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With the city undergoing a major urban renewal project and in the throes of an aggressive new tourism campaign, Glasgow is going to need a few more hotel rooms to accommodate its (hoped for) mass influx of visitors. Lucky, then, that easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is planning to reopen his easyHotel, which closed early last year.
The 125-room hotel on Hill Street in Glasgow's city center will reopen on February 1st and, true to the budget airline ethos, rooms will be solidly frill-ree (your room only gets cleaned if you pay an additional fee) but going for ridiculously low prices. Rates will start at £19 a night from Sundays through Thursdays and £29 per night on Fridays and Saturdays. Following the usual "easy" format, the earlier you book, the lower the rate. Additionally the hotel is running a special promotion offering the first five cheapest rooms at £9 a night every night during February and March.
The easyHotel chain has 15 hotels throughout Europe and even as far afield as South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
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Last week The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler got scammed after booking an apartment on Craigslist and that sucks. So being the nice people that we are we thought we’d give you a list of cheap London hotels so you don’t have to trawl for a cheap flat and end up getting burnt. Also worth noting: people in London use Gumtree over Craigslist, anyways.
Tune Hotel Westminster
The Tune Hotel Westminster is one of our favourite cheap hotels. It has everything you need from a budget hotel – a bed and a bathroom. There’s also a TV, but, like everything else you need to pay to use it. Even with all of the extras, though, it still works out pretty cheap: under £60 when we stayed there.
Ok. The London Hotel Scene is really kicking off, in the last seven days the Premier Inn Leicester Square, Zetter TownHouse Hotel and Eccleston Square Hotel have all announced opening dates. And now look who’s at it--the budget brand, easyHotel.
The latest London easyHotel, will be located on Old Street, only a five minute walk from the Zetter Townhouse Hotel. Although we can’t imagine it will be in direct competition as easyHotels are at the other end of the budget sector.
Ten Euros for a hotel room. You might not believe that room rate from a 3-star hotel in London, but what about a budget chain newly opening in Bulgaria? That's a little more believable alright, and of course we're talking about easyHotel.com, the British budget hotel chain that springs from the Easy group, which also counts the easyJet airline, easyInternetCafe (a personal favorite) and easyCruise among its varied branches.
Today they open their 11th location, a 57-room building in Sofia, Bulgaria's central city, on the corner of Aldomirovska Street and Todor Alexandrov Boulevard. Believe it or not, this will be the first newly-built easyHotel, since all the others simply took over old buildings.
And what does purpose-built mean for this property? Well for one, everything will start out very spick and span; no musty old building smell or crust here. Also, this hotel ditches the old orange-heavy easyHotel interior scheme for the new modern design announced only earlier this year.
But the expansion news hardly stops here...
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In need of a cheapo vacation? Thinking that the $100 and $150 deals we were talking about here are out of your price range this time round? It’s time to rediscover the joys of the budget hotel.
And while Europe doesn’t have quite as many as America (in other words, there isn't a choice of about five chain motels at every motorway exit), it’s still possible to know roughly what’s in store when you book into a budgie room. Here are our Five Best Budget Brands in Europe. Tune in tomorrow for our picks for the worst.
Remember last week when we told you about easyHotel's efforts to significantly reduce the amount of orange in their hotel rooms? Well, we now have our first glance at that plan. (It's, er, above, in case you didn't notice.)
Here's a brief description of what you are looking at:
in-room luggage storage, improved clothes hanging facility, shelving and space for all those 'knick-knacks and new, more flexible, lighting options to improve comfort and functionality.
So what do you all think? Love it? Hate it? Don't care because you'd never be caught dead at an easyHotel anyway? Speak up in the comments below, because according to easyHotel, these changes came about from customer feedback.
EasyHotel, much loved for its reasonably priced rooms but equally loathed for its cramped, cruise cabin-like quarters, is getting closer to being the budget-minded hotel chain of all of our dreams.
Starting with its London Heathrow property, the chain is redesigning its rooms to be more spacious, stylish and functional. Working with London-based architects ZMMA, new easyHotel rooms will:
...Aim to build on the existing room model with the addition of in-room luggage storage, improved clothes hanging facility, shelving and space for all those 'knick-knacks and new, more flexible, lighting options to improve comfort and functionality. Working with ZMMA, easyHotel have also introduced a new, contemporary and complementary colour scheme, which will see the hotel group significantly reduce the amount of trademark orange used in its bedrooms.
To which we say, thank God. That orange always seemed like the lighter shade of a scarlet letter for penny-pinching travelers.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, some hotels just know the right buttons to push to get us in the mood. Take easyHotel for instance, talking up "balmy summer evenings" and "cool cocktails" "in the sun."
In an effort to pimp its latest hotel in Larnaka, Greece, easyHotel is offering rooms for 30 euro (about $38). Seemingly, this is the chain's first hotel geared toward the leisure traveler (Heathrow and Kensington are all about business) and rooms are said to be bigger than the usual easyHotel accommodations. The property is just a five-minute walk from Phoinikoudes beach, as well as some area attractions like the Medieval Fort, St. Lazarus Church, the Archaeological Museum and the ancient site of Kition, so you and your honey will have plenty to do if you hit this place up for V-Day.
You know good deals are hard to find, so book quickly because there are just 56 budget-friendly rooms in the joint but we promise they're not so budget friendly that they're missing air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. You can still get your romance on.
Last we heard about the easyHotel Heathrow, it should have been open already--October, in fact--but now it’s just started taking bookings for a January 1, 2009 opening.
In the tradition of easyHotels this one is cheap and, well, tight. If you want to watch TV, need an extra towel or want to use the internet, you’ll have to pay extra for everything. But the room itself: just £25 ($37) per night, or at least that’s their opening special price. Being at Heathrow is obviously handy if you’ve got an early morning flight or are transiting to somewhere else in Europe.
The biggest catch that we see with easyHotels is not that you have to pay something for all the “extras”. No, we’re more concerned about the damage done by surrounding yourself with this frightening orange color. Can anyone sleep with those walls?
You'll pay close to $900 just to fly to Budapest (coach, natch), but it will only cost you less than two dollars to spend the night there.
That is, of course--there's always a catch, isn't there?--you act quickly.
In honor of the first birthday of its Budapest property on October 1, easyHotel is offering rooms that night for just one euro. (One euro!) But with just 59 rooms, expect it all to go very, very quickly.
The hotel is located on the Pest side of the Danube River and is a short walk to Hero's Square. This being easyHotel, you'll pay extra for things like watching television, housekeeping services and Internet access, but at just one euro (one euro!) for the night, we think you can afford to the splurge. Heck, go crazy and order up some extra towels!
The folks over at extreme budget chain easyHotel have an ambitious goal of introducing 200 hotels in 10 years (it took them three years since the chain's 2005 debut to implement five hotels) and thanks to a new development deal with the UK-based Eclipse Hotel Group, easyHotel will put up 10 more properties across the UK over the next four years.
Apparently, "the easyHotel brand and super-budget model have significant growth potential in the UK," Eclipse Hotel Group's Managing Director, Sameer Damji, said in a press statement. Perhaps that's because everything in the UK is so bloody expensive? Drop those pounds already!
With a plan to introduce 200 hotels in 10 years, the folks at easyHotel thought, "Hey, maybe we should upgrade our web site?" And so they did, adding new navigations and a three-step booking process.
All in all, pretty standard stuff, plus a few bells and whistles like more images and Google maps.
Although we are happy to see that easyHotel maintained its smart marketing lingo. How cute is that "Don't hang about..." do not disturb sign? Now that we know how aggressive maids are starting to be, we may have to print that one out and tape it on our hotel door.