Photo: Courtesy of Yotel
Experienced business travellers know the deal with New York City and its hotels: if you want to stay in Manhattan, and you don’t want to sleep in a dirty room or kip on someone’s sofa, you should be prepared to pay a lot.The same goes for other big, expensive cities like Moscow, London and, of course, Tokyo.
Now the New York Times reports that, in New York at least, hoteliers are increasingly embracing a trend close to your correspondent’s heart the smaller, cheaper hotel room.
After all, in the modern world, who needs all the space you get in a classicly sized hotel room? For many business travellers, a hotel room is just a place to sleep and shower. The bathroom doesn’t need to be huge. And since almost all of us have laptops now, we can work sitting up in bed.
Ditch the desk, the mini-kitchen, and the extra table and chair. We’re not using them anyway. Save the big rooms and the extended-stay amenities for people who are actually making extended stays. Finally, the industry seems to be listening. Here’s the Times:
The latest iteration [of the small hotel room], which appeared first in Europe, offers a complete hotel room, typically under 100 square feet and usually with a private bathroom. These hotels first appeared at Europes airports, and some rent rooms hourly, enabling passengers on stopovers to nap, shower and rejuvenate.
The first entry in New York was the 345-room Pod Hotel on East 51st Street in Midtown East, which opened in early 2007 with room rates that started at $89 a night.
Last year, a competitor appeared: the 669-room Yotel at West 42nd Street on the Far West Side, with an introductory rate of $149 a night.
The developer of the Pod, BD Hotels, said that it would open another in Manhattan, the 366-room Pod 39 on East 39th Street in Murray Hill, sometime this month.
Prices of $89 a night for a clean room in Manhattan with a private bathroom are almost unheard of; indeed, even $200 a night (the actual average daily rate at the New York Yotel) sounds like a pretty good deal for mid-town Manhattan.
So far, it seems as if business travellers are embracing this trendthe Manhattan Yotel had a gross operating profit of 50% its first 11 months, the hotel chain’s CEO told the Times. If you want to see more innovative business ideas like this, reward the innovators: give staying in a smaller room a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it can be and how much thicker your wallet is at the end of your stay.