The micro hotel, often something travelers may refer to as a microtel, is a concept that has been introduced previously. However, it is one that the hospitality industry has taken steps to reinvent as the nature of the business has changed over the years. Micro hotels are similar to the small pod hotel rooms that popped up in Japan as far back as the 1970s. Initially, the idea around these places was that short-term travelers would need privacy and basic amenities for just a few days. Currently, micro hotels cater to smaller establishments serving guests who might be on tight budgets.
In essence, a microtel provides high-quality furnishing and good amenities to any client. However, the physical space for these rooms or buildings is about half of what you might expect at your standard hotel. These accommodations can work well for frequent travelers who need to stretch their budgets. Further, they tend to pop up in urban areas with high-density populations where space is at a premium.
Would You Stay in a Microtel (Micro Hotel)?
The decision to stay in a micro hotel can be a personal one, but there are a few factors to consider that might help you make this choice. We’ve touched on the budget, and it is probably one of the first concerns that will point most travelers toward this trend in hospitality. Because microtels tend to save on space, they can pass along cheaper rates to any potential guests who come through the area. You can expect any micro hotel room to be half as large as a typical space for a single guest. However, some of these places may feature rooms only about 10 feet in length and width.
Any microtel establishment should provide you with the rooms' precise specifications. Based on these measurements, you can decide if the option is right for you. Most of the accommodations here will be suitable for single travelers, although some may be large enough to comfortably house two people. The length of your stay also plays a role here. Micro hotels are decent options for anyone who needs to stay overnight somewhere. In particular, they are good places to consider when one has some kind of unexpected delay. If you are stuck somewhere for one night, you will want to find a place to stay without dipping too far into your remaining travel budget.
What Are the Benefits of a Micro Hotel?
Microtels can save money for travelers and space for businesses running the rooms, but there are a few other considerations that make them worth a second look. For one, they’re a good option for any clients who already know that they will not need to stay in the room much. If you have an extended stay planned in which a significant amount of your time will be in the room, enough space to enjoy the place could be significant. However, there is no need to pay for space you know you won’t utilize. Micro hotels can be an excellent option for travelers who need short-term storage and a place to sleep while they explore the city of their choice.
You’ll still get quality furnishings with your smaller room in most cases. If you’re a guest who enjoys good amenities but can’t afford the space of a larger room, the microtel can fill this niche for you. Many microtel chains collaborate with known furniture brands and architectural firms to create spaces that offer high standards on a budget. In fact, some companies in the hospital industry will join forces with the same businesses helping airlines craft first-class cabins using luxury fixtures in a small space.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Micro Hotel?
Travelers who require a bit of breathing room or who feel claustrophobic quickly may wish to research their options carefully. Many microtels have an open, airy feel to them that can be quite pleasant. However, some establishments offer their cheapest accommodations on lower levels. Typically, this means that you will be in a small space without any windows or natural lighting. If you might use this room for more than just sleeping at night, it makes sense to go for one on a higher level that features some windows with some kind of view.
The physical space that we’ve touched on could be as much of a drawback as a benefit. Although the smallest rooms available might feel barely large enough to accommodate a single individual, most of these businesses offer rooms in a range of square feet from which you can choose. If you are traveling with a partner, it may make sense to go for one of the largest rooms that still fit into the micro hotel category. You’ll both get a bit of extra breathing room here, and it could make all the difference in how you perceive microtels. Additionally, you may wish to pick a location with a comfortable bar area or lounge for another way to get some time for yourself.
Examples of Famous Micro Hotels
With the industry taking off in a big way, some companies are already famous for the ways in which they’ve designed their microtels. Although there are several out there, we’ll take you through a few of the biggest ones that may attract travelers from all over.
This is a fast-growing hotel chain with 30+ lifestyle hotels in 20 popular cities across three continents, making it an affordable option in a city that can be one of the most expensive destinations for travelers. To make guests feel more at home, the place offers an aesthetic reminiscent of some apartments you might find elsewhere. You can operate the various fixtures using smart tech, and the compact feel encourages you to get out and explore the famous landscape.
Most micro hotels can offer space to hundreds of guests at a time. The 40 Winks establishment in London goes against this trend. Instead, it opts for a boutique experience that can only fit in a couple of guests at any given time. Because the entire space is small, the company can decorate it with one-of-a-kind furnishings you cannot find elsewhere. The move increases the overall charm of the 40 Winks, and the opulence you can experience here is something you’re unlikely to find anywhere else on a budget.
If you’re looking for a microtel that mixes the contemporary with the classical, the Dean in Dublin’s downtown may be a good choice. The place features up-to-date technological advancements combined with older but still stylish furnishings. You can also choose from a variety of styles or themes for your stay.
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Micro hotels still need to fill various roles with dedicated staff. The types of positions available can vary from one company or chain to the next. However, this part of the industry also introduces roles that other accommodations may need to work with more closely. Microtels form close relationships with interior designers, architects, project managers, and engineers. Traditional staff will also need to deal with guest concerns and the upkeep of the rooms and grounds. Check out HRC’s vacancies at boutique hotels.
We’ve listed some of the more famous cities in which you can find good microtels, but your options extend far beyond these. This is a growing industry, and you should be able to find appropriate accommodations in many major cities around the globe. For the budget-conscious traveler who doesn’t need much space, a micro hotel is definitely something to try at least once.