Hilton to go boutique?

6 Jan 2009 by Mark Caswell

Rumours are rife
that Hilton will announce at least one new brand this year, with the favourites
being a boutique offering and a further mid-market concept.

Internet forum
chatter suggests Hilton will make an announcement at ALIS (Americas Lodging
Investment Summit), which coincidentally is being held at the Hilton San Diego
Bayfront from January 26-28.

The conference is
traditionally an occasion for hotel groups to announce new brands, with last
year’s event seeing the official unveiling of Edition Hotels, a boutique
concept being jointly developed by Marriott and Ian Schrager.

It was originally
thought that Hilton would use the ALIS platform to announce its boutique
offering, but this may now not happen until later in the year, possibly at the
Berlin Investment Conference in March. This could leave an opportunity to
unveil a mid-market brand to sit alongside its Garden Inn offering, which made
its debut in the UK last summer (see online news August 5, 2007).

If the rumours
are true, Hilton would be following rivals such as Starwood and IHG into the
increasingly popular boutique market. Starwood has established the W Hotels
brand in the US, and is gradually expanding worldwide (with properties currently due in
both London and Manchester in 2010), while IHG will officially unveil its first
Indigo hotel outside the US later this month, with the opening of the Indigo London Paddington.

What would you
like to see from a boutique Hilton concept, and what do you think the brand
should be called? Leave your comments below, or visit our forum to have your


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