There's a new name muscling in on the Cambridge hotel scene, with easyHotel today (March 20) announcing plans to open its first branch in the city.
The firm has purchased a 25-year lease on an undisclosed site on Newmarket Road, where it hopes to have a new 100-room hotel up and running by 2019.
There are already seven UK hotels owned by easyHotel, as well as a further 19 franchised sites. But with rooms starting from as little as £19 a night, how much hotel do you get for your money?
Last May the first 'super-budget' hotel opened in Manchester's sought-after Northern Quarter, prompting colleagues from our sister site at the Manchester Evening News to head down for a look.
Here's what they found…
After months of work, Manchester’s first easyHotel is now open, offering visitors a stay in the vibrant Northern Quarter from just £20 a night.
The five-storey hotel hopes to trump nearby hostels and budget lodgings with its rock-bottom prices and minimal rooms.
Rooms are certainly cheap – but you do have to shell out for extras. A TV remote control, for example, will set you back a fiver.
The renovation of Bradley House at the junction of Dale Street and Newton Street started back in 2016, and Buttress Architects’ conversion of the shipping warehouse is sympathetic to the building’s character.
Features in the rooms include red-brick walls, exposed wooden beams and double-glazed original windows.
“People have walked in and said it's like a boutique hotel – but a lot cheaper,” says easyHotel CEO Guy Parsons.
The earlier you book, the cheaper it will be, and guests looking for the £20 rooms should book at least three months in advance. Book on the day, or during big events in the city, and they could cost more, explains Guy.
“On event nights in Manchester and you’ve got competitors charging two or three hundred pounds, for us to be £100 a night would be conceivable, if the other competitors had really put up their price.”
He adds: “Our genuine philosophy is to keep room rates low, keep people coming back.”
We looked at nearby budget hotels three months in advance to compare, and Travelodge offers an early booking rate of around £84 for one night, while the Holiday Inn offers a standard room for £129.60.
Guy says: “A super room at a super price. Really good bed, really good shower temperature plus pressure, somewhere that’s quiet, blinds that take all the light out. Everything that someone needs, no extra services included but at a great price.”
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Optional bolt-ons include access to that remote control for £5; Wifi is £10 for three days, and room cleaning will cost £10 if you’re staying for more than one night.
The building is known locally as The Flat Iron because of its unique shape, and it was estimated that the total cost of the purchase and conversion of the building was £6m.
With the success of their first Manchester branch, there could be room for more easyHotels in the city.
“Certainly we’ll be looking for more opportunities in Manchester,” says Guy.
“The next hotel is Liverpool and after that it will probably be reading but after that there are certainly other opportunities.”
EasyHotel is currently open under a ‘soft launch’, and will officially launch on June 20. For more information visit bookings.easyhotel.com .