Good things can come in small packages.
The hotel industry is taking a cue from growing tiny apartment and house trends that have been popping up across the country for the last several years. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses with big houses, people are opting for small, clutter-free dwellings and hotels are responding to the movement with petite, yet comfortable accommodations called microhotels.
Despite their size, microhotel rooms, which typically range from 125–to-250-square-feet, offer a slew of necessary amenities, including private bathrooms, free WiFi throughout the property and televisions.
“The way people travel has changed fundamentally,” says Jo Berrington, vice president of branding for YOTEL. “It is much more accessible to everyone and most travelers no longer need traditional luxuries like personalized stationary and room service.”
With their modern, minimalist aesthetic, microhotels appeal to cost-conscious travelers who prefer to explore the treasures of the city they are visiting and simply need a place to store their luggage, shower and sleep. Millennials who have outgrown hostels, as well as business travelers, may also find the smaller rooms suitable for their on-the-go lifestyle.
If you’re contemplating traveling on a budget, here are six reasons to consider booking a microhotel room:
1. Budget friendly. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars per night for a standard hotel room, microhotels often cost less, which means you can have a bigger budget for dining out, shopping, riding ATVs, safari tours and other fun things that may strike your fancy. While prices are subject to change, currently one location of hub by Premier Inn in London lists rates that start at $87. If you’re headed to Edinburgh, Scotland, rooms are priced at just under $50.
2. Just what you need. Traditional hotel rooms frequently feature oversized desks littered with magazines and binders of things you never read; large armoires and dressers; plus a Jacuzzi tub. How many times have you traveled and used the Jacuzzi? Adopting a less-is-more design approach, microhotel rooms are equipped with necessities like comfortable beds, under-bed luggage storage, private bathrooms with standup showers, a small or retractable desk, complimentary WiFi (without the hassle of signing up) and mobile check-in.
3. The perks. Besides open WiFi, some microhotels provide free movies and snacks to create the perfect low-key evening indoors. When you’re ready to explore the city, inquire about complimentary or inexpensive bike rentals and walking tours, courtesy of concierge services.
4. Community space. When you need more space for a meeting, private business rooms may be an option. For people-watching or socializing, head to the property’s lobby; a bright, comfortable living room-like lounge; and a rooftop deck or courtyard. Microhotel rooms may be small, but the edifices themselves are big on public space.
5. Let’s get technical. Microhotels are easy to book, check-in and check-out, making it ideal for travelers who are pressed for time—whether that means a business meeting or sightseeing.
6. Location, location, location. citizenM, an international micohotel, has several locations including New York, London, Paris and Amsterdam; each locale has design-specific influences as well. For travelers with long layovers, Moxy, a Marriott brand, has airport locations in Milan, Munich and Vienna, as well as city-based hotels in New Orleans, Tempe, Arizona, New York and Nashville, Tennesee. Marriott Rewards members also qualify for Moxy member rates and earn points with each stay.
“Tech savvy travelers expect a seamless intuitive experience from the moment they look to book online to the moment they leave the hotel and beyond,” Berrington says. “Travelers will become increasingly dependent on service and efficiency, and the hotel industry will have to answer to that as the number of people on-the-go continues to rise.”
Carolyn Desalu is an essayist and travel and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Ebony, Essence, Catapult and The Globe and Mail. Aside from writing a book of essays, she enjoys finding the best doughnut shops in every city she visits. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @bycarolyndee