A new hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is catering to a new generation of travellers. CityHub provides what it says is important to 20- to 35-year-old digital natives. Rooms are small but comfortable, stays are inexpensive and the hotel's free internet access covers the whole city.
CityHub is one of a number of new hotels with a focus on technology. The likes of the UK's hub by Premier Inn and the robot-staffed Henn-na Hotel in Japan use high-tech features to make guests more comfortable and to run more efficiently. CityHub seeks to combine the tech-benefits and privacy of these sort of hotels, with the community feel and affordability of a hostel.
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The hotel has been built in a former industrial warehouse covering 600 sq m (6,458 sq m). It houses 50 sleeping units, which are compact, but that still each house a double bed and customizable lighting and music-streaming systems.
To save space, the bathrooms are communal, but are reported fitted out to a high standard. There's a "digital-first" lobby in which guests can check-in and -out 24-hours a day and a communal lounge in which they can relax and meet other guests. Guests are also issued with RFID wristbands, which are used to provide with access to the sleeping units and for payments during their stay.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of CityHub, however, is its approach to keeping guests connected. In addition to providing free Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the hotel itself, the firm has partnered with T-Mobile to ensure that guests continue to have free access to the internet throughout the city. This means that they can access information on the go and share their travel experiences online whenever and wherever they are.
Another unusual and handy feature provided by CityHub is the mobile app that accompanies guests during their stay. It can be used to control the lighting, alarm clock and music streaming in their sleeping unit, but also acts as an interactive travel guide for when they are out-and-about in the city, allows them to send questions to hotel staff and provides a chat room functionality so that they can connect with other guests.
A pilot branch of the hotel, CityHub Beta, was launched in Amsterdam in 2012, the success of which led to funding and the opening of the first CityHub proper last month. Costs to stay start at €50 (about US$53) per hub per night based on two people sharing.
The video below provides an introduction to CityHub.