Yotel set for summer opening in New York

Budget chain Yotel is to open its latest property in New York this summer, it emerged this week.

The "pod" hotel brand, which operates properties at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, will open its 669 "cabin" Yotel Times Square, located at 42nd Street and 10th Avenue June 1.

Modelled on the first class cabin of an aircraft, Yotel's rooms will be considerably smaller than the already cramped New York average, but to make up for it they offer a wealth of unique features.

As with popular Japanese "pod" hotel chains, Yotel's premium rooms feature compact electronic consoles, with TV, Music and power services all clumped together on a "technowall", while the beds move to save space.

Instead of a traditional checkin desks guests check in at airport-style kiosks, and leave their luggage with the "Yobot" - the world's first luggage robot.

Despite the compact rooms, the Yotel Times Square will feature New York's largest outdoor hotel space, with two bars, pagodas and a fire, and inside, it offers a Japanese restaurant and a club lounge with bar and DJ booth.

Yotel founder Simon Woodroffe says that he believes Yotel can be in the world's top ten hotel brands within the next ten years, although it remains to be seen whether the property can continue to offer its traditionally-low prices in a prime city centre location.

An introductory rate starts from $199 (available by booking online), although that's still considerably more than the normal rate for staying in one of Yotel's Amsterdam airport cabins, which are available at €40 ($58) for an overnight stay.

Nevertheless, it's unique enough to make a splash in a city which welcomes millions of visitors every year - and probably to have New York's other compact wonder, The Pod Hotel, slightly worried.

http://www.yotel.com/

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