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CEO Says Hilton Exploring New Hotel Brand for 2014

CEO Says Hilton Exploring New Hotel Brand for 2014

Old Dec 25, 13, 10:23 am
  #1  
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CEO Says Hilton Exploring New Hotel Brand for 2014

Do you remember when Hilton tried establishing a lifestyle brand a few years ago?

http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4063324.html

I personally think that Hilton already has enough brands.

I can't tell the difference between a Conrad and a WA now.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by loomis View Post
I personally think that Hilton already has enough brands.

I can't tell the difference between a Conrad and a WA now.
Agree 100%. Wish they would consolidate brands rather than expand. Would be nice to just standardize and homogenize and let customers actually know what they are getting instead of having to guess. Is this one of those "nice Doubletrees" that are nicer than Hiltons or are both the Hilton and the DT in this town dumps and I should just go with the nice new HGI? Etc.

Of course that will never happen due to independent ownership and legacy branding, but still.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 3:06 pm
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Well, the settlement-imposed two years after the Denizens brand debacle with Starwood is over, so they will try again.

Originally Posted by NY Times (in part) 22 Dec 2010
The case centered on Starwood’s W hotel chain, which dominates a lucrative industry niche called lifestyle hotels. With 37 locations around the globe from Hoboken, N.J., to Hong Kong, the W hotel is aimed at the young and affluent. “Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of ‘Wow,’ ” says the chain’s Web site.

It was that wow factor that Hilton sought to replicate with its own lifestyle hotels. To make that happen, Hilton hired two Starwood executives, Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani, to develop a new lifestyle brand.

In March 2009, with great fanfare, Hilton introduced Denizen Hotels aimed at what it described as “globally-conscious modern travelers.”

and

As part of the settlement, Hilton has agreed to make a $75 million cash payment to Starwood, according to several people with knowledge of the pact. Starwood is also be entitled to another $75 million in hotel-management contracts.

In addition, the deal subjects Hilton to an injunction, approved by a federal judge, that prohibits the hotel chain from introducing any lifestyle hotels for two years...
Link to full article
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Old Dec 25, 13, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Well, the settlement-imposed two years after the Denizens brand debacle with Starwood is over, so they will try again
Except this time, they will be sure to hide the copies of the documents they took from Starwood
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Old Dec 25, 13, 3:49 pm
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I personally feel Hilton needs only three or four brands: Hilton, ES and HGI (+ the "rest", call it Doubletree or whatever)
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Old Dec 25, 13, 3:55 pm
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They could combine Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn as well. Those lines tend to blur pretty easily. Homewood and Embassy Suites?

You're welcome Hilton. I'm a strategy consultant and I usually bill a lot for that kind of considered opinion. My fellow posters and I will gladly accept lifetime Diamond status as a small honorarium.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 4:36 pm
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Lots of redundancy and copying of *w. I'm guessing someone at Hilton feels the HH brands are equivalent to the following:

Conrad = Le Meridien
DT = a poor man's poor man's Westin (yes, I wrote that twice)
ES = a poor man's Westin
HI = a poor man's Four Points
Hilton = Sheraton
HGI = Four Points
HGVC = n/a
Home2 = element
HW = a poor man's Sheraton Suites
WA = St. Regis / Luxury Collection

Their most valuable brands are: WA, Hilton and Conrad (in that order). Seeing that Hilton WW have nothing comparable to an aloft, W or Westin, they should prolly focus on consolidation and re-branding. I would re-brand Embassy Suites into something that looks like a Westin. I'd re-brand most DT and HW to Home2. I'd gut the s*** out of every HI and make it a less-depressing brand (easier said than done). That's going to require billions of dollars. Then I would prolly introduce that god-awful Denizen brand for s**** and giggles before coming up with a better name... like H/otel (or something ridiculous).

On second thought, investors should dump the stock, so the company could be sold off to Marriott and *w. Hilton WW needs new management desperately.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by mspswede View Post
They could combine Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn as well. Those lines tend to blur pretty easily. Homewood and Embassy Suites?

You're welcome Hilton. I'm a strategy consultant and I usually bill a lot for that kind of considered opinion. My fellow posters and I will gladly accept lifetime Diamond status as a small honorarium.
There are huge differences in my opinion between ES and Homewood and even bigger ones between Hampton and HGI.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jjlovecub View Post
There are huge differences in my opinion between ES and Homewood and even bigger ones between Hampton and HGI.
Ditto, I consider HI and HGI to have discernible differences, the later being far more preferable from my perspective.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 1:24 am
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As a frequent business traveler...

There is a world of difference among ES, HGI, and HI. I will stay in an HGI, maybe an ES and never an HI.

HGI has nice rooms and a cooked to order breakfast for gold/diamonds. ES are crowded with families and aging facilities and decor. The free breakfast is cheap and the managers reception cheap drinks with a long line. Because of the atrium, sound travels up and makes for a noisy stay.

My limited stays at HI are cheap rooms, cheap breakfast.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 4:31 am
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My view:

Conrad/WA: Conrad is an odd one, equivalent IMO to the nicer Hiltons or even Hyatts. WA has a clear mission but not enough footprint. I'd merge these so that they have a clear presence, probably converting some Conrads into Hiltons however. I'd probably kill Conrad and rename WA to 'Waldorf'

Hilton - core brand, some don't meet it but in general, clear enough.

DT - branding nightmare with no particular mission. Some of the nicest and best value properties, especially when brought in from other brands, so I'll gladly stay there, often with no idea why I'm in a DT in particular.

HGI - never stayed but seems like a solid, 3* proposition. Tend to be newer properties so not necessarily a way out for the weaker Hiltons (especially ex Hilton National properties in the UK!)

ES/Homewood - no need for two suite brands with such similar outlooks and fairly similar hard product, even though there is meant to be differentiation.

HI - Generally fine as a brand, good satisfaction ratings, not at all aspirational but seems to do the 'entry level' thing very well.

Home2 - couldn't even tell you where one is located. Kind of understand the premise but with such thin coverage, they have to focus on local markets rather than being an automatic choice for a group of travelers.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 8:00 am
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I like the two Home2 Suites I have stayed at, SLC and Philly. The rooms are great. Wasn't able to try breakfast at either place though so not sure how that is.

I'm guessing the new brand would be try to be a more expensive, full service version of Home2. But then that'd be competing against Doubletree (what it should be) in my mind. O well this gets too confusing if you think about it too much.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by sunnygirlca View Post
There is a world of difference among ES, HGI, and HI. I will stay in an HGI, maybe an ES and never an HI.

HGI has nice rooms and a cooked to order breakfast for gold/diamonds. ES are crowded with families and aging facilities and decor. The free breakfast is cheap and the managers reception cheap drinks with a long line. Because of the atrium, sound travels up and makes for a noisy stay.

My limited stays at HI are cheap rooms, cheap breakfast.

Embassy Suites really have become the "family" brand of Hilton which is why I will try to avoid them for a weekend stay. I don't stay at HIs very often but they also seem to have a high family ratio.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by Cymro View Post
My view:

Conrad/WA: Conrad is an odd one, equivalent IMO to the nicer Hiltons or even Hyatts. WA has a clear mission but not enough footprint. I'd merge these so that they have a clear presence, probably converting some Conrads into Hiltons however. I'd probably kill Conrad and rename WA to 'Waldorf'

Hilton - core brand, some don't meet it but in general, clear enough.

DT - branding nightmare with no particular mission. Some of the nicest and best value properties, especially when brought in from other brands, so I'll gladly stay there, often with no idea why I'm in a DT in particular.

HGI - never stayed but seems like a solid, 3* proposition. Tend to be newer properties so not necessarily a way out for the weaker Hiltons (especially ex Hilton National properties in the UK!)

ES/Homewood - no need for two suite brands with such similar outlooks and fairly similar hard product, even though there is meant to be differentiation.

HI - Generally fine as a brand, good satisfaction ratings, not at all aspirational but seems to do the 'entry level' thing very well.

Home2 - couldn't even tell you where one is located. Kind of understand the premise but with such thin coverage, they have to focus on local markets rather than being an automatic choice for a group of travelers.
Agree about the Conrad/WA and the fact that there are only FOUR Conrads in the US (sidenote, a fun trivia question for friends/acquaintances who travel has become "Name the 4 Conrad locations in the US" - Indianapolis stumps everyone). Home2 does seem like the most likely candidate to go under the knife (never seen one in my travels). Hampton is definitely a good stand alone and while I prefer the other Hilton brands the real value conscience friends of mine (aka cheap) absolutely love the Hampton. I think HGI is the best thing Hilton has come up with, its got the consistency and product business travelers look for and I personally think its knocks the socks off of Courtyard. I don't think they needed the Doubletree brand, the ones that make the cut should be Hiltons, the crappy ones they need to either get rid of or transition into Hamptons.
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Old Dec 26, 13, 8:17 am
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I think it would be hard to combine ES and HS... physically they are extremely different properties generally, and room layouts vary to much (HS's having kitchens, ES's just a mini fridge).

If i was in charge of Hilton, i'd try to do something with DT - make the nice ones hilton's or HGIs, and divest the others that don't make the standard (easier said then done, of course).

combining WA and Conrads is certaintly are interesting idea as well...
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