In the lobby, the Tru designers replaced the stadium-style seating with a large sectional sofa, which creates a clear delineation between table games and board games and improves the TV-watching experience.

HILTON WORLDWIDE COLLABORATED with a team of owners, builders and guests to revise parts of its 2-year-old design prototype and its F&B offerings for its newest brand, Tru.

In May, Tru by Hilton, the franchiser’s midscale brand rolled out in January 2016, released several design “refinements” to guestrooms and public spaces. It also added hot breakfast offerings and added protein to its build-your-own buffet bar.

In the guest room, Tru by Hilton added bedside and work-space lighting with bedside control and increased storage and hanging space. The rooms have a new mobile desk and media area, creating a larger and more flexible in-room work surface.

The changes, said Hilton, are the result of the brand’s ongoing tweaking to achieve the most value for owners as well as guests. “Every great brand continually evolves,” said Alexandra Jaritz, global head, Tru by Hilton.

When Hilton Worldwide first unveiled the midscale brand, one of its selling points was the relatively low cost of development, around $85,000 a key. However, the increased cost of construction has significantly upped the level of investment. In addition, when Aman Patel and his team of investors celebrated the opening of their Tru in McDonough, Georgia, in July, he noted the FF&E cost more than expected.

“As a new brand with a ‘disruptive’ strategy, we felt the need to evolve faster and better than most,” Jaritz said in a recent statement. “We heard from owners and guests that we had nearly all things right with the Tru by Hilton concept. But, as with any new product, we needed to make a few adjustments, which have proven during beta tests to be overwhelmingly popular with our guests and owners.

“Fortunately, we are at a point in our growth as a brand in which we’re able to quickly and nimbly incorporate learnings from our 24 open properties, and further refine, value-engineer and generally improve the overall prototype concept.”

Opened properties will be retrofitted with some new FF&E elements such as the guest room desk and lighting.