YOTEL makes regional announcement

YOTEL was conceived just over 15 years ago by non-hoteliers, with a mission to challenge the status quo of the hospitality industry – Hubert Viriot

YOTEL – a global hospitality brand known for challenging the status quo – has announced its first hotel signing in Saudi Arabia, scheduled to open in 2025. The YOTEL property will also be the first hotel to open in Oxagon, which will be the home of advanced and clean industries in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

We spoke to Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL, for more insight. “Oxagon’s ambition to house hospitality assets where innovative design, sustainability and technologies converge, echoes our core values at YOTEL. We understand that the Non-Stop traveller craves destinations that won’t slow them down, and Oxagon promises to be a unique destination where new tech-enabled hospitality experiences can be live-tested. It is an honour to be one of the first hotels to open within a city redefining industries through sustainable innovation.”

Featuring 300 rooms, the hotel will showcase YOTEL’s latest features including the brand’s signature robotic concierge, motorized SmartBeds, and fully integrated technologies which YOTEL is known for. Guests will have access to Komyuniti – the brand’s signature multi-functional dining and co-working space, a 24-hour fitness centre, a Grab-and-Go Café, and meeting spaces used to network and relax. The surrounding areas will be walkable and connected to nearby communities through advanced, active, micro and autonomous mobility solutions.

“YOTEL was conceived just over 15 years ago by non-hoteliers, with a mission to challenge the status quo of the hospitality industry. We took a completely different view as to what a hotel should be, why people stay there, what it should deliver in terms how it operates, in terms of experience, in terms of comfort and in terms of price.

“We haven’t revolutionised everything, don’t get me wrong,” he says, “but we tried things differently, not just for the sake of doing things differently, but simply because we thought it could be done differently and better, especially with a very fast changing customer base. 

“The way people travel has changed considerably over the past 20 to 30 years, much more rapidly than hotels have. People travel much more often, and the average length of stay has reduced a lot. Guests have access to endless amount of information about the destinations they travel to and stay at and therefore the mission of a hotel had to be adjusted to take this into consideration, to cater to those constantly moving customers.

“One thing hasn’t changed, however – location matters,” says Viriot.

YOTEL announced plans to expand to 35 hotels, most of which will focus on North America, and Western Europe. “We are now expanding beyond these markets with our first YOTEL in Neom, Saudi Arabia and also in Asia (Thailand, Japan and Malaysia).

“The Middle East is not a new region for us, our largest shareholder is from Kuwait, so this makes us familiar with the region,” he confirms.