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Whitbread launches Zip by Premier Inn hotels with rooms based on airline cabins

22 October 2018 by
Whitbread launches Zip by Premier Inn hotels with rooms based on airline cabins

Whitbread is to launch a new no frills budget hotel brand with compact rooms that are based on first class airline cabins.

Zip by Premier Inn rooms will be half the size of typical Premier Inn rooms, with prices that start at £19.

The rooms have been designed by PriestmanGoode, the design consultancy behind cabins for countless airlines Air France, Lufthansa and SWISS.

Zip by Premier Inn will be based on the outskirts of cities, with the first set to open in Cardiff in early 2019. Whitbread said it had also earmarked a 140-bedroom site in Southampton for the concept.

The hotel group has billed the brand as "basics done brilliantly" and is aiming it at what it describes as the "ultra price sensitive customer" who are willing to forego traditional expectations.

Rooms will feature twin single beds which can be pushed together, a shower and 24-inch television as well as free Wi-Fi. They won't be cleaned daily, but additional cleaning can be purchased at £5 per day.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: "Our strategy is to grow and innovate our core UK business and ZIP is a great example of how we are doing that.

She added: "It offers us an exciting new platform for growth and will give us access to a broader customer base, attracting those guests who are on a particularly tight budget but still expect and deserve the basics done brilliantly."

Premier Inn managing director Simon Jones added: "We are delighted to be opening our Zip by Premier Inn in Cardiff and the team are hugely excited about welcoming our very first customers.

"In developing the concept, we have undertaken considerable research,
including having had six Zip rooms on sale to customers for many months. It's clear through the research that people want the basics done brilliantly, such as a comfy bed and a power shower but they are happy to compromise on location or some extras if they are paying a fantastic price for their room."

Hotel industry consultant Melvin Gold said that the brand would allow Whitbread to consider sites that might otherwise not work for its core product.

"This is further evidence of the stretching of the Premier Inn brand after the previous successful launch of Hub," he added.

"The branded budget sector has been the key engine of growth in the UK hotel sector and now with around 170,000 rooms of this genre in the UK, approximately 22% of supply, it is natural for the brands to try to satisfy other tiers of demand.

"From a consumer perspective branded budget hotels have democratised travel and made hotels accessible for a far greater number of consumers. A new brand with a lower price point will further that trend."

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