Whitbread unveils compact hotel

WHITBREAD unveiled a compact version of its Premier Inn hotel brand today in an effort to attract city centre visitors who favour price over space.

The first ‘hub by Premier Inn’ will open at St Martin’s Lane in central London next summer as part of a drive for 40 such sites in cities nationwide.

Rooms measure 11.4 sq.m in size but Whitbread said every centimetre will be utilised, with a desk that folds away, luggage storage under the bed, en suite bathroom, free wifi and a 40 inch television.

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Since last June, five prototype rooms have been on sale every night at the Premier Inn Kings Cross, during which time 1,800 guests have given feedback.

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.

He said the ‘hub’ concept will work in tandem with Premier Inn, appealing to more price sensitive customers seeking accommodation in the heart of a city.

Mr Dempsey added: “It will enable us to broaden our customer appeal and further strengthen our competitive edge.”

The launch will help meet Whitbread’s target of expanding its Premier Inn brand of more than 650 hotels and 52,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland to an estate of 75,000 rooms by 2018.

The leisure company, which also owns coffee chain Costa, has secured five sites to open in the next three years - all in London - and is targeting 40 over the next five years, including in Edinburgh.