Smaller rooms make way for larger public spaces. Lobbies become co-working spaces and lively bar areas where guests and locals feel comfortable spending time. Room service is replaced by modern vending machines, just as likely to dole out Apple accessories as organic snacks.
Twenty years ago the average U.S. hotel room clocked in at just over 350 square feet. But today’s newest hotel brands are selling rooms nearly half that size, with some chains averaging 200, 183, or even just 170 square feet. How did we get here?
First, let’s get it out of the way that, yes, the average hotel room in America today is still a respectable 330 square feet. But, but, but, that’s because the majority of existing hotel stock was built decades ago. You’d be hard pressed to find anything currently under construction with that large of a footprint.
New boutique brands springing up across the country under familiar brand umbrellas are tiny by comparison. Rooms in Marriott’s Moxy Hotels average 183 square feet. The brand also lacks a traditional reservation desk, with guests instead checking in via the bar. Rooms in Best Western’s new, ahem, Vīb and GLō brands are just 200 and 249 square feet. And new hotel brand Yotel, formerly of airport sleeping pod notoriety, says its rooms average just 170 square feet.
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