Premier Inn has opened the first property under its new Zip by Premier Inn brand, with rooms starting from just £19 per night.
The new brand was unveiled last year, with the group saying the concept aimed to ““Do the essentials brilliantly, then take away everything else”.
The 138-room Zip by Premier Inn Cardiff is located in the Roath district of the Welsh capital, next to a David Lloyd Leisure Club and around ten minutes’ drive from the city centre.
Designed by Priestmangoode, rooms measure just 8.5 sqm, but still offer facilities including a single bed which can be converted into a double by sliding across a couch from the other side of the room, a high shelf to place items out of the way, an en-suite bathroom with power shower, and power sockets and USB connections.
Rooms feature either a window or lightbox (to give the illusion of a window) which can be controlled by the guest, and “a padded section around the walls at waist height, which provides warm mood lighting and serves to protect the walls from damage”.
Guests are allocated rooms randomly on arrival and are not able to pre-book a room with a window.
Forthcoming Zip properties are set to be located on the outskirts of major towns and cities – Priestmangoode said that Premier Inn had conducted “extensive consumer research” resulting in findings that customers were willing to forego space and a central location “in favour of outstanding basics at a lower price”.
Priestmangoode is better known for its work aircraft seating, having recently designed the new LATAM business class seat, as well as the United Polaris seat.
Commenting on the concept, Luke Hawes, director at Priestmangoode said:
“Zip has been an ideal project to work on. Whitbread has been really visionary in looking at how our expertise in maximising small spaces could help create the perfect budget-friendly hotel room.
“The design is focused to offer travellers all the basics, but brilliantly done, with a good quality of finish. We’re delighted with the end result.”
“Our process is very hands on, and we worked closely with Premier Inn to construct and test mock ups of the room.
“We initially built a scale model of the room which let us understand the space and play around with different configurations. We then built a number of full-scale MDF mock ups, including in our selected trim and finish.
“These mock-ups were an absolutely essential part of the process and allowed us to test everything from intuitive use of space to ease of cleaning in a 1:1 model.”