Hip New Hotel Brands for Millennial Travelers


As the boutique hotel concept continues to evolve, such hotels have begun to distinguish themselves from other lodging types in four ways: hip, contemporary design; an active nightlife scene, including bars, restaurants and lounges; a focus on guest-facing technology; and a strong appeal initially to Millennials and Gen X travelers. Another common thread: They were primarily located in downtown gateway cities. Here is a quick look at five hip new hotel brands primed to become more prolific and geared to the Millennial mindset. 

Vib (pronounced “vibe”), launched in October 2014, is one of two midmarket boutique brands put on the market by Best Western International in the past 15 months. GLo was introduced late last year. Like their upper-upscale and luxury predecessors, both brands are intended to be fresh, stylish and contemporary, with hip design suited to relaxed social interaction. 


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Best Western is targeting secondary and suburban markets as well as submarkets of major gateways away from the center city for both brands. The first Vib to break ground (this past November), for example, is in Chicago, but specifically the Midway International Airport submarket. Development deals for other Vibs have been announced for several U.S. and Asian cities. 

Moxy Hotels is the latest addition in a growing luxury and lifestyle brand portfolio at Marriott International. Promoted as a boutique hotel concept for the budget-savvy traveler, especially those seeking a vibrant social scene, Moxy made its debut in Milan, Italy, in September 2014. The brand’s aim is to reinvent the traditional economy hotel experience allowing guests to work, play, connect and relax, surrounded by clever design and contemporary, without sacrificing premium comforts — including ample plug-ins for personal devices and free Wi-Fi.

Moxy New Orleans and Moxy Tempe (AZ) are preparing to open in the next few months, and by year’s end the brand plans to add hotels in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Nashville, Oslo and Aberdeen, Scotland

living room

Hotel RL, the new casual upscale brand from Red Lion Hotels, welcomes guests for an immersive encounter with local culture. A relaxed atmosphere, productive spaces designed to inspire creativity, and a welcoming staff work toward Hotel RL’s goal of providing a nurturing environment. Key ingredients include gourmet coffee, healthy food options, live music and local accents. The newest RL opened in Washington, DC, in November.

Even Hotels, the new wellness-oriented brand from InterContinental Hotels Group, emphasizes options to stay healthier and happier away from home. To that end its hotels employ wellness-savvy staff, and offer a best-in-class fitness experience, healthy food choices, eco-friendly products, and natural, relaxing spaces. IHG reports that boutique hotels make up about 7 percent of its 1,200 hotels globally. 

Canopy by Hilton follows in the footsteps of Curio, A Collection by Hilton. Curio showcases independent hotels in cities such as Grand Rapids, MI, or Providence, RI, and the upcoming Canopy brand will similarly incorporate local neighborhoods at a budget-friendly price point. Individual hotel designs are inspired by their surroundings to instill in guests a feeling that they’re part of the neighborhood. Local culture, including resident artists and musicians, are always part of the scene.

Artisanal breakfast emphasizes fresh ingredients and local produce. Extras with a personal touch include a welcome gift, an array of thoughtfully themed and priced foodie bags, and a free tasting every evening. Filtered fresh water is omnipresent.

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