A new breed of hotels offering “affordable luxury”

We’re just back from the Hospitality Design Boutique Exposition & Conference in the heart of Miami’s South Beach. Most interesting was a panel “Affordable hotels 2.0- Hybrids, New brands and fresh ideas” where the industry’s latest pioneers (Paul Priestman of Priestmangoode, Micheal Levie of CitizenM hotels, Bill Lanting of Stay Hotels, and Enrique Sarasola of Room Mate hotels) discussed the next generation of hotels, design and the newest consumer.

In our last newsletter, we questioned, “Can Hotels and Cruise Ships Remake Themselves?” And according to this panel, the answer is a resounding “yes”. There’s a new breed of small, casually chic hotels that are catering to today’s modern traveler, who is very travel savvy. In a nutshell, each hotel’s business model: provides affordable luxury by 1) thinking outside the hospitality industry box and utilizing new materials, new technologies, and new interiors 2) eliminating superfluous services they believe the modern traveler doesn’t need or want, and 3) providing “luxury” in amenities and features that travelers value most. By doing so, these hotels are passing on significant savings to customers and maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction.

Overall, this new segment of hotels has created a product which is lower cost, cool, fun, simple and efficient. Their viability? According to all of the panelists, these more affordable boutique hotels are not only doing well, but are excelling in a recession environment. They are expanding globally, and report having the best occupancies ever, outselling their counterparts in the 4* and 5* segments. 

We’ll be focusing more on this topic in our upcoming newsletter this autumn, so stay tuned. If you’d like read our past newsletters to catch up, click here.


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