By ANTHONY PASCALE
January 19, 2022 10:45 AM
NEW YORK — At a recent celebration, Hilton cut the ribbon on its new Motto hotel on West 24th Street in Chelsea.
The opening of the hotel comes at a time when the industry hasn’t had much to celebrate. The hotel features 374 rooms geared toward travelers who don’t plan to spend much time or money at the hotel.
“So really, we’re going after the urban explorer. Travelers who understand the tradeoff for what the Motto is all about,” said Tripp McLaughlin, the global head of Motto by Hilton. “A small, more efficient room, activated social spaces, so you’re spending a little bit less on your stay, so you can go explore and spend money outside the hotel.”
The standard room at Motto is about 160 square feet. That’s about half the size of a typical hotel room. Rates start as low as $150 per night. Some rooms have bunk beds, while others have beds that fold down from the wall.
The hotel also features a rare triple connecting room, with three separate rooms that connect into one large suite.
Downstairs, there is a large common area for people who want to spread out and work, along with a full-service restaurant and bar, with space for live entertainment.
General Manager Bassim Ouachani admits opening a new hotel in the middle of a pandemic isn’t ideal, but it is proof they’re optimistic about the future. While hotel occupancy rates in the city remain well below pre-pandemic levels, they rebounded late last year.
Omicron now poses new challenges, but Ouachani sees it as a temporary bump in the road.
“Hopefully with this pandemic ending by this year, everything will just spike up by Q4 of 2022,” Ouchani said.
The Hotel Association of New York City expects 40 new hotels to open in the city this year, with occupancy fully rebounding in 2024.
Meanwhile, Motto has plans to open another micro-hotel next year in Times Square.