University of Sheffield opens UK’s first hybrid hotel

The pioneering hotel, Jonas, sold over 4,000 rooms in its first two weeks, and looks set to continue its popularity

A groundbreaking UK hotel concept, created by the University of Sheffield, has proved a major success in its first weeks. The Jonas Hotel in Sheffield’s Endcliffe Student Village has sold over 4,000 rooms since opening on the 5th of August.

The unique venue, which houses students and regular hotel guests under one roof, has bookings into the New Year and is already sold out on two nights in autumn.

“Business has exceeded our expectations and endorses our belief that the introduction to the UK of a hybrid hotel model was long overdue,” commented general manager Andy Flowers.

“Bookings are coming from individuals and groups wanting the communal living, design features, and flexibility of stay which no other standard hotel or student accommodation in the UK currently offers.”

Rooms cost as little as £25 and include use of shared kitchens and social spaces – a gaming/cinema room, quirkily furnished lounges, study and meeting rooms, plus an indoor games room. A fleet of push-along scooters has even been provided for visitors.Since opening the hotel has hosted 65 match officials from the recent UDAN football tournament, and a team from The National Grid, sponsors of the Special Olympics recently staged in Sheffield, and has taken numerous bookings for its conference facilities from organisations across the SCR.

During October Jonas will host 22 Spanish students visiting Sheffield Hallam University and 30 Chinese guests from the Confucius Institute. In February, 20 students from Singapore will check in. “Jonas’s characterful environment is designed to bring people together in a co-living environment and foster understanding, entrepreneurialism and friendships,” Flowers added. “The Spanish students are here for 6 weeks; there are few other accommodation options for them for that length of time.” Tourists, visiting business people, academics and students alike can stay from one night to six months.

The 79-room hotel has been developed at a cost of £2million from the conversion of former 90s student residence Jonas Court. It was inspired by the Student Hotel in Amsterdam, a revolutionary concept pioneered by the Dutch capital’s private sector. The quirky interior design features locally-made and upcycled furniture, a graffiti wall, and Sheffield-centric artwork. 

Ian Jones, the university’s head of accommodation services, commented: “Jonas encourages a coming together of cultures, backgrounds, age and experience, which is the ethos of the University Of Sheffield. We believe no other UK university is utilising its accommodation in this way. Its introduction to the UK was long overdue and we are proud to be the pioneers.”

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