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Hilton’s CEO announced on their earnings call that in 2016 it will open a midscale hotel brand because they don’t have a midscale hotel brand. Huh?
Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn not midscale? Not anything else midscale lurking among its 11 brands? I don’t know what Canopy and Curio are, while Homewood and Home2 fall separately into the extended stay category.
Travel Weekly summarizes the comments:
[Hilton CEO] Nassetta said a huge swath of customers cannot afford to pay room rates at its lowest-price chain, Hampton Inn, an upper-midscale brand that was initially targeted at the midscale segment “but has grown up out of it.” Hampton’s average daily rate across the chain will be about $115 this year, Nassetta said.
Furthermore, Nassetta said that “there is no good midscale product, and that’s why we are doing it.”
Hotels will be constructed and operated “in a very simplistic way to be able to drive returns like we’ve done with Hampton,” he said. Nassetta envisions a “megabrand” that could amass more than 1,000 hotels “just as we’ve done with Hampton.”
This gets to the crux of it: Hampton Inn is a midscale product that is overpriced. On the rare occasions I pay cash direct to a hotel, meaning not using points, Priceline or other methods, I find Hampton Inn overpriced in my estimation to what I see as its competitors. Great for them as a business to be able to charge a premium. I look elsewhere.
To me there are two types of hotel rooms in the US: those with central air con and those with wall units under the windows. My wife tolerates a lot, though always wants to avoid those rumbling wall units.
Hampton Inn is a wall-unit brand and one that offers free breakfast. I see it in the same soup of limited-service brands that may or may not offer free breakfast. On my midscale view, I prefer the extended stay brands because of the kitchens and quirky evening receptions (“It’s cupcake night”).
I recently had my first Hilton Homewood Suites stay in Seattle (liked it) and first IHG Candlewood Suites stay in North Charleston (smelly dump). Marriott Residence Inns are my favorite, though halved Marriott Rewards earning is a deterrent to paid stays. There are many more brands and I am not a US road warrior to give a deep view.
I doubt the world needs a new Hilton brand. Here it comes.