Travel | September 28, 2016 9:00 am

Hotel Chain Claims to Have Reinvented the Hotel … By Building Hostels

"Disruptive experience" to involve shared rooms, showers

How do you sell a hostel without dirtying your mouth with the word “hostel”?

If you’re AccorHotels — the French brand that operates hotels like Sofitel and Novotel in 95 countries — you say you’ve devised a “totally reinvented and disruptive experience in terms of design approach, catering, service, and customer journey.” Because it’s 2016, hostels are dirty, and the kids are lining up to co-everything. It’s the sharing (hotel shampoo) economy, y’all. 

With their new concept Jo&Joe, Accor is undoubtedly mimicking the success of Generator Hostels, which has launched hostels in Paris, London, Stockholm and other equally expensive European cities. You may be sharing a room, but Generator makes it possible to stay on London’s tony Tavistock Square for around $25 a night. That’s made it a success with economy-minded travelers. 

Each Jo&Joe location will share certain features: proximity to the city center, shared kitchen spaces, a bar and both shared and private accommodations, as well as an app that Accor is saying will act as a “social accelerator.” (We’re imagining a hotel-based Tinder.) 

If you’re looking for a cheap room in either Paris or Bordeaux, hometowns of the first two Jo&Joes, you’ll have to wait — neither will open until 2018. Until then, you’ll have to make due with the category-leading Generator, or, of course, your standard Airbnb. You’ll have to accelerate your social life all by yourself, unfortunately.

For images of the hostels to come, see below.