Hotel rooms can be impersonal and transitory places, designed for a high turnover of guests. To make the hotel experience more comfortable, the new hub by Premier Inn chain will put control into the hands of customers, who will book, check-in and control their room facilities via a smartphone app.

Technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in hotels as a means of providing guests with a better service and improving efficiencies. The SaviOne robot butler, for example, recently began a trial period delivering room service at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino. Whereas the SaviOne robot can benefit the hotel by automating a process that was previously manual, the aim of the hub hotel app is to improve the comfort of the customer.

The app will allow users to search for and book rooms, as well as check-in online. Once in their room, guests can use the app to change the temperature and lighting according to personal preferences, as well as select TV and radio channels and stream content from their smartphone or tablet to the 40-in inch smart screen TV. They will also be able to pre-order the following day's breakfast via the app.

According to Whitbread, the parent-company of hub by Premier Inn, the rooms will be designed to be "compact and clever." At 11.4 sq m (123 sq ft), the size will allow Whitbread to maximize the number of rooms it can fit into a single hotel, helping to keep costs down for guests. Storage space will be built into beds and pull-out desks will slide away when not in use to save space. Each room will feature a Hypnos pocket-sprung bed, a dual-shower ensuite bathroom, and free Wi-Fi.

Whitbread is planning to open 40 hub by Premier Inn hotels across the UK by 2018. The first will open in Covent Garden in November this year with a further three openings planned for 2015.

The video below provides an introduction to hub by Premier Inn hotels.

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