Sinclair Beecham, co-founder of the Pret A Manger sandwich shop chain, is to open a luxury budget hotel in London's trendy Hoxton-Shoreditch area in September.
The 205-bedroom Hoxton hotel in Willow Street aims to plug a perceived gap in the middle market for an affordable, good-value budget hotel. If successful, it will be the first of a planned chain.
All bedrooms will carry the same rate per night, which is likely to average £99 including VAT and breakfast.
The Hoxton will also provide free internet access to guests and non-guests alike. "You don't pay for bath water any more so why should you pay for access to the net, which is now a basic need," said Beecham.
He also promised the hotel would abandon practices that "hotels have got away with for too long", such as minibars charging £2.50 for a Mars bar.
The hotel's founders are in talks with a third party to operate the hotel's 110-seat restaurant and bar.
Beecham's partners in the hotel include Kurt Bredenbeck, Michael Brooker (former managing director of Oriel Leisure) and Stephen McLeod.
By Angela Frewin