Back in 2004, our sister site trendwatching.com covered Yotel as an upcoming example of no frills chic hotels. Now, the first Yotel has finally opened at London’s Gatwick Airport, where guests can check into one of 46 cabins in the South Terminal building. The inspiration for Yotel came from Japanese capsule hotels and first class cabins on long haul flights. YO!’s founder, Simon Woodroffe, aimed to combine the best of both concepts to create small but luxurious hotel rooms at affordable prices. The cabins are roomy enough for two, have an in-room shower and toilet, mood lighting and luxury bedding, a pull-down desk, free wired and wireless internet access and a flatscreen television. Customers can upgrade to Premium for a double bed that transforms to a couch at the touch of a button. And budget-concious travellers will soon be able to opt for Economy cabins if they’re willing to share a bathroom. Like capsule hotels, Yotel cabins are available for short-term hire. Prices for a Standard cabin range from GBP 25 for four hours and from GBP 55 per night, while prices for Premium cabins start at GBP 40 for four hours and GBP 80 overnight. Definitely a concept that makes sense for airports, which is why Yotel is launching at Gatwick, with London Heathrow to follow later this year. Locations outside the UK are under negotiation and will be announced soon. While perhaps not suitable for claustrophobic consumers, Yotel’s cabins demonstrate how hoteliers can still rethink accommodation. The broader trend of offering luxury elements at budget prices isn’t new, but continues to gain momentum and consumer love. For other examples of hotel innovation, check out what we’ve written about Qbic and the Hoxton Hotel.