|"Out of the ordinary" accommodations at Jo&Joe hotels include offbeat options like this beach shack.|
It’s no secret that Millennial travelers favor boutique hotel brands when it comes to booking a vacation, and a slate of new brands launched this week are aiming to capitalize on the trend. Here’s what should be on your radar.
Jo&Joe From AccorHotels
AccorHotels has announced Jo&Joe, a new worldwide boutique hotel brand that the company says blends the private rental, hostel and hotel formats. That means each hotel will be designed around an “Open House” concept design to foster interaction and positive community living, with common areas and events — think concerts, yoga classes or DIY workshops — aimed at attracting the local community. (As with many of these boutique brands, the hotels will tend to open in city center locations.)
Food and beverage offerings will be centered around each hotel’s bar, which will be designed for high street visibility to encourage locals to stop by. Each bar will focus on a flagship product like wine, beer or craft cocktails that promotes the local culture. Restaurant concepts will also emphasize local cuisine and run the gamut from grill food to open flame barbecues, woks and wood-fired pizzas. A collaborative kitchen will allow guests to cook for themselves and showcase their culinary talents for other hotel guests. For more privacy, the Happy House will offer an area for guests to relax, work, cook or wash their clothes.
Accommodations will be divided into a few categories. Together is billed as a “modular sleeping area,” which is meant to allow guests to share a space with greater privacy than in a traditional hostel. The area will have beds, private lockers, reading lights and USB ports, as well as access to shared recreation areas and bathrooms. Yours will consist of rooms and apartments for two to five guests, with a private bathroom and, depending on the formate, a kitchen space. OOO! (Out Of the Ordinary) offers unique accommodations for people traveling alone or in groups of up to six — formats will include offbeat options like yurts, hammocks and caravans.
AccorHotels said Jo&Joe aims to open 50 locations by 2020, with destinations slated for development including Paris and Bordeaux (2018), plus Warsaw, Budapest, Rio and Sao Paolo.
West Elm Hotels
Furniture retailer West Elm is planning to launch its own line of boutique hotels, according to The Wall Street Journal. The first West Elm hotels will open in Detroit and Savannah in late 2018, with design, furnishings and marketing from the furniture company. Guests who enjoy their stay will be able to buy room furniture online.
The new hotels will aim to keep the independent concept of West Elm’s retail stores, where managers are treated like independent shopkeepers and products by local artisans line the shelves. All room furnishings will be custom designed for the hotels, with design elements like marine blue bathroom tile and marble coffee tables, as well as local artwork.
Each hotel will have around 100 to 250 guest rooms each, with rates ranging from $175 to $400. Following the opening of the Detroit and Savannah locations, other hotels are planned for Charlotte, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.
Artistry Hotels is a new Orlando, Florida-based boutique hotel brand from CEO W.A. "Chip" Headley, III and COO Bryan Guillot.
Headley said the new brand would aim to appeal to both Millennials and younger, active Baby Boomers. Each hotel will aim to be a reflection of its location and neighborhood, with local touches in each hotel’s artwork and coffee. Locations will focus on mixed-use urban developments with significant business activity and university campuses. No word yet on initial locations.
Two Roads Hospitality
Finally, the recently-merged Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels & Resorts have announced their new overarching company: Two Roads Hospitality, which encompasses boutique brands Joie de Vivre Hotels, Thompson Hotels, Destination Hotels, tommie and Alila Hotels & Resorts.
The company, which draws its name from the famous Robert Frost poem, recently opened the Alila Anji in China, Thompson Seattle, The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel in Lower Manhattan, and Cliff House Maine, A Destination Hotel in Cape Neddick, Maine. Over the next 12 months, it will roll out projects including Thompson Nashville; Joie de Vivre properties The Troubadour in New Orleans, Hotel 50 Bowery in New York City and a project in Baltimore; and Alila hotels and resorts in India, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition, the company has new hotels and resorts under development in Hollywood, CA, West Los Angeles, Austin, San Antonio, Chicago, New Orleans and Kansas City.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest Millennial travel news, trends and updates.