FOXTROTSFox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 

2006 September 10


Easy: Bottom’s up? 

The Easy Group, one of the companies behind the successful Easyjet low-fare airline, has opened its first Easy Hotel. Unfortunately, because it has been promoting the Easy Hotel name for some time – but as a retailer with merchant rates at selected hotels – take off of its own-brand hotels may be slowed. 


Then again, the product will likely attract a lot of attention in the marketplace. The new Easy Hotel in
London is owned and operated by the group; a second, franchised, is due this September, in
Basle, Switzerland, an Easyjet base.


I like the description of its
London hotel rooms – small, very small, and tiny – if only as a counter to the absurd position in the rest of the hotel world, where a standard room is defined ‘superior’.


Rooms in
London are indeed small (6-7sqm; yes, really), with lowest advance-booking rates near US$40 including tax – but not including service charge (which comes in the form of a US$20 charge for cleaning the room at the end of the stay). Only three of the 34 rooms have windows.


I have no problem with some of these concepts – such as size and windows. But the room cleaning system is bad, because the guest has no choice – so it is really a partly-hidden extra. Not like on Easyjet, where you can buy your food inflight, or bring your own.  


Using a phrase over-used by low-fare airline management, Easy’s
London hotel prices are a rip-off. Accor’s budget brands have rates in
Paris lower than Easy in
London. Its rooms are three times larger, they sleep at least three, TV is free (Easy charges), and they have windows – three-three-free?


Proposed rates for Easy’s
Basle hotel – under US$20 – would be fairer for
London. But London’s rates should be US$10/room for advance booking – say up to two months – going up to its full rate, around US$65 for late booking or peak periods, although that also looks high. And as with low-fare airlines, name and date changes should be allowed, but charged, with rates available at the time of change.