IT’S BEEN NEARLY a year since Hilton CEO Christopher J. Nassetta said the hotel franchiser would launch a couple new brands in 2018, one of them a hostel-type product. Today Hilton announced the roll-out of Motto, calling it its “newest affordable lifestyle brand.”
The first Motto by Hilton is under development in London. U.S. cities that may soon see a Motto by Hilton include Savannah, San Diego, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Motto by Hilton, said the company in a news release, will “address the needs and desires of the evolving global traveler.”
“Innovation is in our DNA,” Nassetta said in the statement. “As we embark on our 100th year as a company, we are innovating more than ever before. With Motto by Hilton, we are bringing to market something the industry has never experienced with its flexible and affordable room product, desirable locations and guest-empowered service.”
Hilton describes Motto as a “micro-hotel.” It will provide cost-conscious travelers a place to stay in the cities they most want to visit.
The company researched the traditional hostel concept that got its start generations ago in Europe as young travelers seeking affordable accommodations were OK with sharing a bunk room with like-minded strangers. Recently, hotel developers in Europe and the U.S. have designed upscale hostels, calling them poshtels, hotels that offer more than the basic amenities but stick with the shared-room concept.
But Hilton said its deep dive into the emerging trend revealed most modern travelers do not want to share a room with strangers. They prefer to lodge with family and friends. “They want more from their hostel experience but are limited by current options in the market,” said the company.
Motto by Hilton will offer guests such communal accommodations as rooms that connect and bathrooms with shower and toilet stalls. The room types will depend on the market where Motto is located.
Hilton provided a checklist of what such travelers want. Motto by Hilton is centered around:
- Prime Locations: It’s about giving travelers access to the best location – being in the heart of the city and in the most popular neighborhoods. Right neighborhoods make a difference.
- Authenticity: What does it mean to be “here”? Locality breeds identity, community, and ultimately, a sense of place.
- Affordability: Competitive rates that open the doors to cities and locations that travelers didn’t think they could afford.
- Flexibility: One size doesn’t fit all — choice is paramount. Multi-purpose spaces are growing in popularity because of the flexibility they afford.
“Following extensive market research that focused on consumers’ needs and wants, we discovered the opportunity for a brand that offers travelers a trifecta of centrally located, reasonably priced and less traditional lodging that provide a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Jon Witter, chief customer officer, Hilton. “These findings led us to create Motto by Hilton, a flexible environment that allows guests to design their stay, their way.”
Motto by Hilton will enable the following:
- Guest rooms: With an average footprint of 163 square feet or 14 square meters, the highly efficient rooms will include space-saving features such as wall-beds, lofted beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls, and multi-functional furniture that can be discreetly stowed when not in use.
- Linking rooms: Eliminating the hassle of coordinating travel for larger groups, Motto by Hilton hotels will have the option for guests to book multiple connecting rooms in advance.
- Split-payments: Motto by Hilton hotels will allow guests to split payments between more than one person at the time of booking, avoiding the sometimes-complicated math exercise during checkout.
- Connected room: All Motto by Hilton rooms will be outfitted with Hilton’s connected room technology – the first mobile-centric hotel offering that allows guests to control features in their room (i.e., temperature, lighting, TV, window coverings, etc.) from their Hilton Honors mobile app.
- Curated sleep experience: Motto by Hilton hotels will put an emphasis on a premium sleep experience. Whether it is a premium mattress; a Sleep Kit with eye masks, essential oils or vitamin bars; a white noise app; blackout window shades; or sound absorbing materials throughout the room, Motto by Hilton is sleep-obsessed and prioritizes quality sleep for every traveler.
“The launch of Motto by Hilton emphasizes our relentless commitment to creating innovative brands that meet what today’s travelers want,” said Phil Cordell, global head of new brand development, Hilton. “The unmatched flexibility of Motto offers tremendous value by empowering travelers to tailor every stay to their specific needs.”
The brand is global by nature. Targeted markets are “prime neighborhoods” in cities in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, Hilton said.
Soon to start construction is a 100-bed Motto by Hilton in Marylebone, London. Developer is Dominvs Group of the U.K. Demolition on the site has begun and construction will start in January, targeting a 2020 opening, Hilton said.
“We’ve deconstructed the traditional hospitality experience to create something truly fresh and exciting,” said Tripp McLaughlin, global head, Motto by Hilton. “This will be a global brand, heavily targeting the destinations where our connected and confident travelers want to travel to the most.”