Dezeen Magazine

Yotel by Priestman Goode

The first of a new chain of economy hotels based on a cross between Japanese capsule hotels and first-class airline cabins has opened at Gatwick Airport in England.


Called Yotel, the concept is the brainchild of Yo! Sushi restaurant chain founder Simon Woodroffe and has been designed by industrial designers Priestman Goode.


The top two images show rooms at the Gatwick hotel while the other images are shots of prototype rooms created by Priestman Goode during the development phase.


Below is a press release from Yotel:



YO! Founder Simon Woodroffe launches stylish yet affordable cabin hotel


London, UK: 20 June 2007 - YOTEL, the revolutionary new hotel concept that is redefining the global hotel industry, is today launching with 46 stylish cabins at Gatwick Airport – South Terminal, with other city and airport locations to follow. Inspired by first-class airline cabins, YOTEL is the first hotel to be located inside a UK airport terminal. YO! Founder Simon Woodroffe conceived the innovative YOTEL cabins to provide a flexible and convenient ‘first class’ hotel experience at affordable prices. The next generation cabins come fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms, free Wifi and wired internet access and ‘techno wall’ entertainment systems.

YOTEL provides the ideal solution to early morning flights and long scheduled transfers, as well as unexpected flight delays and cancellations. The cabins will be bookable for just a few hours enabling delayed and transfer passengers to relax in privacy in front of a movie or to enjoy a refreshing shower with their favourite music playing. In addition, passengers leaving on those early morning flights can stay the night before to catch some valuable extra hours of sleep, safe in the knowledge that they are just a casual stroll away from their departure point. For additional simplicity, YOTEL cabins can be booked in advance online.

“Designed to offer a solution to boring and expensive hotels around the globe", says CEO Gerard Greene, the cabins come with all the facilities you would expect from a comfortable hotel room to enable work, relaxation, sleep, refreshment and entertainment. Designers built upon the technology and advanced use of space seen in business class airline cabins and luxury yachts to realise the three tier YOTEL cabin system.

Cabins come as ‘Premium’, ‘Standard’ – both with enough room for two, en suite bath rooms, in cabin entertainment and room service – and soon to come - ‘Economy’ cabins, which come with all the same amenities except en-suite bathrooms.

Features within the cabins include:

• Techno wall with clothes storage, pull down working desk with charging points, network cable socket and free Wifi and wired internet access

• Mood lighting and luxury bedding to induce relaxation

• Bathroom with luxury fittings including shower, bespoke revitalising body wash, hairdryer, and soft towels with a heated mirror

• Flat screen TV system with over 60 free TV stations including Sky Sports plus on demand blockbuster and classic movies. 80 radio channels plus a jukebox with over 5,000 music tracks and a headphone jack

• Snacks, club meals and refreshments ordered from the TV system and then delivered to your cabin or the ability to visit ‘The Galley’ where the cabin crew are available 24 hours a day

In addition - the Premium cabins include:

• A double bed that deploys to a couch by the touch of button (think first class private cabins on an aircraft)

• Input for your own MP3/CD player to play your own music choice through the TV speakers

“In the 21st Century luxury will be available to everybody at the right cost and this is a taste of that future," comments Simon Woodroffe, Founder of YO!. “Travelling can be a painful experience so we are looking to making it as pleasurable as possible for YOTEL customers. We expect this radical approach to be extremely popular with a range of consumers and are looking to expand YOTEL globally."

Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of IFA HR stated, “We’re very excited about the opening of the first YOTEL. YOTEL is different from other investments we have in the hotel sector and we truly believe it represents the future. It is a brand that is going to grow exponentially in the next few years"

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second busiest airport and the busiest international single runway airport. In 2006, Gatwick Airport welcomed over 34 million passengers, flying to around 200 destinations on a choice of over 80 airlines.

"YOTEL is a fresh hotel concept and we are delighted to welcome this innovative new experience. Travellers benefit from such a great choice of world-wide destinations and airlines at Gatwick, it is always exciting to launch a new service which brings more choice for travellers", Andy Flower, BAA Gatwick's Managing Director.

YOTEL will also be opening at Heathrow Airport in the coming months and are planning to open at other major international cities and airports. “We like to think it’s the iPod of the hotel industry"

Prices for a Standard cabin will range from £25 for four hours and from £55 overnight, while a Premium cabin will cost from £40 for four hours, and from £80 overnight. Bookings can currently be made from 1 July on line at or by calling +44 (0) 207 100 1100.



YOTEL was created by YO! Founder Simon Woodroffe and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene. The idea was conceived by Simon after he was upgraded into first-class on a flight. He decided to translate the language of luxury airline travel and Japanese capsule hotels into a small but luxurious cabin. Gerard Greene evolved that idea into reality with YOTEL.

YOTEL will open its first two hotels inside the terminal buildings of London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports during 2007, following a major investment by Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts. At London Heathrow, a 32-cabin YOTEL will open within Terminal 4, while at London Gatwick, a 46-cabin YOTEL will open within the South Terminal building, following an agreement with the British Airport Authorities (BAA). International locations are already under negotiation and will be announced shortly.

Simon Woodroffe is the creator of worldwide restaurant phenomenon YO! Sushi and is a well-known entrepreneur from the UK following a stint as a “dragon" on the popular UK BBC2 television series The Dragons’ Den whereby aspiring entrepreneurs vie for support from established business people.