You don’t need all that guestroom space anyway
You don’t need all that guestroom space anyway
25 OCTOBER 2018 7:40 AM

The future of hotel rooms is the tiny, hotel-hostel model.

The hotel-hostel hybrid is here, and I couldn’t be happier!

I don’t want to be one of those people who says “I told you so,” in a braggy voice, but … I kind of told you so when I predicted a couple years ago that small was the new big when it came to hotel rooms.

And now in one week we’ve got the launch of Motto by Hilton and Zip by Premier Inn—both micro-hotel concepts that emphasize teeny-tiny rooms (Motto’s is 163 square feet and Zip’s is less than 100 square feet).

Mind you, these brands are pretty different: Motto is midscale and targeting city centers and emphasizing a linked-rooms concept, while Zip is a super-budget brand headed outside the city, but the common denominator both share is room size.

As in, tiny room size.

But you know what? It works! These rooms fit different combinations of bed sizes—even king beds in Motto’s case—and private bathrooms. They both look to be designed with smart multitasking features and lots of hidden space-savers (I’m guessing lots of hooks, another thing that makes me giddy).

Mind you, neither of these brands are a true hostel model, but the word to latch on to here is hybrid. As in, they’re trying for the best of several worlds: Amenities customers want (in these cases, low price and small, connecting rooms, among others) and a nice small footprint for developers and owners.

Here’s another fun fact: Zip is designed by PriestmanGoode, the design group behind several airlines’ first-class cabins. And speaking of airlines and tiny-yet-well-designed sleeping spaces, I also just read this story yesterday, about Airbus’ new plan to create airplane sleeper berths IN THE CARGO HOLD OF AIRBUS JETS. Talk about a hybrid of something!

We’ve seen the future, people, and that future is hybrid hotel rooms—and tiny. Hey, look it at this way: The smaller the room, the lower your chance of leaving important things behind.

Comment below, email me at or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph

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1 Comment

  • Bruce Serlen October 25, 2018 11:18 AM Reply

    Consumers' perception of "small" is complicated. In theory, everyone wants "large." But much depends on the market. Just read a batch of TripAdvisor reviews of midtown Manhattan select-serve hotels. Constant complaint: the room is too small, followed in an instant with rationale #1: "But that's New York. Real Estate is so expensive." Followed by rationale #2: "There's so much to do in New York. All we're going to do in the room is sleep anyway. We're happy." So "small" gets a pass. Go figure.

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