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Premier Inn Introduces New Budget Range of Hotels, Zip

Apologies for placing this in the England forum when the first (and only, at this point) Zip hotel is actually in Cardiff, but I figured more people would see it here.

Premier Inn has created a new budget line of hotels called "Zip". From the photos the rooms look very small and as if they were produced out of injection-molded plastic. I think the quarters would be tight for two people to share for more than the odd one-night stay, but as a solo traveler, they look fine to me. I don't care that my odds of a window would be low.

In yet another triumph (not) of the Premier Inn web-programming team, you have to click through to book a room in Cardiff before you see that there is, indeed, air conditioning. There's other useful information there: 8.5 square meters (about 85 square feet, I think), so super-tiny. Just one towel; one hopes they provide a second one if there are, you know, two people in the room. But heaven knows you won't get an answer if you email PI to ask.

This particular hotel looks like it's in a location more suitable for car travelers (though I've only been to Cardiff briefly and could be mistaken); I hope some will be more convenient for people arriving by train or bus.

Posted by
409 posts

Interesting. I’ve happily stayed in Premier Inn’s hub hotels in London and love their central location. Will keep an eye out for zips in the future to see how they might fit in with my travels.

Posted by
389 posts

This is located in Cardiff Bay, right by the Milennium Centre (concert hall) and Welsh Government. There is train station although it's not on the main London line, but with a popular Premier Inn already in central Cardiff I can see why they have chosen this location which is relatively underserved with hotels but does generate demand from the above two venues for a start. I must admit when I first saw this being constructed I thought it was a multi storey car park (it's adjacent to one). I think from memory it has port hole style windows but I might be wrong. Plenty of people come to Cardiff for the Rugby, concerts, night out and just want somewhere to crash fir the night so I can see it doing well for that market, not the multi night tourist.

Posted by
1875 posts

There is certainly a market for this kind of ‘hotel’. Many single people for a start will find it useful as the cost of rooms for 1 is relatively expensive. However, the exterior of the building looks absolutely hideous with porthole style windows and a bland exterior. I just hope that planners in other locations don’t permit such a cheapskate design to deface their towns & cities or country areas. At least the one in Cardiff is not near the historic heart of the city. The location in Cardiff is quite good with buses nearby that link with the city centre & central station every 10 minutes or so. It is just a short walk from the WMC (Opera House/concert hall) with the inner harbour only about a 5 minute walk.

Posted by
27511 posts

note that the FAQs say it is a random selection as to if a room is assigned with a "window" or if the room has no window but a "light box". It is not possible, they say, to choose.

Posted by
3789 posts

It's bigger than a Yotel (airport sleeping pod hotel)...but even smaller than a cruise cabin.
There has been a recent trend in North America to redesign hotels for the Millenials. Room size is smaller but efficient, and there is more social/work space in the lobbies. The focus of where you spend your waking hours has changed. I haven't seen anything quite as small or plastic as this room, and at 60+, I wasn't a fan of the one 'Millenial' hotel I tried last summer, but I can see the appeal. Cost alone would attract me to Zip - if I just needed a place to sleep. I had my first exposure to Premier Inns in December, and I am a convert. Some locations do seem to be strategic for drivers (the locations around Heathrow for example). Maybe the Millenials would prefer to wander down to the lobby in their pjs for a social coffee or chai? For 19pounds prepurchased, I would spring for a coffee that cost me. Even at my terrible Cdn$ conversion, these are excellent value. Nothing like them in Canada. Even in USA, they are poor substitutes for anything near the price.

Posted by
20872 posts

I was surprised and thrilled to see that the rooms are air conditioned. It's hard to beat the prices of Premier Inns and Hubs if you are traveling in the summer and don't dare choose a place without a/c. An even less expensive option is very welcome.

Posted by
2906 posts

Perfect for a single traveler.
Clean is my main concern, plus a comfy bed.
In summer, add air conditioning to that list.

Posted by
914 posts

Ann, looks like a barge room on the Netheralnds bike & barge trip I took a few years ago!

Posted by
1181 posts

I love the concept. I wonder if Zip is Premier Inn’s version of Hub but not in a city centre?

Pod hotels are perfect for me as I’m usually a single traveler or else with someone who I do want to be that close with. I do prefer spending my time out of the room, the Hub hotels have a social space which I like.

They’re obviously not the choice for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway with a special someone.

Posted by
389 posts

Just need to correct myself - this Zip in Cardiff is actually on the outskirts of the city centre, a main arterial route surrounded by retail warehouses. Not the best bit if the city by a long shot. The one they are building in Cardiff Bay with the port hole windows will be a standard Premier Inn.