Premier Inn launches hi-tech hotel controlled by app

The UK's largest hotel group has announced their concept for a new breed of high-tech city centre hotel rooms focusing on cheap, small rooms in popular locations.

Whitbread is due to open its first "hub by Premier Inn" in St Martin's Lane in the West End in summer 2014.

High-tech hotel add-ons and hotel apps for phones are nothing new nowadays but Whitbread's concept involves installing hub apps to allow customers to book, check-in and pre-select a room online and to adjust lights and temperature, change television channels and even order breakfast with one tap of a smartphone.

According to The Guardian, the hubs will be compact and contemporary with "excellent connectivity that will offer good value for money and appeal to customers who value price, location and design over space".

Hub rooms are set to work out around 30 per cent cheaper than Premier Inn rates, with an average room rate in central London below £100 and starting prices and off-peak rates likely to be around £60.

Whitbread is aiming to have around 40 "hub by Premier Inn" hotels opened by 2018, with a total of 6,000 rooms and has confirmed that they will open in four further locations throughout central London in 2015 and 2016 - in Goodge Street, Great Tower Street, Spitalfields and King's Cross - and the company is also planning hub hotels for Edinburgh and other cities.

Andy Harrison, the Whitbread chief executive, said: "We have 6% of the central London market at the moment so we think we've got a lot to go for."

So what will your money get you?
The 11.4sq metre rooms are expected to feature all teh mod cons you'd expect from a modern city hotel as well as the built in hub app.

They will each have a desk that folds into the bed, luggage storage beneath the bed, an en suite bathroom with power shower, free Wi-Fi and a 40-inch smart screen television, which can be controlled by the app hub.

Although the hub rooms will provide plenty of tech value for money, they aren't the most technologically advanced hotel rooms by a long a shot.

The Peninsula hotel in Tokyo, Japan features lazy bedside bonuses like nail polish dryers, a remote control for the curtains and an automatic mute setting on the TV that is activated when the room phone rings. If you thought that was tech-heavy, Times Square's Hotel is home of the world's only robotic luggage concierge.

Will you be booking a stay in one of Whitbread's new hub hotels or is all this tech just too much for a relaxing stay?

If you're more into luxury than technology, have a look inside the world's seven star hotels.

The world's seven-star hotels
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Premier Inn launches hi-tech hotel controlled by app

Designed by world-famous architect C.Y. Lee, Pangu 7 Star Hotel has labelled itself as a 'luxury seven-star hotel' offering breathtaking views of Beijing's Olympic Park, deluxe restaurants, lavish residences and opulent Sky Courtyards. The hotel resembles the form of the most powerful animal in the Chinese zodiac - the dragon. The interiors combine Chinese classical tradition and contemporary European glamour, with rare Italian marble and hand-embroidered silk wallpaper.

Ask anyone to name a seven-star hotel and they'll probably say the Burj Al Arab, for this legendary and symbolic hotel in Dubai is consistently voted the world's most luxurious hotel and the first seven-star hotel. Burj Al Arab is an all-suite hotel boasting discreet in-suite check-in, a brigade of highly trained butlers, a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce for guests and a helipad for those wanting to make a stylish arrival. The most lavish suite is the two-bedroom Royal Suite with opulent interiors, majestic colours and sumptuous furniture.

When hotelier Alessandro Rosso decided to open a new hotel in Milan, he didn't just want to create the best hotel in town. He wanted to open a hotel so good that it needed a whole new rating system. Seven Stars Galleria is said to be Europe's only seven-star hotel offering just seven suites with 24-hour butler service, a private entrance inside a narrow courtyard and meals designed specifically for you. The hotel will find out everything you like before you arrive - how you like your pillows, music preferences and the type of bed you want. It is known as the 'seventh heaven' and for shopaholics it's shopping heaven as a lift will take them to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy's oldest shopping mall.

It's no surprise that the most expensive hotel ever built has seven-star status and Emirates Palace is the place to find out what makes a seven-star hotel. It cost an estimated three billion US dollars to build and features a 1.3km private beach, 394 rooms and suites, 128 kitchens and 114 domes. Marble used in the hotel was imported from 13 countries and 5kg of pure edible gold is used per year for decorating desserts. Impressed? Emirates Palace also has 12 outdoor fountains, 1002 chandeliers, two huge wall carpets from Thailand weighing a tonne each and a gold vending machine!

This futuristic hotel in Dubai is still under design but is set to be another seven-star hotel in the glamorous city. Architects of Apeiron, Sybarite say arrival to the hotel will be by air or sea and some of its facilities will include an exclusive spa, a restaurant with panoramic underwater views and a butterfly jungle with tropical plants and exotic butterflies. There will also be Michelin-starred dining spots, private clubs and luxury boutiques in Apeiron, which means infinity, and the hotel on its own island could be the Burj Al Arab's biggest rival!

The new Shangri-La Hotel in Istanbul is set to open in spring 2013 and local media have tipped it to be Turkey's first seven-star hotel. Although Shangri-La hasn't given itself seven-star status, it has said the hotel on the coast of the Bosphorus Strait which has been built on the site of a former tobacco factory from the 1930s will consist of 14 storeys, of which seven will be underground. There will be 186 rooms and several restaurants and bars including a rooftop restaurant with views of the city's skyline.

Taj Falaknuma Palace was built in 1884 and was the home of the seventh Nizam, the world's richest man in his heyday. The hotel has been labelled by local media as India's only seven-star hotel and is reportedly the grandest of all the palaces in the country. Falaknuma Palace translates as 'the heavenly abode' and inside the magnificent Hyderabad palace, there are 60 rooms with original features, priceless furnishings including Belgian Osler Chandeliers, English furniture and stained glass windows, and the library with its walnut-carved roof, which is a replica of that in Windsor Castle.

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