Hilton Worldwide launches independent collection Curio

Hilton Worldwide is launching a new collection of independent hotel properties. According to Businessweek, the new collection is called Curio, and is combining individual hotels that wouldn't normally fit into Hilton brands, such as Embassy Suites or Conrad properties, under one umbrella.

Guests will now be able to earn and redeem HHonors loyalty points at these properties, like other Hilton hotels, a big selling point for hotel owners. With more than 40 million members of Hilton's loyalty program floating around, owners are willing to pay Hilton a fee to tap into the program, as well as Hilton's reservation system.

The collection is targeting four to five-star hotels, including boutique and resort properties. The Washington Business Journal reported that several hotels are already jumping to get into the collection. These properties include The SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; the Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, S.D.; the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, N.C.; and an as-yet unknown property in development in downtown Portland, Ore.

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The SLS Las Vegas is the biggest name attached to the collection so far, and the former Sahara Hotel & Resort will open after completing a three-year, $415-million renovation, which will overhaul the property's three existing Sahara towers.

According to Business Traveller, Hilton Worldwide was previously banned from the boutique hotel market for two years after an espionage lawsuit filed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts alleged that Hilton formed its Denizen brand using stolen documents after hiring two former Starwood employees. The ban expired last year, and Curio is just one of two planned collections from the company -- the next is an unnamed brand aimed at tech-savvy travelers. 

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