inside McDonald's Failed Restaurant-Themed Hotel

McDonald's launched its Golden Arch Hotel concept with a pair of locations in Switzerland in 2001. Rooms included arches over the headboards and showers that were visible from the bedroom. Both locations closed less than two years after they opened.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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