Written by Jamie, Fashion/Style Editor
August 13, 2015
The last several years have seen a fair share of travel and hospitality trends. From the AirBnB travel community concept to timeshare sharing sites to hotels that are popular bar/dining spots (Avenue Suites' A Bar and Kitchen, W Hotel DC, The Graham Georgetown) , travelers are always looking for innovative ways to get the most out of their business or personal travel experiences. Enter Modus Hotels’ POD “micro-hotel” concept, already a success in New York City, which aims to mix innovative design with affordability for travelers wishing to stay in the heart of the cities they are visiting.
We spoke to Aaron Katz, CEO & President of Modus Hotels to learn more about the POD Hotel concept, as well as exciting trends in the hotel and micro-hotel industry! The first POD hotel in DC is scheduled to open fall of 2016 in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. It may be a little ways to go until opening, but we’re ready!
Q: How did the idea for the POD hotel concept come about? Some background on the POD concept development?
Aaron Katz: If you look across the various real estate classes, you will notice that spaces have shrunk across the board. This is true of apartments, office buildings, and the like. One thing driving this trend is the desire for more collaborative interaction between people, who are seeking places to connect and build community. In hotels, condensed rooms favor more dynamic and vibrant public space.
Q: What inspired the choice to bring the POD hotel to DC and Penn Quarter neighborhood, in particular?
AK: We were inspired by a great relationship with Richard Born who has two PODs in New York and more under development. We think DC is ready for a new concept, both The Hive in the West End and the POD DC will be the first micro concepts to hit the market, we anticipate more to follow. Penn Quarter is a vibrant neighborhood, with great access to public transportation with Metro and Union Station access as well as the Verizon Center with all aspects of lifestyle in this area. The neighborhood is not overrun with hotels and can certainly support and welcome this concept.
Q What can travelers expect with the POD hotel experience? In contrast to other hotel experiences?
AK: Guests of the POD DC can expect the same level of service from this hotel as other Modus Hotels. This is the new generation of affordable hotels, without the excessive and unnecessary. It’s about surprising details, intelligent design and being connected, all on a budget. POD Hotels was created for savvy travelers who wish to seek and explore the city, wander around and become part of the city and want to stay in the heart of the city.
Q: What trends are you seeing in the lifestyle hotel sector? Trends within the micro-hotel industry?
AK: We see a shift in the overall guest experience where people want to be in spaces together, our efforts are on ensuring we are delivering a great experience that guests will share with others. People love to share unique experiences. Social media (Facebook and Instagram) have made it easy for folks to do this. The new generation of traveler define their lifestyles in situations that represent who they are and they like to share this with others. At Modus, the way we deliver on this is to connect guests with the city and the neighborhood, deliver them an authentic and real experience, surprise and delight them by personalizing their experience and interacting with them, while they explore a new city.
Q: Talk a bit about Modus' future plans in the DC area (e.g. more POD hotels)?
AK: Once the Pod DC and The Hive get stabilized, we expect to open more hotels that meet this concept. We have several sites identified but nothing we are ready to reveal just yet.