Yotel’s debut hotel in Saudi Arabia will feature robots and SmartBeds that convert to sofas at the touch of a button. Olivia Palamountain reports

“Challenging the status quo” is at the heart of Yotel brand DNA. It’s perhaps fitting, therefore, that the hotel chain’s latest venture will open in Oxagon, a floating industrial city looking to define 
sustainable urban living in Neom, Saudia Arabia (read Globetrender’s full report on this futuristic city here).

Slated to open its doors in 2025, Yotel will be the first hotel property to open in Oxagon, housed at the heart of the integrated live-work-play Research and Innovation (R&I) district.OxagonThe 300-room hotel will showcase the fully integrated technologies Yotel is known for, including the brand’s signature robotic concierge and motorized SmartBeds.

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.

“Oxagon’s hotel strategy is built around several pillars including technology – key for integration within a wider smart-city infrastructure,” says Vishal Wanchoo, CEO of Oxagon. Adding: “After a competitive selection process, Yotel was the clear hotel brand of choice for the district, given our shared ambitions to focus on people-centric design, circularity and digital advancements.”

Chris Newman, executive director of hotel development at Neom, says: “Yotel’s decision to open their property in Neom’s Oxagon is a powerful endorsement of our ambition to redefine how people travel, stay and live. When complete, it will serve as the ideal home for modern travellers in search of thoughtfully curated and designed spaces, and we look forward to welcoming them.”

Strategically located on Neom’s Red Sea coast, Oxagon is reimagining the traditional industrial city by developing multiple thriving residential and business communities.

Hubert Viriot, CEO of Yotel, says: “Oxagon’s ambition to house hospitality assets where innovative design, sustainability and technologies converge, echoes our core values at Yotel.

“We understand that the nonstop 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.”

Yotel has a portfolio of three brands: Yotel, YotelPad and YotelAir, and operates 14 city centre hotels in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Miami, Singapore, Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Porto, Glasgow, Manchester and Park City, and six airport hotels in London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport, and Singapore Changi.

The opening  in Saudi Arabia signifies Yotel’s ambition to grow both management and franchised projects in the Middle East region, as part of its larger strategy to reach 50 hotels by 2025.