The pod-style Premier Inn rooms that are cleaned every three days

Premier Inn unveils pod-style hotel chain where the £19-a-night rooms are less than half the normal size, lightboxes replace windows… and they’re cleaned every three days

  • Hotel chain Premier Inn is downsizing – by opening its first pod-style accommodation in Cardiff next year
  • Rooms will measure 8.5 square metres and will have a single bed that can be extended to make a double
  • The rooms have been designed by the company that created first class cabins for both Air France and KLM  

Premier Inn is to launch a new no-frills hotel chain with pod-style rooms that will be less than half the normal size.

Called Zip by Premier Inn, it will launch in Cardiff early next year and stays will start from £19 per night.

The rooms will measure just 8.5 square metres and come with a single bed that can be converted into a double by sliding across a sofa from the other side of the room.

Premier Inn is to launch a new no-frills hotel chain with pod-style rooms, pictured. The first site will be in Cardiff and will open to the public early next year

Each room has a small en-suite bathroom with a power shower and towel and a 24-inch television on the wall.

WiFi is free and breakfast can be added for £3.95. 

However, some of the rooms will be windowless, with lightboxes replacing sunlight. 


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And the rooms are only cleaned once every three days, but guests can request an additional wipe down for £5.

This cleaning regime may surprise some given the PR headache Premier Inn suffered this year when a Channel 4 Dispatches team discovered one of its housekeepers being told to use the same guest towel to clean entire bathrooms – including the toilet.

The pods have been designed by PriestmanGoode, the design consultancy behind creating first class cabins for airlines Air France and Lufthansa.

Each room has a small en-suite bathroom with a power shower and towel and a 24-inch television on the wall. The rooms are only cleaned once every three days, but guests can request an additional wipe down for £5

Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, says it conducted extensive research that revealed guests were willing to forego certain comforts – such as large rooms and super-central locations – in favour of a lower price.

Premier Inn managing director Simon Jones said: ‘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.

The rooms in the Zip by Premier Inn hotels will be less than half the size of a standard Premier Inn room, pictured 

‘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.

‘We will continue to learn from our customers as they experience the product and will evolve and innovate the concept as we open more Zip hotels.’

Whitbread has confirmed that it has secured a second site in Southampton, with 140 rooms, and says it is seeking further locations that will suit a smaller room format. 

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