Hilton Worldwide has today confirmed plans to roll out a new “lifestyle” hotel chain, to be called Canopy by Hilton in 2015.
The hotel group is aiming the brand at a wider audience with lower room rates than some of its direct competitors.
“Built on extensive market research, our Canopy by Hilton brand delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience,” said chief executive Christopher J Nassetta. “We identified the need to take the emphasis off capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energising, comfortable stay with more included value.”
Four main elements will define the concept:
• The hotels will be located in neighbourhoods, with an emphasis on creating a local feel through design, food, art and service – and no two hotels will be the same
• The design emphasis will be on an open, welcoming lobby and comfortable rooms
• Added value means breakfast and basic Wi-Fi is included and there will be local wine and beer tasting evenings
• A one-stop approach to front-of-house service
There will also be a focus on new technology, enabling guests to check-in using a mobile phone which can then double as a room key.
“The demands and preferences of today’s travellers continue to evolve and Canopy by Hilton creates something new for consumers in the lifestyle space,” said executive vice-president global brands Jim Holthouser. “It will deliver more choice and control then ever before, from a mobile straight-to-room arrival to surprising extras throughout each stay.”
Canopy by Hilton will focus on major and medium-sized cities and already has commitments from hotel owners or developers in 11 locations including London, Washington, Miami, and Nashville. It expects to begin opening properties next year, with a target of 100 hotels open or in the pipeline within five years.
Hilton put its lifestyle brand on hold after a 2010 legal settlement with Starwood Hotels & Resports Worldwide, which alleged that Hilton stole sensitive documents related to developing a lifestyle brand. As part of the settlement, the business was prohibited from entering the lifestyle sector of the market for two years, although Hilton did not admit wrongdoing.