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Whitbread trials new hotel concept

ZIP by Premier Inn – Brilliant basics, small prices

Whitbread PLC, the UK’s largest hospitality group today unveils ZIP by Premier Inn, a new no-frills hotel concept. The first ZIP by Premier Inn hotel will open with 138 rooms in the Roath district of Cardiff in early 2019.

Whitbread conducted extensive research that revealed guests were willing to forego traditional expectations – such as large rooms and super-central locations – in favour of a lower price.

ZIP by Premier Inn hotels will be located on the outskirts of major towns and cities and will feature small, modern rooms with prices from £19, representing excellent value for money.

The rooms are billed as ‘basics done brilliantly’ and are around less than half the size of a standard Premier Inn room, at just 8.5 square metres. The rooms are compact, however, the clever design by PriestmanGoode – the design consultancy behind First Class Cabins for airlines including Air France, Lufthansa and SWISS – means that the space has been packed with useful features such as lightboxes, flexible bed formats & en-suite shower rooms. The vibrant new brand was developed in partnership with global brand consultancy, Wolff Olins while design consultancy JCS Design developed the interior spaces.

ZIP’s smaller room format will give Whitbread access to a broader range of buildings in towns and cities across the UK and provide a great accommodation offer for the highly price-sensitive customer. Whitbread has secured a second site, set to open in Southampton with 140 rooms, and is actively seeking further acquisitions in out-of-centre town and city locations that suit the smaller room format.

Alison Brittain, CEO, Whitbread PLC said, “Our strategy is to grow and innovate our core UK business and ZIP is a great example of how we are doing that.  We have invested in the Premier Inn brand over many years to become the UK’s most-loved hotel company with 800 hotels in the UK, and we believe there is a niche in an under-served market for ZIP.  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. ZIP fits perfectly into Whitbread’s existing portfolio of Premier Inn and hub hotels, enabling us to attract guests with a wide range of needs – from longer staycations at Premier Inn, to those seeking a design-led experience in the heart of the city at hub by Premier Inn, and now ZIP by Premier Inn, catering to short-stay value-conscious guests who are looking to zip in and zip out!”

Premier Inn Managing Director Simon Jones commented: “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.   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”.

All standard ZIP rooms include:

  • Twin single beds with Hypnos mattresses which can be pushed together to create a double bed
  • Private bathroom with power shower
  • Premier Inn Free WiFi
  • 24-inch television
  • Air conditioning

All ZIP guests also benefit from:

On-site team 24/7

A large communal area which serves breakfasts that are equally convenient to enjoy in the shared area or to take away and eat on the go. This space transforms into a bar in the evenings, serving a range of alcoholic and soft drinks.

An ironing room on every floor

Optional paid-for extras include:

  • Hot or cold breakfast for £3.95 per person
  • Rooms are cleaned between guests’ stays. For guests’ staying for more than one night the room is not cleaned daily, but additional room cleaning can be purchased for £5 per day
  • Fast WiFi at £5 for 24 hours

Rooms are available to book online at premierinn.com