National Report – As Hilton Worldwide’s Hampton brand approaches its 30th birthday in 2014, ongoing updates to its interior design standards are progressing and the brand’s new Forever Young Initiative will introduce new guestroom and bathroom designs as well as plans to upgrade the original Hampton exterior architecture.
With lobby and fitness room upgrates complete, the brand is turning to guestroom and exterior renovations in 2014. First-generation purpose-built Hampton hotels (and 99 percent of the brand was purpose-built, according to Phil Cordell, global head of focused service and Hampton brand management for Hilton Worldwide) had a signature look that worked well back in 1984, but Cordell said the company needed to update exteriors “to signal to guests that we’re making changes.”
The new Hampton exteriors will include custom cornices—an update to the previous mansard-style roof. A new canopy, updated paint scheme, new lighting and squared corners complete the look.
The brand’s mansard-style roof will be updated with a new custom cornice added on top and nighttime illumination. Exteriors also will get a new canopy and updated paint scheme, and rounded corners will be taken sharp.
“Our initial mission was to solve the outdated look for older hotels, but now we’ll have three update categories across the brand,” Cordell said. “We’ll have a plan for those older hotels, one for those that are going through routine ownership changes and need some updating and then one for new-builds. We were problem-solving for the older hotels and ended up helping all three types.”
Within the guestroom, Cordell said the brand had to be respectful of costs associated with making structural changes. “We knew exactly what we had to work with, space-wise, since so many of these are purpose-built hotels,” he said.
Streamlined casegoods that incorporate a desk and expand work surface are a big part of the new design. Technology and outlets are integrated throughout, whether within the new desk space or in the new wall-mounted nightstands.
For added comfort and function, two ottomans add seating, and the sleeper sofa has been updated to be more comfortable and clean. A C-table pulls up to the sofa for expanded work space, and the desk chair now serves as comfortable extra seating as well. New carpet tiles provide flexibility for owners when it comes to replacement.
New guest bathrooms take their cue from Hampton’s popular clean, white bed concept.
In the guestroom bath, Hampton is applying its bedding success story to a new space.
“The clean, white bed concept has been such a home run for us, we had to transition it into the bathroom,” Cordell said. “We found a way through texture. Everything is white—the counter, the tiles and all patterns and textures. The floor tile is wood-look or a wood-laminate surface and groutless.”
Shelves and drawers add flexibility within the bathroom and owners can choose to install showers instead of bathtubs if they choose.
“It’s all within the cost realm of what’s effective for Hampton,” Cordell said.
As for rollout, Cordell said a number of hotels are tagged for these initiatives and are ready to go, while the rollout will happen in various stages over the next 8-12 months. “It’s not a theory or an idea,” he said. “It’s go now.”
Guestrooms will have added comforts such as expanded work spaces and easier access to outlets.