The rise of the pod hotel

Hotel News - 21/04/2008

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Sharp increases in the price of hotels and rising demand due to increasing delays at airport have fed a the pod phenomenon. At airports across the world, a number of establishments offering tiny rooms at hourly rates are opening and flourishing.

Pod hotels offer travelers tiny spaces where they can spend anywhere from a few hours catching up on sleep to an overnight stay, for a reasonable price. The concept originated in Japan where space has always been at a premium but has recent caught on at airports in Europe and will soon be making the jump across the Atlantic to the United States.

Like no-frills airlines, the pod hotel offers the basics for the lowest possible price. There are not meeting rooms or gyms available on the premises and there are usually just a few staff, around 20 per cent less than a regular hotel, on average.

Last year, the average hotel room in London cost $227 according to Smith Travel Research. In New York, the average room rate is now $300 a night. In contrast, the pod hotel in Manhatten, which offers a bunk bed, two flat-panel televisions and a shared bathroom starts at $89 a night.

One of the most luxurious pod hotels currently available is located at Heathrow Airport where travelers can indulge in Champagne and lamb curry from room service ordered through the television screen. The Heathrow “Yotel” charges around $50 for a four hour stay and up to $160 for a full night.

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