When you’re traveling in style, you have to live in style. But you don’t have to conform to a run-of-the-mill hotel. That’s why Yotel offers luxury hotels designed around today’s modern traveler. Affordable rooms, which are referred to as cabins, come with the essential elements of luxury hotels — albeit with smaller, smarter spaces. They are available in top global destinations.
Standard features include free Wi-Fi, rejuvenating monsoon rain showers, relaxed mood lighting and Yotel’s signature “techno wall,” featuring flat screen TVs and Smartbeds. Jo Berrington, vice president of branding at Yotel, talked with RewardExpert about the company’s worldwide appeal.
Inspired by first-class travel
Yotel was created by YO! founder Simon Woodroffe OBE (Order of the British Empire). Fascinated by first-class travel, he wanted to make luxury more affordable. While on a British Airways flight, he realized that luxury can occur in even the most compact spaces.
He and co-founder Gerard Greene worked with specialists who had worked on aircraft design, creating a smartly designed room. This was implemented using high-quality materials, combined with ample storage space.
The first location opened in summer 2007, in London’s Gatwick South terminal. In December 2007, a second location opened inside London’s Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. In September 2008 a third location opened in the air-side transit area at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. In 2011 Yotel opened its first city hotel in New York City, 10 minutes from Times Square. A Paris-based location opened in 2016, and a Boston location opened in June 2017.
Pay for what you want
Berrington said both business and leisure travelers want an experience that makes the most of their finances.
“We offer luxury and an experience enhanced by clever use of technology and design at an affordable price, giving our guests everything they need and nothing they don’t,” Berrington said.
The company wants guests to reflect its own brand: “Redefine and give the guests back some time.” Today’s luxury is different from years ago, enacting contemporary designs with comfortable publicly shared spaces.
Each hotel has the same level of quality and technology, though they cater to their local roots — even employing local interior designers and developers wherever possible.
Bargains, advice and expansion
Yotel guests are rewarded via social sharing, receiving complimentary cocktails to future discounts.
Members of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club receive 100 miler per stay at any airport property, and 500 miles for a minimum three-night stay in New York. Members of Flying Blue, such as Air France and KLM, can get 50 miles per stay at any airport property and the same New York Deal.
“We recognize that investing in certain unproven technologies for the sake of it can lead to guests having to use obsolete technology, or struggle through systems they’re not used to,” she said. “Instead, we invest in intuitive technology that ensures a positive guest experience.
“We also encourage a guest-led B.Y.O.D. (bring your own device) environment, so that guests will be able to stream audio and visual through their own TV and offer self-service food and beverage, as well as public curated spaces such as casual meeting spaces or gyms.”
Yotel’s mobile app lets customers view bills, check-ins and check-outs, and provides entertainment options for locals.
The company has seven new global hotels currently under development, including: Singapore in 2017; San Francisco in 2017; London Clerkenwell in 2018; Miami in 2019; Dubai Business Bay in 2019; and Amsterdam Noord in 2019. A YOTELAIR, designed to accommodate busy international travelers who have more strict schedules and demand more flexibility, will debut (also in Singapore) in 2019.