YOTEL splits business into two brands ahead of expansion

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

YOTEL splits business into two brands ahead of expansion

Related tags: Brand

Tech-led hotel brand YOTEL is splitting its business into two brands – YOTEL Airport and YOTEL City – as it forges ahead with plans to expand to 50 sites worldwide by 2020. 

Currently all four of the company's hotels – three of which are at airports and one in New York City – operate under the YOTEL brand, but CEO Hubert Viriot, told BigHospitality that ambitious growth plans for both areas meant the two types of hotels needed to be clearly defined. 

"We need to refine our brand architecture to make it clearer for guests and investors which is why our city hotels will now be YOTEL City and airport hotels YOTEL Airport," he said. 

While both types of hotels will have the same offering, the main differences will be room size: Airport hotel 'cabins' are 10 sq m while city hotels are approximately 16 sq m. 

Inspired by airlines, which successfully create a space for travellers to sit, eat and sleep, YOTEL rooms are designed to give guests all they need within a small space. Beds can be reclined for use, 40 inch flat screen TVs are built into the wall and bathrooms are at the window end to make the room appear lighter on entering, thus creating the illusion of more space. 

YOTEL Airport hotels are smaller in size than their city counterparts.

Hotels also include a gym and club lounge which includes a bar and co-working area. 

Other differences between the two are booking times: Airport hotels can also be booked in hourly blocks while city hotels are available by the night and distribution. 

"There is more competition within cities, so our distribution for the City hotels is different. We have a bigger sales and marketing team for them and we deal with OTAs and other distribution channels which we don't need for," said Viriot.


The brand definition comes as YOTEL ramps up its expansion into cities across the globe. While its next to open is in a city - At Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris - 10 of the 12 it will open over the next two and a half years will be in cities. 

Four are planned in the US - in Boston, San Francisco, Miami and Brooklyn, two in Singapore, and two in the Middle East - in Dubai and Riyadh. In Europe it will open in Geneva and London with a site earmarked in Clerkenwell. 

All hotels will be operated under hotel management agreements with franchising an idea that 'could be explored later' but with no plans currently. 

Viriot said operating hotels predominantly in airports for the last eight years had given the company, founded by YO! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe, a chance to see what worked and what didn't. 

"Opening in airports gave us a good chance to trial the brand because airports provide a greater volume of traveller," he said. 

"We think we understand the needs of the 21st Century traveller." 

Related topics: Hotels, Travel & Tourism, Venues, Business

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