Whitbread, an owner of Premium Inn hotel chain in the UK, has unveiled a new brand that provides pod style rooms to cater to ultra-price sensitive customers.
The new brand launch is part of its strategy to refocus on its hotel business following the £3.9bn divestment of Costa Coffee chain to The Coca-Cola Company in August.
The new hotel brand, called Zip by Premier Inn, will offer rooms starting from £19 per night. Each room would have a space of 8.5m2, which is 50% lower than the size of a regular Premier Inn room.
To be located on the outskirts of key towns and cities in the UK, ZIP by Premier Inn hotels will feature rooms with lightboxes, televisions and twin single beds which can be converted into a double bed.
The first Zip hotel will open in the Roath district of Cardiff next year and will feature 138 rooms.
Whitbread has secured a site in Southampton to develop another hotel, with 140 rooms.
Priestman Goode, which has designed first-class cabins for Air France, Lufthansa and Swiss airlines, has designed the Zip rooms for the hotel company.
Breakfast will be served from £3.95 in a communal area that could be transformed into a bar in the evening. Each floor would also feature an ironing room.
Given that rooms are not cleaned up daily, customers can avail additional cleaning services and fast speed wifi from £5 each per day.
Premier Inn managing director Simon Jones was quoted by The Guardian as saying: “In developing the concept, we have undertaken considerable research, including having had six ZIP rooms on sale to customers for many months.
“It’s clear through the research that people want the basics done brilliantly, such as a comfy bed and a power shower but they are happy to compromise on location or some extras if they are paying a fantastic price for their room.”
Whitbread has 800 Premier Inn hotels and 10 hubs. In 2013, Whitbread introduced upmarket boutique-style hotels in city centres, called hub by Premier Inn. Rooms at Premier Inn begin at £49, while at hub, the prices start from £69 per night.