In the past, Japan was one of the only nations to fully embrace capsule hotels. However, this trend seems to be catching on stateside, and it may be time for larger hotel brands to take note.
A capsule hotel offers extremely small rooms – capsules – that are intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels.
According to a recent HotelNewsNow article, Yotel, a London-based hotel chain that uses smaller-than-average guestrooms called cabins, is in the midst of an expansion campaign with its sights set on having an additional 50 properties globally open or under construction by 2020.
Markets with Yotel properties in various stages of development include Boston, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Miami, Paris, London, Dubai and Singapore.
Capsule hotels allow technology workers to minimize travel costs while being able to fully focus on their work-at-hand. These types of employees often work on a contract basis on client sites for extended periods of time, which is often common for government IT contractors who service agency clients for weeks at a time.
In addition, the majority of the public space at a Yotel property is dedicated to club lounges that are equipped with WiFi and are available to anyone. This ultimately allows traveling knowledge workers to remain productive in the evenings or mornings before being at client sites.
While offerings like this are beginning to appeal to value-oriented, technology-savvy guests, the true driver of Yotel’s growth are management contracts with developers looking to cash in on the trend of maximizing real estate value by building hotels with more guestrooms per square foot than the industry average.
With many businesses continually aiming to reduce overhead and maximize productivity, capsule hotels have the potential to really catch on in the U.S. We would imagine that larger brands are keeping an eye on this trend, and will eventually expand into this new (and much smaller) frontier.