By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor
Hilton Worldwide has launched its second new hotel brand in four months – Canopy by Hilton, a lifestyle brand aimed at leisure and business travelers seeking a local boutique experience in U.S. and international cities.
“The demands and preferences of today’s travelers continue to evolve, and Canopy by Hilton creates something new for consumers in the lifestyle space,” Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide, said in a news release. “Canopy by Hilton will deliver more choice and control for guests than ever before, from a mobile straight-to-room arrival to surprising extras throughout each stay.”
“We identified the need to take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energizing, comfortable stay with more included value,” said Christopher Nassetta, president & CEO, who unveiled the concept at Hilton Worldwide’s Global Partnership Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The new concept will feature hotels in key urban neighborhoods or secondary markets with comfortable and inviting designs in great neighborhoods and extra values like free basic Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast made with fresh, local ingredients to be eaten in the café or delivered to the rooms. The main floor will have an open design and transition from morning café to lunchtime bistro to an evening bar featuring local craft beers and wines.
The hotels will be a combination of new development and conversions and will begin opening in 2015. Hilton Worldwide expects to open about 100 Canopy by Hilton branded hotels within five years. The brand has already attracted strong interest from ownership groups including The Buccini/Pollin Group, KeyStone Corp., Anish Hotel Group, Baywood Hotels, North Point Hospitality Group, J Street Hospitality and Levine Properties, according to Hilton Worldwide.
Canopy by Hilton has 11 signed letters of intent to open in London and these U.S. neighborhoods: Canopy Portland, Pearl District; Canopy Miami, Brickell; Canopy Washington D.C./Bethesda North; Canopy San Diego, Gaslight Quarter; Canopy Nashville, Downtown; Canopy Savannah, Historic District; Canopy Indianapolis, City Centre; Canopy Charlotte, Uptown; and Canopy Oklahoma City, Bricktown.
One of the first announced Canopy by Hiltons will be a 177-room hotel located at Pike & Rose, an urban mixed-use development located near the White Flint Metro station in Rockville, Md., owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust. Set to open in 2016, the hotel will be built by a partnership between Federal Realty and The Buccini/Pollin Group. Pike & Rose will eventually have 450,000 square feet of retail, 1.1 million square feet of office space and 1,500 residential units along with the hotel.
“Hilton’s leadership and track record in building successful brands was the primary reason we wanted to be among the first to develop this new lifestyle brand,” Dave Pollin, co-founder & president of The Buccini/Pollin Group, said in a statement.
Lukas Hartwich, an analyst who covers the hospitality industry for Green Street Advisors, a real estate research firm in Newport Beach, Calif., said the new brand was a logical extension and filled a niche that Hilton did not have and needed to compete with boutique brands like the W launched by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Andaz, which was created by Hyatt Hotels Corp.
“It makes the Hilton brand portfolio stronger,” Hartwich told Commercial Property Executive. “They’re trying to target different segments to please every different type of customer.”
Hartwich said he expected Hilton Worldwide would franchise the Canopy brand and look for management deals.
“They prefer to manage a property because there’s more fees for them,” he added.
The Canopy launch comes just a few months after Hilton Worldwide introduced the Curio brand, a group of four- to five-star independent hotels including SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston. It now has 12 brands in its global portfolio, which range from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. Hilton Worldwide has more than 4,200 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timesharing properties, with more than 690,000 rooms in 93 countries.