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Premier Inn has unveiled a new room concept which allows guests to control lighting and entertainment using a mobile phone app.
The budget hotel chain, which has 650 properties across Britain, claims the rooms – aimed at those who value “location, price and design” over size – will be the most “space-efficient and digitally savvy” in the country.
Each will feature an en-suite bathroom, wardrobe, desk, bed, free Wi-Fi and a 40” smart screen television, all contained within 11.4 square metres.
Guests will be able to control lighting and room temperature using a mobile phone app. They will also be able to pre-order breakfast, and even change the television channel so their favourite programme is on when they arrive.
Check-in will also be done online, limiting contact between guests and staff.
The first “hub by Premier Inn” will be launched next summer in London’s West End, although five prototype rooms have been created at the firm’s Kings Cross branch and so far trialled by nearly more then 1,800 guests.
According to Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, which owns the Premier Inn brand, room rates will be up to 30 per cent cheaper than at its existing hotels.
“Hub is all about giving customers more choice,” he said. “It will provide great quality, contemporary room design in the heart of a major city at an outstanding price.
“With space at a premium, each aspect of the design has been aimed at optimising every single centimetre of space from the desk that folds up and disappears into the bed to a convenient under the bed space for luggage.”
A total of five hubs are scheduled to open in the next three years, and the firm is hoping to unveil 40 by 2018, mostly in city centre locations.
Budget accommodation now accounts for more than a third of all new hotels being built in Britain. Traditional chains, including Premier Inn, and Travelodge – which now offers touch-screen check-in – are under increasing pressure to modernise.
Earlier this year a competition was launched by the architecture newspaper BD and Bdonline.co.uk, asking designers to create budget accommodation that utilised 14 square metres but still felt luxurious.
A dozen designs have been shortlisted for the prize, featuring everything from walls with real-time interactive views to floating beds, moveable pods and layouts that can be customised via social media. Click here to read more .