Rising property prices are likely to lead to an expansion of regional hotels with smaller bedrooms, according to real estate advisor Savills.
Bristol City Council is currently considering a planning application from Andrew Costi to develop a hotel with 76 Japanese-style pods, measuring 2m long, 1.25m wide and 1m high. Located in a listed building which was previously used as a bar and restaurant, the hotel would be aimed at back-packers and feature a cafe and washing facilities.
Martin Rogers, director of regional hotels at Savills, said: "The rise of pods and smaller format hotels throughout the UK can largely be attributed to cost. If room count can be increased by providing smaller rooms without significantly impacting on average daily rates there can, in the right circumstances, be a positive impact on value.
"Land values have also contributed, for example in cities where land values have increased by between 10-20%, such as Bristol, Manchester and York, developers are now having to intensify sites and making rooms smaller is the easiest way."
Savills said that with hotels offering restricted sized bedrooms costing between £45-100 per night, the expansion of the format in the UK could require traditional hotels to become more competitive.
It also noted that the issues relating to converting existing stock in historic regional city centres is helping to contribute to the rise of smaller formats and pod hotels.
Savills said that hotels with small rooms work best in locations where visitors don't spend a lot of time in their room. It will therefore not be a general trend, but limited to town and cities with a large number of tourists such as Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh.
"What these regional pod hotels will offer guests is a central location at a smaller price, two strong motivators to give up that extra bit of space," added Rogers. "Improved technology and construction innovations such as flat screen tvs and improved storage will also mean that the small space will begin to feel less and less like a sacrifice."