Yotel New York features world's first hotel robotic luggage handler
August 21, 2011
Marrying space saving efficiency with a touch of 21st Century hospitality, Yotel hotels treat guests to a fully automated check-in service featuring Yobot, a theatrically lit robotic baggage drop-off machine that creates a mechanical performance for guests as it loads and stores their belongings. The robot porter is just the beginning of the novel hotel experience offered by Yotel, a capsule style hotel chain with locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.
The first Yotel hotel was created back in 2007 by YO! founder Simon Woodroffe and Yotel CEO Gerard Greene. The hotel was conceived by Woodroffe after he was upgraded to first class on a British Airways flight. Inspired by the luxury experience of air travel, he decided to create a "first class" hotel concept offered at an affordable price. The result is a compact, forward thinking urban hotel featuring small shape-shifting cabin spaces in a decidedly futuristic setting.
Commencing with hotels at international airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow in London and Schiphol in Amsterdam, Yotel has recently expanded into the US with a new flagship New York Yotel at Times Square West in Manhattan. Designed in collaboration with the Rockwell Group and Softroom, the New York Yotel features similarly styled Standard and Premium Cabins, whilst also offering First Class Cabins and VIP Cabin Suites, complete with private terraces, jacuzzis, and rotating beds with views of the Manhattan skyline.
The design philosophy behind the New York Yotel very much hinges on the concept of transformative spaces. "Designing an environment that is transformable from the second you enter a space immediately creates a unique, modern experience for the guest," said David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. "By focusing our design for the brand's first U.S. flagship on the concept of convertibility of space, we were able to bring a dynamic experience to travelers and New Yorkers alike."
Minimized space means that efficient design, comfort and smart technological details become fundamental to the experience. The New York Yotel, for example, features a bed that transforms into a space-saving lounging position at the touch of a button, a Techno Wall that houses a flat screen TV and storage components, and a sleek, modern bathroom wrapped in glass. There's also the "Mission Control" space, which offers a one-stop shop for service, snacks and shopping as well as a "Studiyo" for meetings, events, yoga and parties. For dining, the hotel has created "Dohyo", a 110-seat restaurant in the size and scope of a traditional Japanese Sumo wrestling ring, with a hydraulic-controlled floor that can be raised and lowered to create a chill-out platform or performance stage when not used for dining.
The New York Yotel exclusively features the Yobot luggage service and premium cabins start at US$179 per night. The airport Yotels in London and Amsterdam remain focused on providing a comfortable and convenient solution for before or after a flight or long transfers. Cabins can be rented from 4 to 24 or more hours at prices starting at US$40 (£25) for four hours. A smart, novel solution to relax, refresh, and sleep.