fb-pixel Skip to main content

Yotel, the London hotel chain specializing in tiny, low-cost rooms, is pushing ahead with plans to open in South Boston’s waterfront district in 2017 after a state court dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block construction on the site.

The 326-room hotel, part of the Seaport Square project being developed by John B. Hynes III, will feature rooms — called “cabins”— as small as 176 square feet, about half the size of a standard room. Yotel, which first said it would come to Boston last year, had delayed scheduling an opening until a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court against Hynes’ company, Boston Global Investors LLC, was resolved.


The owner of the adjacent property, Waltham developer Crosspoint Associates Inc., said in the suit that construction would have interfered with an easement it holds on the Hynes property. The initial lawsuit was dismissed in November and dismissed again on appeal last month.

Boston is one of four US locations — the others are San Francisco, Miami, and Brooklyn — where Yotel plans to launch hotels over the next two years. Construction of the 11-story Boston Yotel is expected to begin next month.

Jason Brown, Yotel’s chief development officer, said the Boston outpost would be familiar to people who have stayed at Yotel locations in London, Amsterdam, or New York. From self-service kiosks that reduce check-in times and beds with computer cables and international power outlets built into their frames, the hotel aims to appeal to corporate travelers and the tech set that populates the South Boston waterfront, Brown said.

“We’re not just shooting for the millennial like everybody else,” Brown said. “We’re trying to simplify the entire hotel experience.”

Yotel has not set its Boston rates yet, but the company said that in New York its rooms rent for an average of about $200 a night, less than the cost of many hotels in Manhattan, where rooms can easily go for more than $300 a night. About 10 percent of the rooms in Boston will be designated “first class” cabins, which will range from 200 square feet to 250 square feet, Brown said.


Yotel worked with the Illinois mattress company Serta Inc. to develop a “smart bed” that folds up into a couch at the touch of a button and allows travelers to hook laptops to the flatscreen TV to stream their favorite shows and movies.

The ground level will feature a reception area that will enable travelers to check-in, receive their keycard, and drop off their baggage in as little as five minutes, either through the self-serve kiosk or help from an employee, Brown said.

When the Seaport Square, a project estimated at about $3 billion, is completed near the end of this decade, the hotel will be situated among apartments, offices, retailers, and open space planned for the 6.3 million-square-foot development, which broke ground late last year. At least three other hotels are being built in the area, but their rooms and amenities are more similar to industry standards.

Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.