For the 50+ Traveler

They’re cute and cozy -- and sometimes simultaneously sleek and austere. Some boast five-star amenities while others don’t even have a check-in counter. There’s no one way to describe a micro hotel or “microtel” except to say that they are small on size and big on personality. And I mean really small!

Most micro hotel rooms are under 200 square feet, and some are less than 100 square feet. I’ve stayed in several, and I love this trend, which focuses on substance and style, not size. Here’s what you need to know.

A micro-hotel room at Arlo SoHo.

What Are the Benefits Of A Micro Hotel?

Micro hotels are a great option for anyone who needs to spend the night next to an airport thanks to an early flight. You’ll have a comfortable, convenient room -- and no superfluous space. Even if you don’t need to spend the night, an airport-adjacent micro hotel is perfect for a daytime layover. You can grab a nap, take a hot shower, and safely store your bags while you explore.

Speaking of brief visits, micro hotels are the perfect solution for anyone who’s barely going to be in their room. From conference participants to busy tourists, a micro hotel is a good balance between comfort, amenities, and affordability for anyone who just needs a clean, cozy bed.

Micro hotels provide a welcome boost of privacy for budget travelers who are used to communal accommodations. If your usual travel digs include hostels or shared Airbnb spaces, a micro hotel room may actually be much more personal space than you’re used to. And, for once, you’re the one in control of the lights, the temperature, and the television remote!

Believe it or not, many micro hotels have more storage and business solutions than a regular-sized hotel room. You won’t be frantically searching for a place to charge your phone, plug in your computer, or store your bag. Micro hotels are all about smart design, crafty storage, and user experience.

Best of all, micro hotels are affordable! Sometimes they can cost as little as half the price of a regularly sized hotel room. It’s hard to ignore a deal that great.

A micro hotel room at The Hoxton in Holborn.

What Are the Drawbacks Of A Micro Hotel?

Some micro hotel rooms aren’t a good fit for claustrophobic travelers. While most are bright and airy, there are certainly some exceptions. I’ve made the mistake before of choosing the cheapest available room, which turned out to be on the lower level. That’s code for having no windows! Yikes! While I was proud of my frugality, I really missed having a view. They’re not that bad for one night but, in general, I think big, bright windows are the way to go.

However, the most challenging aspect of a micro hotel room is sharing it! Having done several micro hotel stays with my husband, I would recommend splurging on a slightly larger room if possible. Many micro hotels have a range of room sizes. A little extra space goes a long way. I’d also suggest making sure the property has a comfortable lounge or bar so you can spend a bit of time apart if needed.

A micro-hotel room at The Jane.

Examples Of Highly Reviewed Micro Hotels

What started off as a venture for space-efficient, convenient accommodations by airports has developed into a full-blown global trend. Micro hotels are in the hottest neighborhoods and the biggest cities. More and more major chains are getting in on the game, guaranteeing we’ll be seeing more of them in the future. These are five hot micro hotels to check out.

Arlo Hotels: New York City

With a hip rooftop terrace, a coffee shop vibe in the lobby, and a free bike loan program, Arlo Hotels are fun and cool. And they’re also flexible for different kinds of travelers. The biggest of their micro rooms actually includes a balcony. And the tiniest rooms? They’re no wider than the bed!

Citizen M: Amsterdam And Elsewhere

This Amsterdam-born chain, with locations in Boston, Seattle, London, New York, and elsewhere, is super sleek, chic, and minimal. Guests check themselves in and out at automated kiosks, and all rooms are the same size and price for easy booking.

View from a micro hotel room at Citizen M.

The Jane Hotel: New York City

A micro-hotel before anyone ever coined the term, the ultra-affordable Jane Hotel has narrow, unique rooms that resemble a ship’s cabin. The smallest rooms are just 50 square feet! The Jane’s building is full of history. For instance, survivors of the Titanic disaster called this hotel home, and surviving crew members held a memorial service here four days after the iconic ship sank.

The Moxy Hotel: Milan And Elsewhere

Part of the Marriot brand, Moxy hotels are styled with an artistic, colorful touch. There are now Moxy locations all over the United States and Europe, and the brand is expanding into Asia. Rooms range from 150 to 350 square feet. When I stayed at the Moxy at the Milan airport, I was impressed by the room’s clever layout and comfy bed, not to mention the property’s great staff.

The Hoxton: Paris And Elsewhere

With herringbone wood floors, copper fixtures, and sumptuous fabrics like velvet curtains, the Hoxton’s petite hotel rooms embody Parisian chic at budget-friendly prices.

Considering a hotel versus Airbnb? Here’s where to stay in Paris.

A micro hotel room at The Houxton in Paris.

Try A Micro Hotel On Your Next Trip

How do you know if a micro hotel is right for you? There’s only one way to find out! I recommend giving one a try the next time you have a layover or a short overnight city stay. You’ll get a taste for what micro hotels are all about -- and I predict you’ll be the next one singing their praises.