Is this the end of the hotel room as we know it?

When new serviced accommodation brand ‘Zoku’ launched in May, the company predicted the end of the hotel room as we know it.

Zoku serviced apartment living space
Facilitating global living and working for the travelling professional, Zoku, which is Japanese for family, tribe, or clan, aims to disrupt and create a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, also suitable for long stays, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood.Designed in collaboration with Concrete, the award-winning interior design and architecture agency, Zoku says the units will be a relaxed place to live, work and socialise with like-minded people while getting wired into the city.

Hybrid-living meets compact-living: living large in a small space

As space is becoming scarcer in urban areas, the way we use it sustainably to meet long-term accommodation requirements is more and more relevant. Smart solutions that create the opportunity to use less square metres and facilitate 24/7, multifunctional use are needed. The Zoku Loft has been designed to combine hybrid-living (living and working) with compact-living, by creating a spacious experience in a minimum area of just 25 m2.

The end of the hotel room as we know it?

With the aim of offering both style and space consciousness, the Zoku Loft has customisable interiors that shift the focus from the bed to the living space. The central feature of the room will be a four-person table that can be used for work, dining and entertaining.The Zoku Loft also features a fully-equipped kitchen, cleverly designed extensive storage space, an alcove desk with office supplies, and an elevated, loft-style sleeping space, which can be accessed by a retractable staircase, and screened off to make the loft cosy, business-like or something in between. The loft will feature furnishings from Danish design brand Muuto. Zoku guests can also add a personal touch to their loft by choosing their own art.

Serving the new generation of business travellers, with a focus on well-being

The concept behind Zoku is the result of extensive crowdsourcing and research efforts by Zoku and futures consultancy The Future Laboratory."The merging of business and leisure – a trend we have identified as bleisure – represents one of the fastest growing and dynamic business opportunities in recent years. Today's business travellers are re-writing the rules. Their outlook on work and play demands new services and a new approach to the hospitality sectors. The business hub will be the opportunity of the next decade in terms of hospitality value creation," says Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Laboratory London."The advance of technology has changed personal and professional lifestyles. Boundaries between work and leisure are fading, and blurring borders have made people more mobile than ever," says Hans Meyer, Co-founder and managing director of Zoku."At Zoku we realise that your well-being is vital to get the most out of your travel experience. It's easy for global nomads, whose work forms an essential part of their lives, to feel ungrounded and disconnected from what inspires them. Zoku is going to change that. The Zoku Lofts offer an efficient work space without losing the comfortable, flexible vibe of home, while the Zoku community provides a social structure."

A thriving neighbourhood for global nomads

Encouraging social connections, Zoku will offer diverse social areas to facilitate effortless interaction between Zoku's residents, the local community and Zoku Community Managers. 24/7, open-plan communal living and co-working spaces will allow for conversations and small meetings, and a residential living kitchen will present the possibility to share a meal together or host small dinner parties.Zoku Community Managers will roam the public spaces, helping with personal requests and facilitating professional and social connections through their broad networks within Zoku and the city.Zoku also plans to develop a lively social programme with focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as an app, to build a strong in-house community and facilitate business connections and a local social life.

Zoku worldwide

"We are aiming for a fast international rollout of Zokus in the world's most creative cities," says Marc Jongerius, Co-founder and managing director of Zoku. "All this with the aim of creating an international community network of Zokus."The longer you stay, the more you get out of it. Zoku Lofts can be rented for just one night, and are ideal for those seeking a temporary living and working space from five5 nights up to several months, making it financially and culturally beneficial for guests to extend their stay at Zoku. The first Zoku property will open in Amsterdam's city centre, featuring 133 Zoku Lofts, and over 500 m2 of social space for its guests.Hans Meyer, Co-founder & Managing Director ZOKU will be discussing the critical role technology has played in the development of ZOKU at the ASAP 2015 Convention. Look out for more Re:locate coverage of the event on our website:
Don’t miss the Winter 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine which features more detailed coverage of the ASAP convention as well as extended reports on the serviced apartments sector in Canada, the new partnership between Frasers Hospitality and Mercedes Benz, the impact of ‘disruptive’ business models such as Airbnb and an overview of global demand.For more Re:locate news and features about serviced apartments, click here

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