Startup firm Sleepbox opening pod hotel at Washington Dulles

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The Dulles Airport Nap Lounge will feature 16 sleepboxes in Terminal A.
The Dulles Airport Nap Lounge will feature 16 sleepboxes in Terminal A.

LOS ANGELES -- Micro-hotel startup Sleepbox is making its U.S. debut with the Sleepbox Nap Lounge, launching at Washington Dulles International Airport in the coming weeks. 

Sleepbox co-founder and CEO Mikhail Krymov announced the coming outpost at the Phocuswright Conference, where Sleepbox won the event's Award for Travel Innovation -- Emerging Category and the General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation. 

Phocuswright's General Catalyst Award winner is granted a $100,000 convertible bridge loan.

Billed as a modular standalone hotel room, Sleepbox offers a small, soundproof and private sleeping area. The company enables customers to find, book and unlock a Sleepbox via mobile app. Other app capabilities include light and temperature control.

Sleepbox has also built its own management system, which supports hourly bookings, among other time increments. 

"Together with hardware and software, we've basically created a new model where we can convert existing spaces into hotels," said Krymov. "What we're doing is bringing hospitality and hotel service directly to users where they are and where they want to be."

Sleepbox has done test runs in Europe, where room rates averaged around $110 to $180 a night.  

The company's business model targets two markets: cities and airports. Sleepbox's Dulles Airport Nap Lounge will feature 16 sleepboxes after security in Terminal A. Rooms will be booked by the hour. 

Krymov said that Sleepbox's city hotel concept appeals to "urban explorers" and focuses on converting existing office space into hotels, complete with semiprivate bathrooms, a reception area and common spaces. 

"An 8,000-square-foot office space can be converted into a 50-room hotel with a budget of less than a million dollars, and it can open within six months," said Krymov. "Our goal is to create a hotel that is not a golden cage, but a vehicle for adventure. So we provide space in the best locations and connect guests directly to each other and meaningful experiences." 

The target daily rate for Sleepbox's city hotels is around $100 per person, with a higher-priced queen-bed model available for couples.

Sleepbox plans to scale its city hotel brand via a franchise model. Both the airport and city hotels will be staffed 24/7 to offer security and prevent misuse. 

Sleepbox expects to open its first city hotel in Boston.

"We are interested in landmark locations like the Boston or Chicago waterfronts," explained Krymov. "Places where people want to be, but where it's expensive and supply doesn't match the demand."

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