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Southern Grove reveals details of £5m Sheffield autonomous hotel concept

Developer Southern Grove has revealed the details of its first autonomous city-centre apartment hotel.

The £5m scheme represents a new hospitality concept for short-term city lets, featuring hands-off self-contained apartments, let under Southern Grove’s hospitality division.

The development in Garden Street, Sheffield, is an offshoot of a student accommodation scheme built on the same site by sister company Future Generation.

This is believed to be the first development of its kind in Sheffield, and will be constructed behind the red-brick façade of an old workshop, which is being retained and restored.

Southern Grove will begin tendering for a construction contractor next month.

Andrew Southern, chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, said: “The irony of unveiling an apartment block, half way through a pandemic, where guests don’t have to see anyone else hasn’t escaped us.

“Clearly social distancing wasn’t what we had in mind when we conceived of The Workshops, but these units do operate almost independently.

“They are completely self-contained and can be accessed by guests without any human interaction.

“The lower staffing costs are a deliberate strategy. Guests get a premium product at a price they’re not expecting.

“A lot of people realise they pay a hefty fee to stay in city-centre hotels and are aware that much of that cash is being used to pay staff when they barely spend any time there.

“Steel City Phase 3 has no staff and the only other visitors, besides guests, will be the cleaners who reset the apartments between stays.

“We think this is part of a bigger trend towards better value accommodation where money isn’t wasted on things guests don’t value.”

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