For frequent travelers, one of the toughest decisions is what do you do with a stopover that really isn’t long enough to become a layover. If it’s still too long to sit in an uncomfortable airport chair, or even in a lounge where you could doze off and miss your flight, what’s the alternative?
A relatively new service called Yotel is looking to fill that niche. With rates starting at 37 British pounds for four hours, the capsules are modeled after first-class airline seats. The smallest are 7 square meters, the largest 10 square meters, and they include a bed, a shower, and a flat screen television. Longer stays are available. For example, a standard cabin in London is 58 pounds for 10 hours; in Amsterdam it is currently 76 euros. Yotel is currently not in travel agent computers but cabins, even for four hours, can be booked in advance on yotel.com
Even the smallest standard cabins include free internet connectivity, television, room service and relatively plush if very tiny accommodations. (Claustrophobics need not apply.) This is a description from the company’s site.
The large single bed (large enough for a cosy 2) with full sitting height, a hand layered organic coir, latex and lambswool mattress for the best sleep ever with percale cotton sheets pillows and duvet.
The bathroom includes a shower, revitalising all in one body wash, heated mirror and soft towels.
The fold out work desk and stool, doubles for unpacking and there is overhead hand luggage stowage, suit bag hanging and storage areas for small pieces.
Currently there are three locations, London Heathrow Terminal 4, London Gatwick, and Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. The company hopes to have locations at most of the world’s major airport, with the next location planned for Abu Dhabi. While these capsule type hotels have been common in the Far East, they have been nonexistent in Europe and the United States. An added benefit – no wasted time getting in and out on hotel shuttle buses.
Although for travelers who might just want a shower or nap before a meeting, Yotel CEO Gerard Greene, an industry veteran, says they hope to open in city centers such as London and New York. In an economy where companies are slashing travel budgets, these micro-rooms may end up a big big business.