Budget: the new luxury...

Does budget still have a future or are we facing uniformity in the middle? HospitalityINSIDE asked this question. 

"Budget is not out. But budget is changing and is more and more becoming a serious competitor for the 3- to 4-star hotel industry", explains Chris-Norman Sauer, Head of Develpment of GBI AG.

While in the hotels business 4-star properties are coming under increasing pressure, the budget segment sees a healthy growth, a trend that has been observed by hotel developers for quite a time. Now the budget hotels are advancing into previous domains of the 4-star category by investing into very original, top-quality equipment of public areas of their properties. On the one hand, the once very clearly defined space differences have levelled off: While the budget hotels are expanding some of their areas, 4-star properties tend to reduce their space - mainly due to higher real estate prices.

At the same time, budget houses score with sophisticated concepts for the public areas, for example with gin bars or original restaurant ideas. They succeed in creating luxury in a small space: for example, Motel One plans to equip new hotels with marble floors, exclusive seating furniture and safes. High-quality beds and state-of-the-art technology are self-evident today in almost all houses of the budget category. Moreover, guests are less conscious of their social status than they used to - they rather pay more for an exceptional design of the hotel than, let’s say, for the ‘second waste bin’ in the room. However, even budget hotels are not without competition - while they are pushing upwards, hostel chains such as Generator advance from below with new challenging concepts. Mind, competition is good for business!

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