Hilton has announced a new extended stay hotel brand that’s supposed to resemble an apartment for guests planning visits of at least 20 days. They’re announcing it even before they have a name. For now, it’s Project H3.
There are plenty of traditional extended stay suite properties, offering things like full kitchens (with dishwashers and cooktops) in the market already. Hilton, though, say they will allow travelers “to maintain their routines while delivering simplicity, consistency and convenience.”
I’ve read the release and have no idea how their concept is different, other than a lobby that “allows sight lines from the front desk to fitness, laundry, and a simple retail market” and communal grills and fire pit. They do, however, have words.
This product will reimagine core design elements from the ground up and deliver all the essential amenities in a warm, comfortable, yet delightfully modern way. Guests are welcomed by the hotel’s inviting exterior, designed to include warm wood tones, and a modern farmhouse-inspired palette with light industrial touches. Outdoor patios are outfitted with grills, a communal fire pit and comfortable seating to make our guests feel like they are truly coming home.
…Designed to be inviting for guests and operationally friendly for team members, [the brand’s] nontraditional lobby creates a perfect balance of friendly smiles and self-sufficiency during every guest’s stay.
This as-yet-named brand promises to “disrupt the category” because reasons. What they promise owners, though, is that there won’t be much space on property other than guest rooms (“the new brand prototype dedicates the majority of space to revenue-generating guest rooms, thus reducing overhead costs for prospective owners”).
Here’s what they’re telling current Hilton hotel owners about the concep:
The brand’s cost of operations and efficient staffing model provide a unique, high-margin opportunity for those looking to expand into a long-stay brand. The brand model is 100% new-build only, and while details are still being finalized, the Hilton Supply Management team has sourced two design packages to offer flexibility as well as time and cost efficiencies.
Project H3 represents a major opportunity for Hilton to tap into a new customer base while enhancing our network effect — we are in discussions on more than 100 active development opportunities, with many owners expressing interest in multiple locations. I’m confident that together, we can break into this untapped group of travelers and firmly plant Hilton’s flag in this key segment.
Hilton says they’re “engaged in more than 100 active development conversations.” These are all for new builds, not conversions, though of course ‘active development conversations’ means very little in terms of guessing how many properties for a brand without a name will come to fruition. It’s very curious that they announced this now without a single property signed on.
Disney’s High School Musical did not have a name. HSM was the placeholder title. Turned out to be one of their most successful franchises.
100% new build is music to the consumer’s ears. Worst thing about the Hyatt Place brand is how inconsistent their hotels are. The new builds are okay. The converted AmeriSuites are AmeriShit.
In fairness, any objective look at the Hilton portfolio would conclude that what they really need is more brands.
I stayed in a place like this a couple years ago in Oklahoma and it was a f***ing dump. I will never stay in a place like that again.
What they promise owners, though, is that there won’t be much space on property other than guest rooms (“the new brand prototype dedicates the majority of space to revenue-generating guest rooms, thus reducing overhead costs for prospective owners”).
What else makes up a great deal of hotel space other than the guest rooms??
Internet travel writers can smugly crack jokes, but Hilton and the developers are going to follow the money. With the current cost of capital, developers aren’t going to be taking potshots at harebrained ideas without solid business cases. The extended stay segment is THE hot spot in the sector right now, for a number of reasons (including travel healthcare, people moving to new cities in a tight housing market, massive infrastructure and industrial construction projects, etc.). Every metric out there suggests that the segment is underserved and will continue to see tailwinds in coming years.
I wouldn’t write this off, because as much as the online frequent flyer crowd (myself included) likes to poke holes in everything, the folks in McLean are NOT dumb.
I read Hilton’s comments to mean the front desk will be fully automated or only partially staffed during daytime hours with everything else keycard accessible or available through self-serve kiosks. Housekeeping is almost certainly once a week. No breakfast or a bar, except maybe kiosk vending machines.
From the PR release words, it seems to be the first hotel brand devised by Chat GPT.
All these marketing teams are screwed now that the computers can create drivel faster and cheaper then they can
@CW – no one is writing off investing in extended stay, just noting that this brand release is pretty lacking in substance, they don’t even have a name!
@Gary – The actual Hilton release, in a section which you conveniently don’t quote, states that the brand is “Launching in the U.S. under the working title Project H3 as Hilton navigates the final stages of the trademark process”.
They have a name, it just isn’t trademarked yet. Usually you’re bemoaning red tape, but these guys are running fast and not waiting for the red tape, and you’re bashing them for it here. Give credit where credit is due.
I don’t see a brand yet that specifically identifies with mid-30s vegans who travel for between 12 and 16 days by Amtrak and prefer strawberry cream cheese with their kosher bagels as a breakfast offering. Do you think Hilton will address that demographic in the next 20 brands?
Hilton’s expansion by “organic growth” vs. Hyatt’s expansion by “mergers and acquisition”.
It will be interesting to check the result of this ongoing “experiment” in a few years .
I bet Hilton retains control while Hyatt dilutes control over their company…
I’m putting my money on the name Home3 suites 🙂
Seriously though, I had been asking myself why there aren’t new build economy hotels anymore and I think the answer is that extended stay is the new budget motel. No amenities of any kind, they don’t even offer free housekeeping. And the “high growth” model they euphemistically refer to really means capitalizing on social ills like the lack of affordable, permanent housing and an increase of catastrophic weather events.
If you look at the interior renderings on the Hilton site, the prototype looks honestly kinda depressing. The “reinvented lobby” is basically a hallway with a desk. It’s like an old Motel 6 meets college dorm. Not a place I would choose to live.
I read the bit about the “nontraditional lobby” (in light of the “cost efficiencies” pitch to owners) as there will be a single staff member manning the front desk, who you’ll never see again after checking in.
Sounds like a tiny step up from an apartment but obviously a much higher cost.