It seems like a week doesn’t go by anymore before another hotel company announces a new lifestyle brand. A few weeks ago, when I wrote about Best Western’s Vib brand, a Millennial-focused, technology-driven affordable luxury brand, which fit comfortably in a growing segment, I figured that was the end of it.
In that post, I reiterated the importance of a lifestyle brand that catered to Millennials but which was also an answer to how all people travel. No sooner than that was published, Hilton announced Canopy, Montage Hotels & Resorts introduced Pendry, and Red Lion got in the game with its own lifestyle offering, Hotel RL. In journalism school, we were taught that three makes a trend—and these new brands certainly fit the bill.
Lifestyle hotels clearly fit a niche in many hotel company’s portfolios, especially now as high-end design becomes more affordable. Guests, especially, want to stay at hotels that offer the same amenities they have in their own homes—wifi, streaming services, mobile applications, fast and efficient service, food delivered right to your door. What once were luxuries at hotels are now how people live every day.
Each of the brands seems qualified to address these new desires. Best Western’s Vib is technology-focused; Radisson Red focuses on communal spaces for work and play; Pendry Hotels is fashion-forward and offers a design-driven approach to hospitality; Hotel RL will provide a Pacific Northwest-inspired approach for mid- and upscale guests; and Hilton’s Canopy is about local design and food, with a people-first mentality. According to Hilton’s press release: “We know our guests demand a more inclusive approach and surprising extras. So basic wifi and an artisanal breakfast are included, along with a local welcome gift and an evening tasting of local beer, wine, or spirits.”
Clearly, these companies felt there was something missing from their offerings, and whether they spent months or weeks planning these new iterations, each has embraced the benefit of having an innovative concept as part of its larger hotel portfolio. Bespoke design is more accessible than ever, and travelers are more cognizant of what exemplifies affordable luxury. These nascent brand concepts certainly highlight that the way people are traveling—and their expectations while doing so—has changed.