Ho­tels with five star lux­ury… at three-star prices

Good­bye trouser presses and pil­low choco­lates – the ‘lean lux­ury’ ho­tel revo­lu­tion is all about com­pact, stripped-down style. And it proves...

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Health Weath & Holidays - By Richard Mel­lor

UN­TIL now, vis­i­tors to great cities had a harsh choice: costly five-star com­fort or a scruffy bud­get op­tion. Now ‘lean lux­ury’ ho­tels are break­ing the mould with high-end ser­vices at low rates. The key? Ditch frip­peries and go for stream­lined style. Here are eight ho­tels set­ting the pace…


LOTTI is the lat­est ex­am­ple of the lux­ury lean con­cept by Ger­man brand Ruby Ho­tels. You won’t find a restau­rant, room ser­vice or mini­bars here. In­stead, Lotti of­fers an or­ganic break­fast buf­fet, and there are gal­ley kitchens on each floor where you can make your­self a hot drink.

There is an art­fully clut­tered 24-hour cock­tail bar, and a li­brary in which to work – ap­pro­pri­ate for a build­ing that was once a pub­lish­ing house. Live mu­sic will fol­low in an in­door/out­door water­front bar ter­race, while bikes are avail­able to rent for €10 (about £9) a day.

USP: Guests re­ceive tablets and smart­phones pre­loaded with a city guide, use­ful apps, and un­lim­ited data and calls.

Favourite fea­tures: As well as sound­proof­ing, walk-in show­ers, mas­sive mat­tresses and pale-hued de­sign, lux­ury rooms fea­ture Mar­shall amps – with gui­tars loaned for free should you fancy a jam.

Book in: Dou­bles cost from €99 (£88) a night, in­clud­ing break­fast. Ruby Lucy opens on Lon­don’s South Bank next au­tumn. ruby-ho­tels.com


IN­TENDED for short city cen­tre stays, Yo­tels de­liver lux­ury fun­da­men­tals in hi-tech bed­rooms. Known as cab­ins, they con­tain rain show­ers, am­bi­ent lights and smart TVs which can be con­nected to guests’ de­vices. Most Yo­tels, in­clud­ing its Sin­ga­pore base – the brand’s first Asian res­i­dence – fea­ture a 24-hour gym and a lounge. Cute ro­bots Yolanda and Yoshi check in guests and will even de­liver your room ser­vice or­der.

USP: Cab­ins are small but space­ef­fi­cient, thanks to whizzy, gel­mat­tress SmartBeds, which shrink into so­fas at the touch of a but­ton.

Favourite fea­tures: Un­like other Yo­tels, the one in Sin­ga­pore con­tains a slen­der out­door pool. Guests can or­der food or drink from their pool­side sunbeds.

Book in: Cab­ins cost from £96 a night, or slightly less for mem­bers of Club Yotel. yotel.com


AB­SO­LUTELY no trouser presses, bell­boys, towel swans or pil­low choco­lates. That’s the promise of Dutch brand CitizenM, which keeps prices down via its mod­u­lar con­cept – ev­ery room is iden­ti­cal. But while com­pact, the rooms still in­clude ex­tra large beds and lux­ury linen, rain show­ers, ad­justable mood light­ing and gaze-wor­thy wall-towall win­dows – per­fect for tak­ing in those views across Man­hat­tan.

In CitizenM’s clas­sic Am­s­ter­dam South base, the hum­ming lobby fea­tures an all-day restau­rant­bar serv­ing sushi and beer.

Ex­pect bright fur­ni­ture with hu­mor­ous mot­tos on them. You check in on com­puter screens and bikes can be rented for free.

USP: Most CitizenM ho­tels fea­ture large-scale art­works. On a plaza out­side the chain’s just-opened Bow­ery sky­scraper in New York is a 5,000-square-foot mu­ral.

Favourite fea­tures: Free movies in each bed­room, playable on TVs via iPads which are pro­vided.

Book in: Rooms cost from €81 (£72) a night in Am­s­ter­dam but a more ex­pen­sive $320 (£250) a night at Bow­ery. citizenm.com


LIFE HOUSE prom­ises chic, classy bou­tique ho­tels with the em­pha­sis on un­ex­pect­edly low prices. The first, Lit­tle Ha­vana, opens its doors on De­cem­ber 18 amid Mi­ami’s same-named His­panic quar­ter. It’s a ‘trop­i­cal man­sion’ in which neigh­bour­hood-made art adorns walls, mu­si­cians play reg­u­lar live sets, and lo­cal fare is served in the lobby cafe. Ev­ery beau­ti­ful bed­room, tex­tiled with a faint colo­nial theme, boast Blue­tooth speak­ers and Le Labo toi­letries.

USP: Life House’s own so­cial-me­dia net­work, which boldly al­lows guests and (care­fully vet­ted) lo­cals to ar­range din­ner par­ties or surf ses­sions away from the ho­tel. Mem­bers can also meet be­fore shar­ing high-qual­ity, two-per­son dorms – with big cur­tained-off bunks and pri­vate bath­rooms – from around $50 (about £40) a night.

Favourite fea­tures: The buzzy rooftop, packed with plants, houses a cock­tail bar and restau­rant nat­tily styled with tim­ber and jade-green tiles, plus a plunge pool.

Book in: Pri­vate rooms cost from $107 (£84) a night, al­though $180 (£140) is more com­mon. life­house­ho­tels.com


LIFE­STYLE is the fo­cus for apartho­tel brand Na­tive, which uses in­te­rior de­sign­ers such as Con­ran, and ex­clu­sively ren­o­vates iconic city build­ings. Its new­est ho­tel is in Glas­gow, re­gen­er­at­ing the An­chor Line Ship­ping Com­pany’s for­mer HQ by Ge­orge Square. Many of the Art Deco struc­ture’s orig­i­nal, op­u­lent fea­tures have been re­tained across 64 stu­dios and pent­houses, in­clud­ing terrazzo floor­ing and at­trac­tive tim­ber wall pan­elling.

USP: Most apartho­tels of­fer lit­tle more than the space but Na­tive pro­vides break­fast, and there are two restau­rants: a con­tem­po­rary French bistro with live jazz at week­ends, and a seafood spe­cial­ist in the old first-class book­ing of­fice.

Favourite fea­tures: Big old safes have been clev­erly trans­formed into walk-in wardrobes. Some of

the grand orig­i­nal win­dows were re­stored by the same fam­ily firm which first fit­ted them in 1906.

Book in: Apart­ments cost from £77 a night. na­tive­places.com


LO­CATED be­side Eu­rope’s largest flea mar­ket in Les Puces, MOB is less a ho­tel than a gi­ant so­cial space where one can also sleep in se­ri­ous com­fort – and with­out spend­ing much. It’s styled as a utopian, poly­mor­phous meet­ing place for the peo­ple; a place of eth­i­cal ideals, well­ness and re­lent­less cul­tural ex­change. Hence the myr­iad of­fer­ings: a 180-seat farm-to-ta­ble restau­rant, a mu­sic stage, a ro­man­tic court­yard with evening film screen­ings, pop-up stores, a fair-trade fash­ion school, phi­los­o­phy lec­tures, and a med­i­ta­tion cabin.

Spa­cious rooms typ­ify the eclec­tic decor – think red vel­vet bed­heads and Chi­nese pup­pet toys – al­though the white-tiled bath­rooms do lend a dash of seren­ity. Big­ger dou­bles af­ford movie screens and pa­tios. MOB will soon ex­pand across Eu­rope and into the United States.

USP: The strict or­ganic ethos ex­tends to an al­lot­ment shared with lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­nesses.

Favourite fea­tures: Two rooftop ter­races host var­i­ous classes – yoga, med­i­ta­tion, tai chi, salsa and so on.

Book in: Dou­bles cost from €99 (£88) a night. mob­ho­tel.com


IN 2020, the first out­post of Hil­ton’s funky ‘mi­cro-ho­tel’ brand will open on Maryle­bone Road, Lon­don.

Motto prom­ises small but stylishly min­i­mal rooms, where the light­ing, tem­per­a­ture, TV con­tent and black­out shades are all con­trolled by an app. Sleep kits, in­clud­ing es­sen­tial oils, fur­ther en­sure qual­ity slum­ber. Down­stairs a cafebar will serve premium, Lon­don­roasted cof­fee and food all day.

USP: A split-pay­ment sys­tem for large groups, as pi­o­neered by Airbnb, will also be of­fered.

Favourite fea­tures: Flex­i­bil­ity. Motto’s four room op­tions fea­ture a tra­di­tional, bed-in-the-mid­dle lay­out, a pull-down Mur­phy wall bed, a cool cor­ner-bed op­tion, and a cor­ner bed plus a lofted twin bed – raised, bunk-like, and tar­geted at fam­i­lies. About a third of the rooms have in­ter­con­nect­ing doors, so groups can book in a row.

Book in: Prices will be re­leased soon but Hil­ton has re­peat­edly promised af­ford­abil­ity. mot­to­by­hilton.com

ALL CHANGE: Beds at Yotel turn into a sofa at the press of a but­ton. Left: The Sin­ga­pore ho­tel pool COM­PACT: A room at CitizenM’s Bow­ery site and its bar area, above

TROP­I­CAL MAN­SION: The rooftop bar at Lit­tle House in Mi­ami

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