Whitbread Launches New Hotel Concept
Whitbread PLC, the UK's largest hotel group, is delighted to announce the launch of its new hotel concept, 'hub by Premier Inn'. The new concept will target major UK city centres such as London and Edinburgh, with the first 'hub by Premier Inn' to open on St. Martin's Lane in London in summer 2014.
At 11.4 sq.m a 'hub' room is compact, and thanks to its innovative design every centimetre is optimised with a desk that folds into the Hypnos pocket-sprung bed, luggage storage under the bed, an en suite bathroom with power shower, free wifi and a 40" inch smart screen TV.
'hub by Premier Inn' will be the UK's first hotel with its own app, letting customers control their hotel experience. The 'hub' app means customers can book and check in online, as well as pre-select their room temperature and light settings. They can even choose which TV or radio channel they want playing in their room when they arrive and stream content from their phone or tablet direct to their TV.
When it comes to drinking and dining, 'hub by Premier Inn' will have its own deli-style restaurant with plans to source produce from local suppliers. Guests will be able to pre-order breakfast using their 'hub' app.
Patrick Dempsey, Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants commented, "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. 'hub' will work in tandem with Premier Inn, appealing to more price sensitive customers seeking quality accommodation in the heart of a city. It will enable us to broaden our customer appeal and further strengthen our competitive edge."
Whitbread has secured five sites (around 1,000 rooms) to open in the next three years and is targeting to have around 40 'hub by Premier Inn' hotels (6,000 rooms) opened or in the pipeline by 2018. 'hub by Premier Inn' will have 25% lower build and operating costs compared to a Central London Premier Inn, and its smaller room format gives access to a broader range of buildings in city centres.
Andy Harrison, CEO, Whitbread PLC said, "'hub by Premier Inn' will reinforce the achievement of our 75,000 UK rooms milestone by 2018 and provide us with another exciting new growth platform. With substantial operating and commercial synergies from the Premier Inn network, we are confident that 'hub' will deliver good returns for our shareholders."
Over two years in the making, 'hub' has been shaped by customers. Since June 2012, five prototype rooms have been on sale every night at the Premier Inn Kings Cross and during that time 1,825 guests have given individual feedback on everything from having two showerheads, (one on the wall so customers can avoid getting their hair wet) to the high absorbency, fast-drying micro fibre towels meaning no more soaking wet towels hanging around the bathroom for hours. The result has been seven iterations of the 'hub' experience to ensure it reflects all key customer needs.
* 'hub by Premier Inn' committed pipeline:
- St Martin's Lane - 167 beds, Autumn 2014
- Goodge Street - 179 beds, early 2015
- Great Tower St - 119 beds, early 2015
- Spitalfields - 185 beds, early 2015
- Kings Cross - 408 beds, early 2016