Microhotels Are the Hottest New Travel Trend

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Chic, stylish, and exceptionally functional, microhotels have made a big impression on the travel community in recent years. Offering affordable accommodation rates in some of the world’s most exciting destinations, these hotels capitalize on every inch of space and utilize smart designs to give savvy travelers a stellar experience within a more reasonable budget.

The Trend

Courtesy The Hoxton Williamsburg

Inspired by Japanese capsule pods, microhotels have recently been met by overwhelming enthusiasm from travelers — making teeny hotel rooms the latest in  hospitality trends. The Japanese pod hotels first appeared in Osaka in the late 1970s and catered to white-collar businessmen who spent their days working diligently in the big city offices and evenings letting off steam at the pubs. These pod hotels were an economical solution for the businessmen who lived far from home by train, but needed nothing more than a warm shower and a bed to sleep in at the end of the night.

These days, the demands of globetrotters seeking affordable accommodations with the same high-quality amenities have taken the practical concept of pod hotels to new heights. Now, microhotels are popping up around the world, offering ultramodern, functionally-designed rooms at affordable rates.

Why Book a Microhotel?

Courtesy The Hoxton Williamsburg

Designed to streamline the hotel stay experience, microhotels maximize every square foot with smartly-designed rooms and high-tech touches. The hotels also replace underused facilities like business centers and gyms with friendly co-working spaces for young professionals. Self check-in kiosks are also an increasingly popular feature for added convenience.

Situated in prominent neighborhoods of the world’s most high-profile metropolises, microhotels are making the biggest impact on destinations where real estate is scarce and soaring rates for basic accommodations make you want to stay at home. Urban centers such as London, New York City, and Paris are made especially more accessible to budget travelers with the introduction of microhotels.

Typical rooms occupy 125 to 250 square feet in space with some as tiny as 30 square feet. The trade-off for space is prime location and easy access to the city's cultural hubs at an affordable price. With designs that include foldable desks, blackout shades, and plushy beds with built-in reading lights, these functional rooms offer all of the modern day conveniences. Minimalist and ultramodern, microhotels are designed for light travelers and style obsessives who spend much of their day exploring the city instead of lounging in the room and soaking in a tub.

Where to Book

Courtesy The Hoxton Williamsburg

With the recent boom in trend, some big name players in the industry like Marriott and Hilton have launched their own microhotel brands. Marriott introduced Moxy in 2014 with its first microhotel opening in Milan. Currently, Moxy features 44 locations throughout Europe, North America, and Asia with has 96 more grand openings on the horizon in new locations including the Caribbean and Latin America. The first microhotel by Hilton’s Motto is slated to open at the beginning of 2020.

But beyond the big brands, boutique microhotel locations are springing up around the world. One pioneer in the trend is The Hoxton, a London-based hotelier that has brought its signature style to North America with a 175-room hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At The Hoxton, rooms come in two sizes, cosy and roomy, and they certainly live up to those names. The stylish hotel is perfect for millennials looking for a cool space to spend the night, get some work done, and meet up with friends. With cool vintage decor and community events, it certainly adds a homey element to hotel living. All locations offer lower pricing on small rooms that don't skimp on the amenities or experience, but still help save room in the budget for visiting some of the hottest neighborhoods in the world.

If you slip across the pond, seek out one of the world’s first microhotel brands, Yotel, which conveniently operates in both cities and airports. The London Gatwick location caters to passengers with early morning departures, extended layovers, and delayed flights and provides all of the essentials, so you arrive at your next destination feeling refreshed. These efficiently-designed "cabins", as Yotel likes to refer to their rooms, are inspired by first-class airline cabins with some even featuring adjustable beds.

Finally, for a bit of that Amsterdam quirkiness, check into one of the 88 guest rooms in at CitizenM’s Amsterdam Amstel location. Each room is roughly 150 square feet spread out over four floors. Equipped with a self check-in terminal, guests receive access to their city view rooms in just one minute. Adjust the temperature of your space or close the blinds without leaving your bed. The MoodPad does it all for you. The on-site canteenM is open 24/7, so you can grab food any time of day. Instead of a lobby, CitizenM presents its guests with a living room, where you can reach for a book in the extensive library or sprawl out on the couches and watch television. Strategically placed in the middle of it all is a bar to tempt you even further.

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