Micro Hotels: The Next Big Thing In Big Travel Business
Keep costs low, and the experience large.
New Yorkers often joke about their apartments being the size of broom-closets and true New Yorkers carry this fact as a badge of honor. Most of your day happens outside the apartment anyway, so who cares if you can open the fridge from your bed? In New York-speak that’s called, ‘convenience’. But when it comes to hotel rooms, the old approach was, ‘the more opulence, the better!’. Well, not so much anymore. To truly convey the modern, new school, authentic New York experience—hotels have shrunk in size—sometimes to as tiny as 50 square feet per room. Slap on the adorable name, ‘Micro-Hotel’ and viola! A trend is born.
First popular in Japan (land of all things small and cute), New York has quickly taken a shine to the movement of wee rooms featuring an emphasis on the common areas. These adorable hotels boast spaces like hip bars, foodie-focused eateries, Wi-Fi-ready lobbies with work spaces and multiple places to plug-in. The new micro-hotel is marketed not just as a place to crash, but a holistic social experience as well.
Gray Shealy, executive director of the Masters of Hospitality Management Program at Georgetown University says, “It is a slightly literal example of the ‘living like a local’ trend where an apartment is often just a place to sleep, and the public spaces are where one spends the majority of their time.” So instead of luxury, the selling point is a mash-up of a work / play environment combined to mimic your mini-stay as life as a local.
Most micro-hotel rooms are super space efficient and come with a full-sized bed and storage where you can stash your bags underneath. A full, albeit small bathroom with a shower (sorry- no tub; too much space) and neat fold-out, wall-mounted tables that unfurl into itsy-bitsy work and eating spaces.
It’s not just boutique hotels getting in on the tiny- action, but big chains like the Marriott are shrinking rooms along with prices as well. They created a subsidiary chain of hotels called The Moxy that are opening up next year in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, San Diego and Seattle. Vicki Poulos, global brand director for Moxy says they’re focusing more on millennial travelers, “…with an emphasis on style, attitude and design at an economical value.”
If you’re in New York and want to check in and check out some minuscule spaces, here are some micro-hotels where you can get your ‘tiny’ on!
This West Village hotel was once home to those who survived the Titanic and the rooms probably aren’t much larger than those on the fated ship. Rooms have either single, or bunk beds and the 50-square-foot Standard Cabin rooms have communal bathrooms. Larger rooms are available and suggested if you’re really tall as the standard rooms are only 7 feet long. Hang out in the bar or on the rooftop with fabulous views of the Hudson river. There’s also a cool bar that just serves shots. Just kidding—they serve full drinks but the prices certainly aren’t petite.
Arlo makes up in chic design aesthetic what it lacks in space. Beds are ensconced in warm elm-wood and artisan bookcases line the walls. The bar is oh-so-hip and all the units come with 47-inch LED television screens—two of them if you get a room with bunk beds. There’s also single rooms with king-size beds, but be warned—that’s the entire room: literally. Of course there’s a (ahem) mini-fridge nestled inside the night stand and pegs instead of a closet for hanging clothes. If you get a case of claustrophobia head down to the Bourbon Bar and forget how much you paid for a room only a little larger than your friend’s German Shephard.
Rooms in this dynamic chain are nick-named ‘cabins’ as the hotels themselves are inspired by airlines and air-travel. Yotel has locations in Manhattan, Paris, London and Amsterdam. Two locations in Paris and London actually connected to the airports. The rooms are very smartly designed and ergonomic, yet manage to have a cozy feel to them. The Green Fig restaurant in New York serves cuisine from North Africa. The fourth floor boasts the city’s largest terrace where they have movie nights. Don’t worry, they don’t only show “Little Man Tate”, or “Get Shorty”.
Whether you’re having a small stay or you’d like your stay to be small—micro hotels may be the way to go to keep costs petite, and the experience large.
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