YOTEL, the international chain that got its start with tiny airport lodgings and is now aiming to take off globally, is set to become the hotel partner at the revamped Underground Atlanta by the fall of 2022.
Construction will begin in 2020 on YOTEL’s new development, which will include 351 spaces it calls “cabins,” split between 234 traditional hotel rooms and 117 YOTELPADs, condo-like spaces geared toward longer stays.
The London-based company prides itself on minimalist design and a savvy use of technology to deliver a customer experience it believes is on par with more luxurious hotels, all without the cost. YOTEL claims inspiration from Japan, where the concept of the capsule hotel has taken root in Tokyo’s urban core. Indeed, the YO! company got its start with sushi restaurants.
Space and labor-saving methodologies come standard in YOTELs, from digital self check-in options to grab-and-go restaurants to innovations like the luggage-storing robot deployed at the Manhattan location.
Some premium cabins at the Atlanta YOTEL will be fitted with the company’s adjustable electronic SmartBeds, which fold into a couch to save space at the flip of a switch. It will also feature an outdoor pool and terrace, along with a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city.
Most YOTELs are located in city centers — Atlanta will boast the fifth such facility in the U.S. after Boston, San Francisco, Washington and New York — or in airports like London Heathrow and Gatwick, Singapore’s Changi Airport and the Istanbul New Airport in Turkey. Other properties are under development around the world.
The hotel is a key part of an ambitious redevelopment of the once-thriving Underground Atlanta retail district adjacent to the Five Points MARTA station. The developer, Charleston, S.C.-based WRS Inc., says it will transform the four-block district into a lively, sustainable community and help reverse the area’s dramatic decline.
Being part of that process was appealing to YOTEL, as were Atlanta’s blend of business vitality and tourist appeal, said CEO Hubert Viriot.
“Atlanta is an exciting, bustling city, with one of the largest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and the busiest airport in the world. Not only is it a key business hub, but also a great city to combine work with play due to its rich cultural history and famous landmarks. This is an excellent opportunity for us to put our signature modern spin on Atlanta’s southern hospitality,” Mr. Viriot said in a news release.
T. Scott Smith, president and CEO of WRS, Inc., said the company was excited Underground could attract a hotel concept unique to Atlanta.
“YOTEL values a forward-thinking environment and designs their hotels with independent and tech-savvy travelers in mind. It’s perfect for Underground’s location in the heart of Downtown and close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,” he said.