Last year we have seen the merge between powerful hospitality brands, and within that trend, we have also seen the creation of boutique hotels which evoke the essence of independent hotels.
Nowadays, travel is closely intertwined with lifestyle, even more noticeably in the high-end market where staying in a small and eccentric hotel, becomes aspirational. Therefore, some of the biggest hotel chains have launched “soft” brands in order to keep up with this latest trend.
A common characteristic in these hotels is that you won’t find a parent brand name attached to them, becoming their main selling point. Their business model centers in offering new experiences in exotic destinations; from speak-easy bars and internationally-acclaimed chefs, to gorgeous design-driven properties.
This shift comes as a consequence of consumer changes. The increase in travelers who want an authentic and local experience, and that could stay with Airbnb, have challenged hoteliers to think out of the box.
Some of the benefits of these collection brands can be seen in the broad profiles of customers they have acquired, they appealed to different generation of travelers. Moreover, they helped international brands to maintain a presence in urban neighborhoods where they offer experiences that integrates foods, design and unique products.
Also, these soft brands can compete with independent hotels by offering reward programs targeting also to business travelers. Furthermore, guests have the confidence of the quality of their bookings and their whole stay experience.
Customers find the combination appealing, as they still get the small scale and local experience of staying in a nice and small property, but also, they enjoy the efficient and trustworthy service of an international hotel chain.
Millennials, nowadays are looking for a living room experience when staying in a hotel. They are no longer expecting big properties, but instead small and cozy hotels when they have a communal area big enough to just spend an afternoon with friends. Experiences become more personalized, hence the property’s staff needs to be prepared to surpass every guest’s expectations. To have qualified employees is key in this style of hotels.