Yotel to open first central London hotel

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Yotel to open in cities across the UK

Related tags: London, World's busiest airports by passenger traffic

Yotel, the pod hotel chain created by YO! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe, is to open its first UK city centre site in Clerkenwell, London in late 2018.

The group currently operates two UK properties at London Gatwick and Heathrow airports where guests stay for an average of just 5-6 hours.

While Yotel’s airport ‘cabins’ are as small as 10 sq.m, the 212 rooms at the Clerkenwell site will be around 60 per cent larger to accommodate longer stays.

Yotel CEO Hubert Viriot told BigHospitality that the new opening would also feature expanded facilities including a gym, bar, restaurant and communal workspace.

He added that rooms in Clerkenwell were likely to be priced similarly to Yotel’s city centre hotel in New York, at around £150 ($190) a night.

“The Yotel Airport and Yotel City brands have fundamentally the same DNA, which is the idea that space doesn’t matter, design does,” said Viriot.

“We provide a hybrid between a budget and an upscale hotel. Our cabins are compact but the design, facilities and technology are far superior to what you would find in budget brands.”

Tech-driven expansion

Though guests will not be able to book rooms by the hour in Clerkenwell, the hotel will allow visitors to check in and out online and use their smartphone as a room key. 

“Technology is a huge element of our brand and how people travel and commute today,” said Viriot.

“We are trying to use it smartly and not just throw technology at people for the sake of it.”

Viriot added that Yotel was targeting further UK expansion and was hoping to sign new sites in the next 18 months.

“London is a great tourist destination so there is always the potential to open more than one hotel there, but we are also looking at other cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow,” he said.

Despite being founded by Woodroffe, Yotel is now majority owned by Dubai-based IFA Hotels and Resorts KSCC.

The group currently runs hotels at Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris, Charles de Gaulle airports; and one city hotel in the heart of Manhattan, New York.

It currently has seven new hotels under development in Singapore, the USA and Dubai.

Related topics: Business, Hotels, Travel & Tourism

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