A new hotel is like WeWork combined with Airbnb — take a look inside

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A Zoku room.
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Bill Tanaka

People who travel for business or work remotely are increasingly seeking out spaces that feel like a hybrid between a home and office.

That’s why a new kind of hotel, called the Zoku, packs in everything you need to work and socialize into 270 square feet. Think of it as a combination between Airbnb and a WeWork coworking space.

The first Zoku micro-loft hotel opened in Amsterdam in June 2016, and co-founder Hans Meyer now tells Business Insider that the model will soon expand internationally.

Within the next 10 years, the team plans to open 50 Zoku locations around the world, with the first ones coming to the US by 2018. The exact locations aren’t determined yet, but Zoku is currently talking with developers in New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle. By 2020, the company also plans to launch two locations in Paris.

The micro-lofts start at $123 a night. Take a look inside.


Zoku is a Japanese word meaning “family, tribe, or clan.”

source
Bill Tanaka

The hybrid loft is designed for young entrepreneurs — Meyer refers to them as “global nomads” — who work across time zones.

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Wouter Huibers

While hotel rooms usually center around the bed, Zoku’s lofts center around a wooden table that seats four. “People can have a business meeting there or have a cappuccino with friends — they can really make it theirs,” Meyer says.

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Wouter Huibers

The living room features a sofa, coffee table, flat-screen TV, and even a pair of rings to do pull-ups.

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Wouter Huibers

Next to the living space, there’s a kitchen decked out with a kettle, mitts, and pots.

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Wouter Huibers

The micro-loft features a bunch of space-saving fixtures, like a stairwell that slides out, leading to a king-sized futon behind wooden screens. Storage space and a desk alcove are tucked under the lofted bedroom.


Zoku’s Amsterdam building contains 133 lofts. The hotel also offers communal areas for sharing meals, co-working, reading, or hanging out.

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Wouter Huibers

Zoku’s design won the 2015 Radical Innovation Award, a contest that searches for innovative hotel concepts. Zoku beat out 50 other submissions from 28 countries.

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Bill Tanaka

John Hardy, who sits on the Award’s jury, says the loft embodies the future of hotels. In the years ahead, guests won’t work 9 to 5, Hardy says, but whenever they want. They’ll need spaces that allow them to do that.

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Wouter Huibers

“The way we live now — There’s no separation between work and leisure,” Meyer says. “They don’t want to end up in a boring hotel and office space, but informal, open atmospheres.”

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Wouter Huibers