Destination by design

Downtown Design

Destination by design

Eight new launches from some of the industry’s major players transform the landscape of urban hotel design across the world.

As the modern, millennial-minded traveler segment increases, some of the biggest hospitality groups in the business have been investing in new sub-brands that actively target this market. The key launches are typically chic, urban and tech-savvy, custom made to fit the needs of millennial customers.

1. Jo&Joe

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In development by the Accor Group, the Jo&Joe proves a whole new point with their mock-up design. It aims to blur the boundaries between hostel, hotel and private rentals, the hotel visualizes a “co-living hotel”. The hotel will include two main categories of rooms: “Together” sleeping areas for people who don’t mind sharing, “Your” rooms and apartments for those who want their own privacy. In addition, the hotel will have quirky communal and events spaces such as yurts, caravans and beach huts. The public areas are designed to appeal equally to the locals and visitors. Beginning with Paris and Bordeaux, Jo&Joe plans to open a total of 50 venues by 2020.

2. Vīb 

Hotels 2

After nearly seven decades; in 2014, Best Western announced plans for its first new hotel brand - a string of hip, urban boutique properties in key cities around the world. The vision of the company will soon see the light of day, with the first openings planned for the US and Asia later this year.

Short for vibrant, Vib’s clientele will include the upper midscale market. Polished concrete floors, local artworks and media walls in the lobby space, and compact but cleverly conceived bedrooms with smart TVs, workstations and LED-lit rain showerheads are all a part of the promised ‘contemporary, tech-centric design.

3. Amba

London-based hotel group GLH launched its first Amba-branded property at Charing Cross Station after extensive guest research; promising a hotel experience designed by you. Considering their customers’ requests, GLH is one of the hotel brands that has actively invested in details including: high speed WiFi, high comfort Hypnos beds and in-room tablets for use during the period of stay. No extra mark-up on the room service further adds value to the brand name.

The group has ambitious plans to bring the four-star brand to key cities worldwide.

4.  Moxy

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Opening the first Moxy hotel at the Milan Malpensa Airport in September 2014, proves Marriott’s swift action at targeting the millennial market. With the opening of Moxy Aberdeen Airport and Moxy London Excel, the brand has eight properties to its name with many more in store, including the 612 room hotel opening in 2017 in Times Square, New York.

Moxy aims to create a hipster and fun environment with playful design, buzzy communal areas and arrival cocktails. However, the hotel also hopes to accommodate business travelers with complimentary fast WIFI, several USB ports and sound-minimizing walls.

 5. Canopy by Hilton

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The launch video of the Canopy by Hilton says, “Travel should be fun, even on a business trip.”

The new lifestyle chain welcomes their guests with a complimentary gift from the neighborhood; organizes evening tastings of local wines or beers and an employee base full of enthusiasm to help pick a nearby attraction. The debut Canopy, opened in Reykjavik in July 2016, takes its color cues from the city’s volcanic rock and ocean, and music boxes in the bedrooms play an Icelandic lullaby showcase the importance the brand places on the local environment. The Canopy by Hilton has 20-plus properties to follow in the next few years, including a London City hotel in early 2018. 

 6. Thistle Express

GLH announced their further significant investment in Thirstle Express to provide fast and complimentary WiFi as a basic rather than a luxury. Modern design, smart TV’s and “Choose Your Own Room” service, where guests are allowed to pre-select their exact room before arrival, are just some of the features of this new value-hotel concept. The first hotel opens its doors on the 5th of July, 2017 in Luton. The next launch follows in Swindon in second half of 2017.

7.  Principal

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Starwood Capital Group, initially, announced their exciting new brand under the code name “Project 1898”, now unveiled as “Principal”. The project was proposed as an urban lifestyle hotel collection that breathes new life into heritage city-center buildings. The Principal Manchester, formerly known as the Palace Hotel, The Principal Edinburgh, known as the George Hotel and The Principal York, previously known as The Royal York Hotel, have all earned rave reviews which raise expectations for their next launch. Due to open this summer, The Hotel Russel, which will be known as The Principal London, will undergo extensive transformation.

 8.  Radisson RED

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Lastly, the Radisson Red, one of the hotel brands from Carlson Rezidor, made its debut in Brussels last year. Driven by their anti-dull philosophy and employed by a social media campaign, the creatives replace traditional employees for their ‘emotional spark’, ‘expressiveness’ and ‘communicative enthusiasm’.  Being both drawn from a bold, urban crowd that’s keen on art, music and fashion – the system is designed to foster more informal interaction. Striking design, a lively feel and millennial-friendly techno-wizardry are just some of the characteristics of their first UK property, set to open in Glasgow next year.

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