According to a November 2015 article published on Road Warrior Voices, the average size of hotel rooms today is about 330 square feet, but new hotel brands are constructing rooms only a little over half that size. This has decreased since the 1990s where the average hotel room size was over 350 square feet. Marriott’s Moxy Hotels are now building rooms about 183 square feet in size and the new brand Yotel’s rooms are only 170 square feet on average.
So why are hoteliers designing properties with small rooms? A simple explanation for downsizing hotel rooms is they become cheaper to build and maintain says Bjorn Hanson of NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. However, Moxy Hotels director, Vicki Poulos told NBC News the reasoning for creating smaller rooms was, “[T]his idea that we’re giving our guests everything they want, and nothing they don’t need.” Because fewer items of furniture are necessary in a hotel room due to innovations in technology, rooms can be smaller in size and still functional. For example, mobile devices and laptops make it possible to work anywhere and make desks redundant pieces of furniture that only exist to take up space. Smaller, sleeker televisions that can easily be mounted on the wall of a room free up the space a bulky media center would typically occupy in a hotel room.
While these hotels are designed to have small rooms, common spaces such as meeting spots and bar areas are large and inviting. Some hotels have lively bar scenes and an atmosphere that appeals to younger guests. Having impressive common areas and meeting spaces will give guests a place to spend their time and may even foster interaction between them
Unsurprisingly, Hanson says millennials are the reason guest rooms are decreasing in size. Perhaps this is due to their ability to work from their phones or laptops on a lobby couch and therefore do not miss having a desk in their rooms. However, not everyone is pleased with the decreasing average hotel room size; older guests reportedly prefer more sizable rooms and are less likely to appreciate the atmosphere in these new boutique hotels.
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