When Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts merge (now more likely than ever with shareholder approval), the world’s largest hotel company will have a combined market presence spread across a staggering 30 different brands. How many of these will be left say, a decade after the merger, remains to be seen.
But there is no doubt that in the last decade both established chains and new entrants have introduced a wide range of hotel brands to the industry – and much greater choice to the traveller. From Canopy to Tommie and Tru to VENU, the list is long and varied. What’s more, the lag between announcement and delivery can be substantial.
To recap, we look at recent contestants that have marched onto the hotel stage: what they say they’re all about, where they’ve come from, and where they’re going. We’ve looked at millennial brands, and luxury, moving on to brands-that-aren’t-really-brands: collections.
Once dominated by Starwood’s Luxury Collection, and marketing alliances like Leading Hotels of the World at a push, collections and portfolios bring together a wide variety of different hotels.
What it’s all about: connecting ‘independently branded hotels with the strength of Hyatt’s resources and powerful customer loyalty program’… ‘from historic urban gems to striking new builds, these are distinctive upper-upscale to luxury properties where every stay is extraordinary’
Who’s it from: Hyatt
Where: Austin, Paris, Carmelo (Uruguay – the former Four Seasons), Miami Beach (what was Thompson Miami Beach). Kauai is under development
What you should know: the latest entry in the collection bracket, it gives Hyatt what it didn’t have before. Unbound is slightly different in that it will extend beyond hotels – think river cruises, vacation rentals, and other travel experiences. While Hotel du Louvre in Paris was meant to become Andaz Paris, that is now off the table. The acquisition of Thompson Miami Beach – and rebrand into The Confidante – shows how serious Hyatt is about Unbound
What it’s all about: ‘a collection of independent, remarkable hotels whose only unifying characteristic is their glorious individuality’
Who’s it from: Hilton
Where: 24 properties in total, predominantly in the US, with a few in Argentina, Germany, and Jamaica
What you should know: Unbound gave Hyatt a way of bringing hotels into its fold while keeping their individuality, Curio does the same for Hilton
What it’s all about: ‘there’s a power in independence’… ‘access to exceptional independent hotels around the world with all the rewards of Starwood Preferred Guest’
Who’s it from: Starwood
Where: nine hotels as of now, ranging from London and Palm Springs to Las Vegas (the SLS hotel) and Hokkaido
What you should know: the second collection from Starwood. If there is one brand that we could see disappear as a result of the merger it would be Tribute, given its overlap with Marriott’s Autograph Collection
What it’s all about: ‘a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities of the contemporary global traveller’
Who’s it from: Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Where: London, Edinburgh, Kuwait, Muscat
What you should know: a collection brand from Carlson Rezidor (also behind the more millennial Radisson Red, see news February 2014), Quorvus properties offer a ‘Q24’ service concept, built on six lifestyle elements: ‘wellness, replenishment and style encompassing the body; and inspiration, entertainment and connectivity to fulfil the needs of the mind’
What it’s all about: ‘a curated collection of intimate, original experiences’
Who’s it from: Loews Hotels
Where: nowhere yet, Bisha Hotel & Residences (also a new brand) is under construction in Toronto
What you should know: there isn’t much to know yet, beyond the first project and the three pillars described on OE’s website as ‘allure, desire and strength’
What it’s all about: Louis T ‘believes in the adventure of travel, spirit of discovery, profound moments filled with simple everyday beauty… the timelessness of classic, culture of home, hospitality that is simple and humble as we take care of one another and the world we live in’
Who’s it from: the Louis Thomas Leonowens Company
Where: Koh Samui (Thailand) and Paris
What you should know: taking its first steps in the hotel world, Louis T. is starting with a Thai resort and a Parisian hotel – properties in Myanmar, Beijing, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hokkaido and Sydney are due over the next few years
Paul J DeVries