The Daily Suitcase: A Travel Site Packed With News, Information and Punditry
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Trending: Millennial Hotels --5 New Brands to Watch
Noticed a slew of bright new hotel brands popping up all over the place lately? You can thank Millennials.
Big lodging chains are working hard to attract the younger generation with quirky, fresh brands such as Marriott’s Moxy, which appeared on the scene a few years back to appeal to “a sassy, determined, individualistic consumer.”
So what does this trend in Millennial hotels mean for your next stay? In many cases, you’ll find cozier guestrooms offset by well-appointed lobbies, perhaps suggesting the young ones spend more time in communal spaces instead of their rooms. Moxy’s lobby, for one, will have an industrial chic vibe, featuring zones for computing, caffeinating and conversation. Unisex bathrooms are planned for the lobby, too. A New Orleans Moxy is set to open in the first quarter of 2016, making it the brand’s second location
after Milan, Italy.
Meanwhile, Hotel RL is the hip brand coming from Spokane, Washington-based Red Lion Hotels. The public areas here feel more Pacific Northwest coffeehouse than chain hotel, and forget about a front desk—there isn’t one. Also are in short supply are the buttoned up and blazered staffers you see at the big chains; instead expect twenty-somethings hanging out in jeans, T-shirts and colorful, coiffed hair. Once you figure out who’s who, it’s easy
enough to settle in. The lobby features a barista bar, a live stage,
and a game room stacked with classic board games. Rooms are a
bit more conventional, with plush beds and large walk-in showers.
The first Hotel RL is now open in Baltimore, along with a second
one that opened in October in Washington, DC.
Perhaps more fitster than hipster is EVEN. This IHG brand is all about wellness. Each guest gets an orange sport-top water bottle, which can be filled at filtered water stations on each floor. Even-numbered rooms (which, oddly enough, are the only rooms) contain fitness equipment ranging from exercise balls and resistance bands to yoga mats. For a more extensive workout, each EVEN location has a hefty athletic studio on the main floor. When it comes time to grab some chow after hard workouts, the restaurant menu is packed with healthy nosh like quinoa and kale. EVENs are now open in Rockville, MD; Norwalk, CT; and New York City.
Best Western and Hilton are both looking to debut fresh, youthful brands in 2016, as well. Vib—that’s pronounced vibe—is Best Western’s entry, featuring lobbies that do quadruple-duty as check-in area, bar/coffee lounge, gaming center, and gathering space. A Zen Zone, located on a mezzanine cantilevered over the lobby, will be a public place where guests can work above it all. Here again, guestrooms will be smaller than your typical room, with space-saving features like platform beds with storage below. Canopyby Hilton is also trying to reinvent the concept of the lobby with Canopy Central, a public area that will serve as a living room for guests and neighbors alike. It also will house a Transfer Refuge, containing DIY luggage storage and changing areas with showers for travelers on the go. Free-ranging staffers, aka enthusiasts, will don oxford shirts and blue jeans. Rumor has it that some may even sport Converse hightops in bright orange, the hotel brand’s loud-and-proud signature color.