235 | Lodging Leaders Spotlight: Yotel a tech-forward brand worth watching


Taco Bell made headlines when it opened a 70-room pop-up hotel in August in Palm Springs, California.

It was a marketing scheme that lasted four days.

The day The Bell Hotel began to accept reservations, it sold out in two minutes.

The guaranteed novelty of staying in a Taco Bell hotel obviously paid off for the company, but it’s not the only fast food business that has ventured into the hotel space.

Ten years ago, Simon Woodroffe, founded YO! Sushi, which delivers food on a conveyor belt and has robots that deliver drinks. Woodroffe went on to use his technology and design prowess to co-create Yotel hotels with Gerard Greene.

Yotel began with technology-enabled sleeping cabins at airports.

Today, Yotel Hotels & Resorts is a sustainable hospitality company that recently launched an ambitious plan to expand its presence around the world.

In this episode we talk with Hubert Viriot, CEO of Yotel Hotels & Resorts for the past five years, about the company’s growth strategy.

Also featured is Christopher Grey, chief technology officer at Intelity, which recently teamed up with Yotel to scale its innovative, tech-forward guest-services platform.

And we include some audio clips of Woodroffe talking about the early vision for Yotel.

Resources and Links

  • 329 | Ruff and Ready: ADA gives hotels a short leash when accommodating guests with service animals

    Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.

  • 328 | Curb Appeal: Hotels’ refreshed images designed to attract road trippers

    Nearly 48 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, predicts AAA. Most of them will drive and many of them plan to stay in hotels. What makes a travel consumer choose your hotel? Price can be a factor but so can the story the property tells through its online photos and its real-life curb appeal. First impressions of a hotel set the tone for the guest’s entire stay. Its roadside image is more important than ever as the lodging industry this summer hangs its hopes on a comeback driven by domestic travelers. Lodging Leaders podcast explores the importance of a hotel’s curb appeal as hoteliers think of ways to attract travelers seeking safety and assurance as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

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