The Pod 39 will have a contemporary marquee and lobby with vibrant colors and both classic and natural materials, like poured terrazzo, along with walls of red glazed brick and slatted hickory wood, Ms. Guilford said. There will be a ground-floor restaurant serving snacks and a spacious lounge with a library, pool table, table tennis table, bar and fireplace. The restaurant and lounge are not scheduled to open until late July.
In total, Pod 39 will have about 4,500 square feet of communal space, Mr. Born said. “When we built the original Pod Hotel,” he said, “we had a nice communal lobby and garden, but we realized it was just too small for the capacity. In every corner was somebody sitting cross-legged with a backpack and laptop.”
The original Pod Hotel, which has a 93 percent occupancy and net profits in excess of $100 a square foot, is expanding its communal space after acquiring 2,500 square feet from a restaurant that closed, Mr. Born said. One of the reasons the developers favored the Allerton building was its ample common space, and future Pod Hotels will emphasize the communal aspect.
“We’ve learned that our customer really wants to be out of their room in a public environment with other hotel guests,” Mr. Born said.
The Pod Hotel’s principals also had another epiphany: rooms with two single beds are more valuable than those with a queen bed, said David Bernstein, a managing director of the Pod Hotels. Both hotels have bunk beds.
“We found out that people prefer bunk beds over sleeping side-by-side with a friend or business partner,” he said. “And the demand for rooms with two beds far exceeds the availability in this city. I believe we’re going to price higher for a room with two beds and a private bathroom than we will for those with one double bed.”
Rates at the Pod Hotel range from about $100 to $200 a night, depending on the season.
At the Yotel, 170-square-foot rooms start at $149 a night and have had an average daily rate of $200 since it opened, said Gerard Greene, the chief executive of Yotel. The hotel has high-tech features meant to keep prices low and customers happy like automated check-in kiosks and a “Yobot,” or robotic luggage concierge.
“Our inspiration was the Japanese capsule hotels, British Airways first class, budget hotels and also five-star design hotels,” Mr. Greene said. “We tried to marry all four to get a luxury product at an affordable price, and the thing that gave was really the space. If we could take up less space, we’d pay less for the land, which means we could spend a little more on the fit-out of the room.”
The Yotel in Manhattan, the first of the chain’s “city center” hotels, has some 20,000 square feet of food and beverage areas, including a bar, a restaurant, a lounge and an expansive terrace. Mr. Greene said it had been at 80 percent occupancy its first 11 months with a gross operating profit of 50 percent.
But future Yotels will have less space devoted to food and beverage service and common areas.
“In Boston and Chicago,” he said, “it will be 300 to 400 rooms and just the club lounge element, where people hang out and work and get snacks.”