A POD hotel similar to those developed for Japanese businessmen is opening in Edinburgh to cater for stag and hen parties.
The Capital will become the first city in Scotland to have one of Premier Inn’s pared-back pod hi-tech Hub boutique hotels.
Pitched at “party and sleep” fun lovers as well as the Murrayfield rugby market, and timed to coincide with the opening of the tram, the new urban retreat will bring a slice of downtown Tokyo to the city.
Non-essentials such as drawers, a trouser press and wardrobes have been stripped from the concept chain’s rooms.
In their place, tellies that stream content from peoples’ iPads, mood lighting and integrated rain shower rooms – that can be seen from the bed – will be installed. A spokesman for the chain – promoted on ads by comic Lenny Henry – said the Edinburgh hotel would enable it “to broaden their customer appeal and strengthen their competitive edge”.
It is understood the tiny rooms are to be offered within the next year.
Bosses have remained tight-lipped about the exact location of the multi-million pound development but are soon to open negotiations on securing a city centre site.
The build is likely to create jobs with other permanent roles required when the development opens.
The boon also underlines Edinburgh’s current honey-pot buzz with developers, and follows a spate of similar announcements from rival hotel operators.
Currently the budget hotel chain is based at three locations in the Capital – Lauriston Place, Haymarket and Willowbrae Road.
Though the pods are compact, hotel bosses believe that thanks to their innovative design every centimetre is optimised, with a desk that folds into a pocket-sprung bed, luggage storage under the bed, an ensuite bathroom with power shower, free wifi and a 40-inch smart screen television. As well as booking and checking in online, a mobile phone app will allow guests to select their room temperature and light settings.
Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “Premier Inn has played a leading role in shaping the budget hotel market and we believe Hub will do the same for a new generation of compact city centre hotels.”
Budget hotel chains are increasingly moving towards the design-led pod concept, with firms like Yotel, easyHotel and Tune all vying for a slice of the market action.
The concept was devised in Tokyo, where sky-high land prices prompted space-saving ingenuity.