3 boutique hotel brands from major operators worth watching
There has been a significant shift in the hotel industry in recent years, with legacy brands like Starwood (now owned by Marriott), Hyatt and Marriott extending their reaches into the boutique side of the business.
These massive, established brands have worked hard to launch mini-chains aimed at fulfilling the niche lifestyle interests of a younger generation of travelers, who wield increasing monetary influence over the hospitality industry and have shown themselves to prefer curation of local touches, tech amenities, and design that lends itself to being captured and shared on social media channels such as Instagram.
Indeed, this shift has marked a new era for the hospitality industry, an era that leans heavily on both modern style and comprehensive service. These new boutique entries have a lot for travelers to like, including often being affordable and falling under the existing umbrellas of the brands’ guest loyalty programs, which make them that much more appealing for guests. From Marriott’s hip Moxy to the innovative Canopy by Hilton, this new generation of boutique brands is increasingly worth booking.
Here are three boutique brands by major hotel operators that are worth knowing:
Moxy is often described as Marriott’s hip little sister, and it’s an apt comparison. Moxy’s style feels like something out of a neon fever dream, complete with communal spaces and giant video installations that appeal to young people, who generally prefer the informal atmosphere found in hostels over that of a crunchy five-star luxury mega hotel. Moxy also displays a strong focus on tech offerings, removing closets in favor of bigger TVs, and offering super-fast WiFi that lets visitors stream their favorite binge-worthy shows with a few touches of a button.
The Hyatt Centric is a chameleon-esque boutique brand that takes on the unique styles of its location and incorporates them into all that the property has to offer, from the furniture to the food. For example, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach uses modern Hawaiian design, such as wood and rattan, and it also hots hula dancing and lei-making every day of the week. The Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, meanwhile, is housed in a refurbished Art Deco tower with a history in the city that extends back to the roaring 1920s. While Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara is a characteristic Spanish colonial-style building with a terra cotta-tiled roof.
This brand holds special appeal for digitally savvy travelers who appreciate modern technological perks. For example, the Manhattan outpost of this brand has its own social network, Lobby Friend, which encourages guests to connect virtually before later meeting for tapas at the hotel’s trendy tapas bar. You’ll even find language geared at millennial’s on the brand’s website: “When you return from owning the city…” Imagine finding that on a corporate site for Marriott, Hyatt or Wyndham.
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