Boston is fast becoming the hotspot for new boutique hotels. Earlier this year, The Revere Hotel opened in what was formerly The Radisson in Boston's Theater District. Now comes word that the trendy YOTEL hotel group has its sights on Boston for the group's next hotel opening. I caught up with YOTEL's CEO Gerard Greene for the details on what's rumor, and what's reality.
"We are very confident that Boston will be the second hotel for Yotel in the U.S.," Greene told me over email, citing the South End as the most likely location for the hotel.
UK-based YOTEL just announced a partnership with real estate development and investment firm The John Buck Company to create a "dedicated real estate fund platform focused on the expansion of the brand in North America." As part of the agreement, YOTEL and The John Buck Company will jointly identify, acquire, develop and redevelop YOTEL properties in select major U.S. metropolitan cities. On the expansion map: Boston and Chicago.
So what makes Boston so intriguing? According to Greene, it's our diverse culture and historical roots.
"Well we are British so makes sense to go back to our roots in the U.S.," said Greene. "Boston has a great culture of innovation which fits a great environment for Yotel’s unique, affordable luxury hotel concept and hopefully will allow us to fit right in."
"As a sophisticated, international market with a tremendous amount of history, first class universities and a strong tech and corporate hub, Boston attracts a similar demographic as Yotel – young at heart, highly educated, tech savvy, urban individuals who enjoy variety, new experiences, meeting new people and having fun."
While Boston has its share of luxury properties, it hasn't seen anything quite like YOTEL, yet. The concept of the hotel is simple: form and function meet comfort and style on a budget. The rooms are small, but functional.
As for added amenities, one can only speculate at this point. YOTEL first gained popularity when it opened at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports as a place for weary travelers to lay their heads in between layovers. The YOTEL New York saw a significant boost in features when it opened last year, and now has three bars, one Asian-fusion restaurant, an outdoor terrace, fitness center, meeting space and guest lounges with private rooms. In New York, the small, pod-like rooms have retractable beds, endless outlets, and basic amenities, allowing you to fit a lot of stuff into a small space, and still have room to move about.
But the big question isn't how many bars the hotel will have or what the views will be like, it's whether or not the Boston hotel market can sustain a new boutique property.
Historically, Boston leans to the side of traditional and conventional hotels. While a few luxury boutiques thrive on in the city -- XV Beacon Hotel, The Eliot Hotel, and the Copley Square Hotel, to name a few -- the majority of the city is dominated by big name hotels associated with bigger brands (InterContinental Hotels, Four Seasons and the Boston Harbor Hotel, for example).
The latter doesn't seem to phase Greene, however.
"Looking at the stability of Boston’s hotel market... it has strong market fundamentals, including strong leisure and corporate demand generators such as the growth of the Seaport or Innovation District," said Greene.
No details have been given on where in the South End YOTEL is looking to open, how many rooms, price range, or when the hotel might officially open its doors, but I'll keep you posted.
Readers: Your thoughts? What would you like to see from a new hotel in the city?
The author is solely responsible for the content.