Hotels around the world are enticing guests by pairing high design with low prices, trimming costs by shrinking square footage and inclusive frills like room service and toiletries. Here are seven examples:
Pod Hotel, NYC
230 E 51st St., New York
Size: 80 square feet/7.4 square meters
Cost of single night stay: $89 (bunk); promotional rate of $69 for March
Why you’d stay there: Free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, dimmer controls and an LCD TV make you forget it’s a budget hotel. Rooms smaller than doubles don’t have private baths, but an in-room display shows bathroom availability.
The Jane, NYC
113 Jane St., New York
Size: 50 square feet/4.6 square meters
Cost of single night stay: $99 for standard cabins; promotional rate $75
Why you’d stay there: Originally built for sailors and restored just last year, the West Village hotel gives you the sailor experience, down to its communal bathrooms—but with modern luxuries like a DVD player, iPod dock, and free wireless to keep you busy. Cool tidbit: Titanic survivors stayed here post-crash.
14 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, London, and others
Size: 86-96 square feet/8-9 square meters
Cost of single night stay: London rates start at £24.50/$34 USD; Budapest from €15/$19 USD
Why you’d stay there: With 5 central locations to choose from in London (on top of two in Switzerland, one in Hungary, and soon Cyprus), the fast-expanding chain can offer low rates by operating like budget airlines—the earlier you book, the better your rate. The only thing that comes with the room is a towel, but private baths at these prices are already icing on the cake.
Amsterdam Sciphol; Lounge 2 (top level)
London Gatwick: South Terminal and London Heathrow: Terminal 4
Size: 7 square meters/75 square feet (standard room)
Cost (4-hour minimum, hourly thereafter): Amsterdam - €35/$44 USD for 4 hours, up to €75/$95 USD; London – £25/$30 USD for 4 hours, up to £58/$80 USD
Why you’d stay there: Stay as few hours as you need to freshen up or nap in-transit—it's many steps up from terminal lounge chairs. These purple pods are reminiscent of Japanese capsule hotels, but include private baths and toiletries like body wash and shampoo.
Strawinskylaan 241, 1077 XX Amsterdam
Size: 194-258 square feet/18-24 square meters
Cost of single night stay: €69/$87 USD
Why you’d stay there: If the handmade Hästens bed isn’t enough to draw you in, how about being able to pick the color of your room ("mellow yellow," "Red romance," or "deep purple love")? Qbic also takes tips from airlines like Ryanair so book early for lowest rates.
316 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, and others
Size: 125 square feet/11.6 square meters
Cost of single night stay: starts at RM 9.99/$3 USD
Why you’d stay there: With 5 locations in Malaysia and incredibly low rates—also employing a booking system like that of low-cost air carriers—you’ll be able to overlook the in-your-face branding for otherwise clean, minimalist rooms.
Amsterdam Airport: Jan Plezierweg 2, 1118 BB Schiphol
Amsterdam City: Prinses Irenestraat 30, 1077WX
Size: 129 square feet/12 square meters
Cost of single night stay: starts at €79/$100 USD (current "credit crunch special": Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at €69/$87 USD)
Why you’d stay there: These prefab rooms come equipped with cheeky, Citizen M-branded toiletries, a "mood pad" to change your room color, free Wi-Fi and free movies on demand.