The incredibly shrinking hotel room

The San Francisco Chronicle has a report entitled “European hotels offer cheaper, tiny option”. In fact, the operative word for these hotels ought to be tiny.

Somewhat disingenuously classified as “sub-budget” the hotels offer “no window – with a standard size double bed and a washstand, toilet and shower. EasyHotel‘s “small” rooms run from 70 to 90 square feet; that’s about half the size of a low-end cruise cabin”. The Chronicle article notes that each “room comes with clean sheets, pillows and a towel, for the entire length of your stay”. Rather incredibly, almost anything else has a charge attached to it starting from about $18 for if a guest wants linen changed to $8 per day for use of the TV!

Other sub-budget chains offer appear to offer more both in terms of square footage as well as “amenities” including “free” linen changes and TV usage. These include Accor’s Formule 1 and another French chain Premiere Classe.

Easyhotels’ model is unlikely to have much appeal in the US even in conurbations such as New York and San Francisco from a consumer standpoint even if they get past regulatory hurdles stemming from a lack of a window but could find expression in other crowded cities such as Tokyo and Bombay with high real estate prices.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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