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Ibis Styles Liverpool
As hotel group after hotel group rushes to create new brands that will appeal to millennials, with what feels like new launches bragging about social media-friendly spaces every week, one brand has been quietly reinventing itself. There’s been no real fanfare around it – no extravagant boasts, no flagrant appeals to the self-obsessed generation – just a focus on stylish, unchainlike rooms, low prices and free WiFi. The name of that chain? Ibis Styles.
Not too long ago, Ibis was a byword for budget – in a bad way. Ibis rooms were dark, boring, fusty. They weren’t hotels you planned to stay in, they were hotels you ended up in when you couldn’t find or afford better. (I say this with the hindsight of adulthood – when I was a child, going on holiday to France and staying in an Ibis – or Eebis, as they called it – seemed like the most exciting thing in the world.)
But Ibis Styles are different from proper Ibises (Ibes?) – they have style and verve. Even better, they’re different from each other, too, and relate to the cities they're located in. There’s nothing in the design that screams Ibis, and, speaking (just) as a millennial, that is what we like.
Ibis Styles Brussels
My Ibis Styles revelation came this summer, when I was walking down Avenue Louise in Brussels and noticed two giant smiley faces staring out at me from a nearby window – it was the lobby of the Ibis Styles Brussels Louise, whose chic, startling white rooms start at just €71. Then I read about Ibis Styles Liverpool (from just £71) and was sold.
Another day, another mysterious hotel with a masculine name planning to open in New York City.
Meet The Paul NYC, a 117-room hotel planned for 32 W 29th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in the heart of the happening NoMad nabe, where millennial hotel brands go to drink craft beer and have serious discussions about the ethics of Instagram filters.
There's not much to learn about Paul from his website. However, on his Facebook page, he's given a little peek into what he's all about.
Obviously, Paul is a millennial. But from his photos, we also learn that Paul's favorite colors are blue and red, he likes cake, magazines and Paul McCartney and he believes in "the more the merrier." Hence, the bunk beds.
There are other room options aside from the bunk beds, including king beds and double beds. But the bunk beds make us think Paul might be an affordable type of spot. And affordable in NYC these days is somewhere between $250 and $300. Ugh.
A lodging report has the 21-story hotel listed for a February opening (even though the website says "Fall 2014") but as this Google Street View from last month shows, there's still a hell of a lot of work to be done. Tsk, millennials.
[Screengrabs: HotelChatter; Room and exterior renderings: The Paul NYC/Facebook]
Sneak Peek / Viva Vegas / Caesars Entertainment / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Millennial Hotels / Las Vegas Hotels / → All Tags
There’s yet another new hotel in Las Vegas.
The past year in Las Vegas has seen the opening of The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s Gambling Hall), The SLS Las Vegas and The Delano. Now, here comes The LINQ H Hotel & Casino. Except, it’s not entirely new.
Most recently, The LINQ Hotel & Casino was known as The Quad, the millennial-friendly casino adjacent to The Linq entertainment district, which is anchored by the High Roller observation wheel. (It’s also home to The Brooklyn Bowl and the Yard House.)
But before it was The Quad, this casino was long known as the Imperial Palace, which first opened in 1979 and was consistently built up throughout the 80s. The 90s saw some interesting revelations about the IP’s owner at the time (he apparently had a Nazi memorabilia room on site.)
By 2005, the casino was acquired by Caesars Entertainment (the company went by the name Harrah’s back then) but was in desperate need of repairs. Then the recession hit. But once the economy improved and once construction began on The Linq district, the Imperial Palace was discarded and The Quad was born in late December 2012, sporting a shiny, eye-catching, LED-popping exterior. But much of the old Imperial Palace remained, including the rooms and the distinctive pagoda rooftops.
As parts of The LINQ promenade were finished, The Quad gradually changed too, renovating the reception area, adding new bars and restaurants and making the hotel accessible to The LINQ and vice versa. But still no change on the rooms.
Then in July, Caesars Entertainment announced that The Quad would turn into The LINQ Hotel, accompanied by complete renovations of the rooms, the exteriors, the pool area and the spa, along with new F&B concepts.
And now, the official opening day of The LINQ is nearly here.
The room renovation has been kept tightly under wraps but HotelChatter was able to get a sneak peek at the rooms which will officially open to the public on Thursday, October 30.
KEEP READING BELOW FOR MORE PICTURES OF THE LINQ
The past few month has been all sorts of insane with new hotel announcements, mostly brands aimed at millennials. We understand that many hotel brands needed to revitalize their offerings for the "next gen traveler", particularly with their design, tech and entertainment offerings, but they are seriously going overboard. Like, we can't even. [Insert girl crossing her arms in front of her face emoji here.]
And we can't help but wonder if all their
presumptions research about millennials are just a little off base? Judging from the room key shown above, hotels apparently think that when fun-seeking millennials enter their hotel rooms, they like to remove articles of clothing but not their Vespa helmets, jump on beds, and laugh about all the shopping they did.
This could be true of the millennials in their early 20s but eventually, they will want the same things the rest of us fogies now seek out in hotels--functional but comfortable furniture, and some peace and quiet. So hotels are essentially creating hotel brands that millennials will grow out of in about ten years.
But whatever, there's no stopping the hype.
Now, for all the old people out there who are over the age of 33 and can't remember what happened last week, or even this morning, here's a rundown of all the shiny and happy new hotel brands that are out there. (Yes, this means our story from March is now outdated.)
We've been waiting a long time for Sir Richard Branson's newest hotel product. But now, not only do we have details on what the concept is about, we can also sleep with a Virgin on January 15 in Chicago. A loyalty program should be revealed next month and is expected to have perks for Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic status members.
The very first AC Hotel will open in the U.S. in New Orleans in mid-November. Unlike most Marriott Hotels, free WiFi is expected here. Previously, the design-forward AC Hotels were only open in Europe.
Last week, news about new hotel brands for Millennials came fast and furious. While the momentum has died down a little bit, there's still news percolating out there. Like this bit about a Tommie Hotel from Thompson Hotels opening in Tribeca on Hudson Street next summer. [Insert clapping hands emoji right here.]
Yes, we've known about this property since Tommie Hotels were first announced in May 2013. But it's always been the other Tommie Hotel on E. 31st Street that we've been checking up on, each time getting slightly depressed that Spring 2016 seems like forever away.
Another day, another new hotel brand.
This week we've seen the introduction of two new hotel brands to the market--the badly-named Vib by Best Western and the sadly-named Canopy by Hilton. But wait, The Week Where Everyone Announces a New Hotel Brand is not over! Here comes The OE Collection from Loews Hotels.
Much like Hilton's Curio Collection and Marriott's Autograph Collection, the OE Collection will be a grouping of different, independent hotels, operated by Loews Hotels. However, Hotel News Now reports that OE hotels will "fit into the upper-upscale and luxury lifestyle categories." So, kind of like Starwood's Luxury Collection, no?
The OE Collection is also Loews' answer for the
overhyped all-important millennial traveler segment, promising edgy design and exciting F&B. Although, we're confused how it can be both for millennials and a luxury hotel collection. Are millennials making some serious dollars now? We'll find out when OE officially launches in January.
Now, let's all get to the giant elephant standing slightly inebriated in the room...
Hotel Apps / HelloTel / Hotel News / iPhone Hotel Apps / Millennial Hotels / Social Networking Apps / Hotel Social Apps / → All Tags
We saw the news in our inbox earlier this week for a new hotel social networking app called HelloTel and made a mental note to come back to that
never later in the week. But then we saw this write-up in Thrillist which called it "Tindr for hotel guests." Oh really? Now, we're interested. #sexstillsells
Although the app was pitched to HotelChatter as a "great way for business travelers to meet up so there's no awkward dinner by yourself at the hotel bar" and a way for groups to meet up during conference (complete with a picture of a hotel meeting room filled with people) it will, as Thrillist suggests, probably spur random hook-ups instead.
And why shouldn't it? Hotel rooms are perfect for random anonymous hook-ups where the only personal items your meet-up will see are the items in your suitcase, and perhaps your face cleanser on the bathroom sink.
Nevertheless, HelloTel does have some other features beyond finding you a warm body for the night. Since we're not a millennial, we decided to check out the app's promise to connect business travelers.
CANOPY by Hilton
Ever since the epic fail that was Denizen Hotels (you can read up on that here), Hilton Worldwide has been desperately seeking a new lifestyle brand to fit into their portfolio. Once the court-ordered business restrictions were lifted last year, Hilton went into overdrive.
First, they announced their Curio Collection, a group of mostly already existing hotels with no real unifying trait except that they tend to be more boutique in terms of design, and of course, they are part of the Hilton HHonors network.
Now, Hilton Worldwide has officially announced their totally new lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton Hotels.
Chris Nasetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, revealed the new brand to existing Hilton hotel owners at Hilton Worldwide's Global Partnership Conference in Orlando. Here's what he had to say about it:
“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.”
Here's what we took away from that statement: affordable. Although Canopy promises to be so much more.
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After nearly 70 years as a cornerstone of America's mid-range hotel scene, Best Western has announced that it will take a step into two new markets with two new brands, Vib (pronounced "vibe") and BW Premier.
The Premier Collection has actually been up and running for a while, and includes this recently opened eco-resort in Malaysia. In fact, last time we checked in on Premier, it was planning properties in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nairobi and Oman. Just to catch you up if you missed it, the BW Premier Collection will be a "soft brand" offering, meaning that it will consist of a variety of high-end properties in different markets (as opposed to a single hotel brand, like Vib). Hotels in the Premier Collection will be bookable through the Best Western website, and guests will be able to earn and use their Best Western reward points at any hotel in the collection.
The big announcement is the new boutique Vib concept, short for Vibrant. It is being described as a "stylish and technology-centric hotel concept created to meet the needs of today’s connected traveler," featuring "vibrant and modern design with a focus on convenience, technology and social engagement." That's about as vague as it gets, and the details are pretty scarce except for the fact that the properties will be tech-savvy and have large lobbies that incorporate local flair. You can check out the short promotional video below.
Pendry Hotels / Millennial Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel News / San Diego Hotels / Gaslamp Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
Scheduled to open in 2016, the hotel will have just 36 rooms with only one and two-bedroom suite options. The property, which will not be called Montage, but rather Pendry San Diego, will also have two restaurants, a spa, a rooftop pool, a nightclub, and a beer hall. Is it expected to draw both business and leisure travelers with its location three blocks from the convention center in the heart of the city's main leisure district, the Gaslamp.
The hotel says it will "appeal to young, hip guests looking for both superior personal service and high-quality design and amenities," and rates are projected to start between $250 and $300 a night. Few details have been released about the restaurants, nightclub, and beer hall, but the hotel hopes to attract locals as well as visitors and become a destination in themselves.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Millennial Hotels / Hub Hotels / Premier Inn Hotels / Premier Inn / → All Tags
A tech-friendly hotel that accepts reservations by app? Snooze. A tech-friendly hotel that only accepts reservations by app? Now that’s something we’re not sure anyone’s dared try before. Except there’s probably a reason for that.
Next month, budget UK chain Premier Inn launches a new brand, hub, with a flagship hotel opening in St Martin’s Lane, central London. It’s another millennial-friendly idea – aiming “to catch the imagination of guests who already rely on technology for many other aspects of their everyday lives”. Technology is going to play a central part – or, rather, the new hub by Premier Inn app will.
You’ll check in via the app, of course; then during your stay, you can control the TV channel, the room temperature or the lighting by using the app. You can use it to order food to pick up downstairs, and stream entertainment on the 40in TV. And for when you venture outside, the app contains a “detailed local area guide, hosting a careful edit of the hottest places” (more millennial speak, there), and even “is enhanced by an Augmented Reality experience in the room”. Not sure what that means. Not sure we want to.
It’s been open a couple of weeks now, and the reviews are starting to trickle in for Moxy Milan, the first opening for Marriott’s new millennial-friendly brand. And they are… mixed. Here’s what the 13 reviews on TripAdvisor have to say, along with some observations from an article in the Financial Times.