YOTEL recently invited Hotel Business on a tour of the first-ever dual-branded YOTEL/YOTELPAD concept, located in the heart of downtown Miami. After a soft opening on June 1, the company celebrated the official grand opening on Oct. 27, hosting a party on its outdoor deck pool deck.
“I hope it’s been a breath of fresh air for most people coming to Miami because it offers the essential luxuries they should be looking for at an affordable price point,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO, YOTEL. “Also, they have access to amazing shared facilities such as the swimming pool, which is quite unique to YOTEL. It’s exciting to see that the demand for the next few days, weeks and months is growing very rapidly.”
The grand opening couldn’t come at a better time, with the South Florida city ramping up for its busy season as travelers flock in for some fun in the sun. International art fair Art Basel, which brings thousands of visitors to Miami, is just a month away.
“We first opened during the ‘low’ season in Miami, although it’s just slightly lower than the rest of the year,” said Viriot. “We are now hitting the big season, and it was nice to have had the luxury of having time to be able to test a complicated project.”
Complicated for sure, since the property has 222 standard guestrooms in king, queen and twin options and 231 apartment-like pads, each equipped with a full kitchen, expandable dining table, washer and dryer and custom Murphy bed. Pads can be purchased for year-round use or can be rented out for daily or monthly rates.
Public spaces are shared. The ground floor is where guests and owners can find Mazeh restaurant, which serves tapas-style Middle-Eastern fare and a grab-and-go market. One level up is the brand’s signature Komyuniti room, a social space featuring Instagram-worthy pods bathed in the brand’s signature purple. The 14th floor is home to the fitness center and the pool deck, which features an outdoor pool with cabanas, FLOAT restaurant and bar and spectacular views of the downtown skyline.
“We believe that a YOTEL or YOTELPAD should have everything that a guest needs every day—a great bed, a great shower, great technology, a great TV, great ventilation, etc.,” said Viriot, during the interview which took place in the property’s top-floor lounge. “But, the amenities that you only need from time to time can be shared. You may want to entertain some friends. You don’t need a giant kitchen and dining room in your apartment; you have access to a fantastic lounge where you can do that. Or, similarly, if you want to meet or work, there are facilities on the second floor where you can have a business meeting.”
The brand is big on technology, and it can be found everywhere. Upon entering the property, guests may be greeted by one of the two concierge robots on property before checking in at Mission Control, the large red popsicle front desk designed by Chaz Capobianco, or at one of the three kiosks, where they can receive a physical key card or gain access to a mobile key card on the YOTEL app. At the elevators, guests can use a tablet to either press on their floor number (there are no floor buttons inside the elevators) or choose to be taken to a hotel amenity.
The signature purple color can also be found when entering one of the guestrooms, from a light under the TV, as well as from the rack that serves as an easy-to-manage closet and luggage space. However, if purple is not the color of choice, there’s a controller near the door that makes it easy to change to any color of the spectrum.
Each guestroom features the brand’s convertible SmartBed, which adjusts so that guests can watch TV or sleep in any position they would like, as well as a Qi wireless charger in the nightstand. Streaming is done via Chromecast so that guests just scan a QR code to have access to all of their content without having to enter their information on the TV screen. There is no separate room for the bathroom; rather, the shower and toilet in separate compartments, with the sink on the opposite wall.
YOTEL has 14 hotels currently under development, noted Viriot, who added, “The next to open is actually on the other side of the world is in the opening in Geneva. We’re well on track for opening in Q1 of next year. It has very different environment from this one, but it’s also very unique because there are massive food and beverage and co-working spaces. Then, we have a series of hotels opening after that in Asia and Europe, and we are continuously looking for new opportunities.”
The company’s other brand, YOTELAIR, which are airport hotels, has yet to find a U.S. location. Rohan Thakkar, chief development officer, said that he has been working on getting one of the properties inside LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).