Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Trend Tuesday: Dual-Branded Hotels on the Rise

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that it will convert the Melia Atlanta hotel into a Crowne Plaza and a Staybridge Suites. The new dual-branded property will have a total of 462 rooms, and offer amenities from both brands.

This is the latest move in a series of upgrades from hotel groups looking to give consumers more choices when booking accommodations. The new dual-branded properties seem to be the next big thing. In fact, IHG has a new Holiday Inn-Candlewood Suites set to open in Joliet, IL, and a new Hotel Indigo-Holiday Inn Express in Austin, TX.

These "two-packs," an industry term, are properties that contain two different hotel brands from within the same hotel family in one location. So, guests can stay at one or the other, depending on their needs.

So why combine two brands in one? It seems all that would do is create more competition among one company's many labels, pitting one brand against the other to see who would win a head-to-head matchup.

However, hoteliers look at it from a different angle. The way they see it, having two hotels in one attracts different target demographics and could help spur more loyal customers, plus they are much cheaper to build. Guests have the added element of choice, especially when it comes to amenities, since dual-branded hotels can provide more options that they may not have been able to do individually.

Chicago Triplex Property, Aloft © Hotel Chatter
A large number of dual-branded properties are popping up all over the place, but some are taking the next step and putting in three or four different flags. Hilton is working on a three-pack complex in Calgary that it's calling a "hotel village," bringing together a Hilton, Hampton and Homewood Suites. In Chicago, a new property opened last year that combines different brands from different hotel families, one each from Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt.

According to CNN's article, the most important part of this strategy is to make sure that each brand's identity is maintained. Each hotel has its own lobby and front desk so the guest experience at check-in is the same as when they go to an individual property. And more often than not, the hotels don't advertise the fact that they are a dual-branded property, so guests aren't aware until they arrive.

The benefits of multi-branded hotel properties seem to far outweigh the negatives, so it looks as if the trend will continue over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how hotel companies continue to build on this idea once it becomes commonplace. I'm sure everyone in the industry – myself included – will be on the lookout for the next innovative hotel property concept.


No comments:

Post a Comment