It took years in the making, but Hilton Worldwide now has a brand of its own to compete in the growing segment of lifestyle- and wellness-oriented hotels.
Canopy by Hilton, launched this morning, already has 11 signed letters of intent to develop. Highlights of the brand's amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast, heavy local customization and tech-forward elements.
The Washington Post writes that Canopy will compete with the likes of Hyatt Place, Aloft and Edition, which is quite a bandwidth.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the brand, which is designed to attract the coveted millennial-minded traveler, will "feature nascent technologies like the ability to use a mobile phone for check-in and as a room key."
It can't be forgotten that Hilton made an attempt at launching a lifestyle brand back in 2009, with its Denizen Hotels concept. Property and personnel disputes led to a lawsuit, and the brand vaporized.
Fast-forward a few years, and Hilton Worldwide now is ready to try again.
Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, unveiled the new Canopy concept to nearly 1,900 owners and development representatives at Hilton Worldwide’s Global Partnership Conference in Orlando.
"Built on extensive market research, our highly anticipated Canopy by Hilton brand delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience," Nassetta said. "We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand. 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."
Further, Hilton said that the target audience was based on preferences and needs, not demographics alone. “We’ve launched a brand that is all about the mindset of today’s traveler and creating a positive stay,” said John Vanderslice, global head, luxury & lifestyle brands, Hilton Worldwide. “Canopy is the energizing new hotel in the neighborhood offering simple, guest-directed service, thoughtful local choices, and comfortable spaces, so guests simply feel better going forward.”
Four elements define what it means to be a Canopy hotel, according to Hilton:
• Great neighborhoods. "Canopy by Hilton is the streetlamp of the neighborhood. We are all about being local, through design, food and beverage, art, and local know-how. No two Canopy hotels will be the same, and we know that’s what our guests want."
• Comfort and design. "We take a people first approach to design. The energy from our great neighborhoods flows through our open, welcoming lobby space. This energy gives way to warm, inviting and comfortable just-right rooms."
• More included value. "We know our guests demand a more inclusive approach and surprising extras. So basic Wi-Fi and an artisanal breakfast are included, along with a local welcome gift and an evening tasting of local beer, wine, or spirits."
• Our “positively yours” culture. "With a 'positively yours' service culture, hotel 'Enthusiasts' will deliver a one-stop approach to front-of-house service."
"The demands and preferences of today’s travelers continue to evolve, and Canopy by Hilton creates something new for consumers in the lifestyle space," said Jim Holthouser, EVP, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. "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."
Canopy will reportedly be developed globally via new builds and conversions alike in both urban neighborhoods and secondary markets with properties expected to begin opening in 2015. The brand already has 11 signed letters of intent to open in the following neighborhoods:
- Canopy Portland | Pearl District
- Canopy London | Neighborhood to be announced
- Canopy Miami | Brickell
- Canopy Washington, D.C. | Bethesda North
- Canopy San Diego | Gaslamp Quarter
- Canopy Nashville | Downtown
- Canopy Savannah | Historic District
- Canopy Indianapolis | City Centre
- Canopy Charlotte | Uptown
- Canopy Oklahoma City | Bricktown
- Canopy Ithaca | The Commons
Ownership groups developing the brand reportedly include The Buccini/Pollin Group, KeyStone Corporation, Anish Hotel Group, Baywood Hotels, North Point Hospitality Group, J Street Hospitality and Levine Properties.
"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," said Dave Pollin, co-founder and president of The Buccini/Pollin Group. "The concept and timing of Canopy by Hilton entering and redefining the lifestyle space is right because of changing guest preferences and a demand for more local experiences. Canopy by Hilton offers us the opportunity to compete in ways we haven’t been able to before."
F&B will also have a big role, and guests will enjoy complimentary breakfast. Touted as the Canopy Breakfast, Every morning in the café, guests will receive an "artisanal breakfast" featuring fresh, local ingredients. For those who don't have the time for it, the Canopy Rise & Dine breakfast offers food delivered to the guestrooms. Another culinary touch are foodie bags, which will be offered at check-in via a choice of a themed and priced foodie bag for the minibar.
In the evening, lobbies will offer local beer and wine tastings.