When Yotel initially launched, the concept was much more alien to investors and guests than it is today, but establishing a segment for small-room hotels has helped pave a path to more widespread acceptance from investors, said Yotel CEO Hubert Viriot.
LOS ANGELES—The idea of a microhotel—i.e. a property built around the concept of compact guest rooms in desirable locations—is a considerably less off-the-wall and novel today than it was when Yotel launched its first property outside of an airport in New York in 2011.
And while his company prizes being viewed as innovators, Yotel CEO Hubert Viriot said it’s definitely a good thing in terms of winning over investors that the concept is much more established.
“Generally speaking, what we do is increasingly becoming a segment across the world,” he said. “We have competitors nowadays, or alternative users, which I think is great. I don't see that as a threat, quite the contrary. It makes our life much easier to be able to say that we are part of this segment and for both the consumer and investment community it's much easier to understand what we do. And therefore today we don't really have to explain the ‘why’ of Yotel.”
Viriot also discussed the growth of the newest of his company’s three brands, Yotelpad. That brand, which exists in the extended-stay segment, opens up new markets such as resort areas, he said.
Viriot also touched on a project his company embarked on to forecast what hotels will be like in 2050, which included predictions for things like “predictive room service” and in-room augmented reality.