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Hilton has launched an urban microhotel brand called Motto by Hilton that borrows from the emerging lifestyle hostel trend in the lodging industry.
Motto by Hilton properties won't feature the shared guest rooms many associate with hostels, however. Hilton research found that many of the travelers who stay in hostels don't actually like staying with strangers and instead book hostels with friends and family.
"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," Hilton chief customer officer Jon Witter said in a media release. The company said room rates will vary by market but they will make Motto "a viable option for travelers who typically stay with friends or family or seek out temporary housing options when traveling to urban markets."
The Motto by Hilton guest room will have an average footprint of 163 square feet; for context, a U.S.-based Hampton Inn guest room is 333 square feet on average and a Tru by Hilton guest room is 255 square feet on average. The microrooms will leverage space-saving furniture, including lofted beds, Murphy beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls and multifunctional furniture. All Motto by Hilton guest rooms also will feature Hilton's Connected Room technology, which enables guests to control things like temperature, lighting, TV and window coverings from their mobile devices using the Hilton Honors app.
Taking a nod from the group travel appeal of hostels, Motto by Hilton will allow for linking rooms; a group of guests can book multiple rooms adjacent to each other in advance. The brand also will enable split payments between multiple people at the time of booking. Motto by Hilton properties will feature a community hub for travelers and locals, plus a cafe and bar that transitions from day to night.
Hilton already has a development deal with Dominvs Group to build a 100-bed Motto by Hilton in Marylebone, London, which is expected to open by 2020 as one of the brand's first properties. Hilton is looking to establish the global brand in markets across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific. It is in various stages of development to bring Motto by Hilton to prime neighborhoods in Lima, Peru; Dublin, Ireland; Savannah, Ga.; San Diego; Boston; and Washington, D.C.
Hilton isn't the first major hotelier to look to the growing hostel segment. AccorHotels in September 2016 launched its own hostel-style brand Jo&Joe, which features a community "open house" space, as well as a mix of private rooms and group rooms, in addition to shared rooms. Some other brands playing in this space include Marriott International's Moxy Hotels and Pod Hotels. Travel research firm Phocuswright, owned by BTN parent company Northstar Travel Group, last year pegged global hostel revenue at about $5.5 billion and projected it would rise to $6.4 billion by 2020.
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