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We’ve long been fans of budget chic hotels and their promise to shake up the hotel game in expensive cities, focusing on stylish rooms and the right amenities at affordable prices. How could we not? But we’re starting to get concerned that those heavily promoted double-digit room rates are becoming just that: good publicity and not much more.
citizenM let us down in New York with nothing under $199 a night, and we hope the 900 rooms its adding across three hotels in London (Tower Hill, Holborn, and Shoreditch) will bring rates down to around £100 ($167), because its current Bankside hotel runs closer to the £200 ($335) mark most of the time.
Equally, The Z Hotels is expanding from its current Soho and Victoria locations to a third London property just south of Piccadilly, opening in June with 122 rooms on Orange Street. A quick browse through the online reservations system gives us rates starting from £185 ($311) for an “Inside Room” without windows in the first months, which is a pretty hefty £100 above the “from just £85 ($143) a night” highlighted on its website. Add a window and you’re looking at £220 ($370), unless you’re willing to book a non-cancellable rate. We’re not entirely sure whether nearly $400 a night for a room that is a squeezy 129 sq ft fits with an “ethos of affordable luxury”.