As Millennial travelers began showing an inclination toward booking boutique or lifestyle hotels, major hotel companies took notice and jumped on the bandwagon. And while MMGY Global’s 2016 Portrait of American Travelers shows that more than two-thirds of Millennials are interested in “small independent boutique” hotels, you can give them the same type of experience by booking them into lifestyle-brand hotels that also let them take advantage of rewards programs and other big-chain perks. Here is a brief look at three such brands.
Hyatt Centric Hotels
When Travel Agent reported on the launch of Hyatt Centric two years ago, we quoted Hyatt President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian, who said, “From listening to our guests, we learned there was an opportunity to better meet the needs of a large group of travelers that we call Modern Explorers. These travelers are looking for a cosmopolitan vibe in the center of the action.”
We found that to be an apt description when we toured the Hyatt Centric Times Square in Manhattan following the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the transformed Hyatt Times Square last month. The 487 spacious loft-like guestrooms (which average more than 360 square feet, we were told) have floor-to-ceiling windows and playful touches such as a colorful porcelain figure designed to resemble a balloon animal. Clients staying here will also find bath amenities from the hotel’s Timeless - Marilyn Monroe Spa, Drybar Buttercup blow dryers, Keurig in-room coffee brewing systems and JBL wireless speakers.
There are suites and double rooms suitable for families, as well as Accessible rooms with ADA amenities. View, Deluxe and Suite accommodations afford the best panoramas of Manhattan’s skyline, but the views from the terrace at Bar 54 (as in 54th-floor lounge) are truly awesome. River-to-river vistas include the Chrysler building, the New Year’s Eve ball and “2017” sign and several Broadway marquees. On the ground floor, we checked out the newly redesigned T45 restaurant and sampled some of the small plates from the globally inspired menu.
Your experiential travelers should note that, upon arrival, the hotel’s hosts welcome and encourage travelers to explore the destination.
Earlier this year, the brand opened its first Hawaii property, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. It has 230 oversized rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as onsite amenities such as an outdoor pool and entertainment deck, an upscale bar and restaurant and a 24-hour fitness facility.
Late last year, Hyatt Centric Arlington, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, and Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa were added to the brand’s portfolio following significant upgrades. A highlight of the DC property is updated artwork that depicts popular locations in the area, including the Capitol Rotunda, Library of Congress, the stairs to the Jefferson Memorial and the area’s famous cherry blossoms. The Key West hotel has 120 guestrooms, each with private balconies with views of the Gulf of Mexico, and amenities such as Moleskine journals, and eco-friendly BeeKind bath products. Authentic Cuban coffee is now served here as well.
Hyatt Centric participates in the Hyatt Gold Passport rewards program.
Marriott Has Moxy
If there is any doubt that Marriott is courting Millennials with its Moxy Hotels, check out the brand’s website. The first thing you’ll find on the splash page is “Do Not Disturb” (#AtThe Moxy), a series of videos in which Gen-Y YouTube personality Taryn Southern conducts short (about five minutes or so) interviews with other social media stars in a Moxy hotel room. Guests are also invited to “Instagram Your Story” and post their own photos.
Moxy currently has properties around the U.S. as well as in London, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and, debuting later this year, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Tokyo. The brand also had several U.S. openings slated for the second half of 2017, including hotels in Boston, Memphis, Nashville, San Diego, Seattle and Washington, DC.
Stays at Moxy hotels contribute toward guests’ Marriott Rewards status.
Hilton Curates Curio
Latest developments from Curio - A Collection by Hilton include last month’s addition of Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, where the amenities include one of the “Coolest Pools in the World” and the February debut of its first property in Puerto Rico, El San Juan Hotel. A multimillion-dollar renovation at the latter included completely remodeled guestrooms, a new pool with 22 luxury cabanas and new restaurants. Led by designer Jeffery Beers, the renovations bring a more modern and luxurious feel to the property. Luis Torruella, a locally acclaimed artist, designed the eight-foot sphere that floats in a pool of water in front of the El San Juan. Inspired by the relationship that the hotel and Puerto Rico share with music, dance and nature, the installation was put up to create a unique atmosphere upon guests’ arrival at the hotel.
Late last year, the brand made its Boston debut with Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. The 114-room hotel occupies the Ames Building, a 124-year-old National Register of Historic Places-listed structure billed as Boston’s “original skyscraper.” Nearby are the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Beacon Hill, the Seaport District and many public transit access points.
Hilton Honors benefits apply to Curio hotel bookings.