These days, it’s all about millennials willing to “pay for experiences” – not just the mundane “basic” things that previous generations were willing to accept – millennials want to experience something different. And they’re willing to pay for it.
It comes as no surprise that hotels are looking to cash into this trend. The trend in boutique hotels (owned by a large hotel company) started in the late 1990s, when Starwood purchased Sheraton and established and developed a brand for the Luxury Collection hotels – interesting properties where each has its own identity, allowing guests to have completely unique experiences. Marriott followed suite in 2010, launching the Autograph Collection – an upscale independent boutique hotels, which provides a similar offering to the Luxury Collection brands (though in look and feel I would liken more to Starwood’s Design Hotels or Tribute Collection).
In 2014, Hilton launched Curio, their response to their competitor’s boutique offerings.
Today Hilton announced the launch of their second collection brand, The Tapestry Collection, with the first properties scheduled to open their doors in Q3 of 2017. The brand will offer a curated collection of upscale hotels that cater to guests seeking the reliability of the Hilton brand but also value unique hotel choices.
According to Hilton’s press release, the new brand will be positioned “in the upscale segment just below Curio – A Collection by Hilton“.
Currently, 7 hotels have signed on to the collection, so we can expect to see the first properties in the following cities:
- Syracuse, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Nashville, TN
- Warren, NJ
- Hampton, VA
- Indianapolis, IN (2 properties)
I’m interested in seeing how Hilton will differentiate the The Tapestry Collection from Curio. As it is, there is a bit of a range in hotel types you’ll find under the Curio Collection – some feel a little bit more recently updated, like the Ames Boston Hotel, and some feel a little bit like a mixed bag – like the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City. I’d definitely love to see a clear difference between the two brands – other than solid price point difference.
The markets they’ve selected to open are notable as well – most are not in major cities, and those that are in cities are not necessarily the cities you’d expect to see a brand launch. This likely speaks to their target market – though we’ll know more once we start seeing the hotels officially launch as Tapestry Collection properties.
I’m always a big fan of more ways to earn points (even if I’m not a Hilton gal myself), so I am all for these new partnerships to bring independent hotels under larger brands. It’s a win for just about everyone – the hotel gets more interest and guests, and customers have the opportunity to earn points.
That being said, with independently run hotels that become part of larger hotel groups, there tends to be less consistency in things like service or amenities. While this can happen between hotels under the same brand (say, differences from one W to another), there is still a level of service that the brand itself offers to its customers, and this is expected to be executed at each property – anything outside of this can be called out as sub-par. With collection brands however, the differences across properties allows for inconsistencies in all sorts of things – including small things that you might consider “normal” – whether it be complimentary breakfast that comes with your status, or a welcome gift when you arrive at your room. It’s harder to identify what “normal” is exactly, which can be both be a good thing and a bad thing. One thing’s for sure – no two hotels will be alike, and the one-of-a-kind experience is certainly something to look forward to.
What are your thoughts on staying at Collection Hotels? Do you prefer them over traditionally branded hotels? How have your stays at these types of hotels varied?