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YO! founder takes on the Big Apple

The first American Yotel will open in New York in 2011, says Woodroffe, featuring 669 “stylish” cabins. This will be Woodroffe’s first Yotel to open outside of its current international airport locations.

“Not satisfied with airports, we are now transferring a successful brand to city centres across the globe,” says Yotel’s chief exec Gerard Greene. “A solution to boring and expensive hotels, we’re using radical design to offer our customers an exciting product and better value for money.”

Woodroffe and Greene (pictured, right and left) conceived the Yotel cabins a couple years ago, inspired by first-class airline cabins.

“Yotel has a fantastic energy about it, which New York City’s 44 million visitors a year will love,” Woodroffe explains.

New York’s first Yotel, on Times Square, is being co-designed by The Rockwell Group and Softroom, and will feature a restaurant (perhaps a YO! Sushi?), bar, meeting rooms, a club lounge and an outside terrace.

The rooms themselves will offer customers 16 square meters in which to “relax, refresh, connect and sleep”. Weary travellers to the Big Apple can also look forward to luxury bedding, “rejuvenating monsoon showers” (an interesting concept), relaxing purple mood lighting (as is this!), and a “techno wall” with a flat-screen TV and complimentary WiFi.

“It will be a true haven of calm,” Greene says. “It will bring a unique mix of fun, excitement and luxury to New York, and at an affordable price.”

Simon Woodroffe, who started the sushi chain YO! Sushi in 1997 and has appeared as a Dragon on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, opened his first Yotel in Gatwick in 2007.

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