MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Worldwide unveiled Tru by Hilton, a streamlined brand aimed at the affordable, midscale hospitality market in North America. While the hotel chain touts many features targeted to the next generation of travelers like WiFi strong enough for downloading and streaming media and spacious bathrooms - closet space doesn't make the list.
Closets in many mid-range hotels often are little more than a built-in wardrobe, or an armoire, with a one closet rod and a luggage rack, but this hotel and many in its vein, are opting for something even more minimalist. Photo renderings of the hotel's guest rooms show an area just inside the doorway called a landing zone. And it features hooks on one wall and on the other side an abbreviated closet rod that attaches to the ceiling and wall with hooks on the adjacent wall for an ironing board and iron. A small table is used as a luggage rack.
Hostels could open a new niche in architectural interiors, with accommodations aimed at Millennial travelers.
Also gone are the large desks generally aimed at business travelers. In its place is something akin to a school desk - a chair with an attached arm to hold a laptop.
Hilton describes guest rooms for the Tru brand as smart and efficiently designed and "full of the things that matter most - all-white comfortable platform beds, 55-inch TVs, 8-inch-foot wide windows, access to power everywhere, and surprisingly spacious bathrooms".
While these changes may prove challenging for older road warriors, Hilton calls its new brand a category disrupter that fills a gap in the market.
"More than 40 percent of all U.S. hotel stays are within the midscale and economy sectors and Tru by Hilton addresses a gap in the marketplace by appealing to the youthful mindset demographic, pushing the industry to marry quality and value," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. "We're breaking through the clutter of undistinguished offerings to capture the hearts of today's travelers and anticipating the needs of tomorrow's guests, while delivering a hotel that's a place travelers will want to go to rather than just through."
Not only are millennial driving the interior design in the next generation of hotels, their desires are also influencing residential interior design as well. A recent study of millennial women by Better Homes and Gardens found that women under 35 wanted a focus on personalization, integration of smart technology, high quality and home offices.
Additional Tru by Hilton features include:
- The Hive, a first floor experience that's more than a lobby - 2,770 square-feet of open space with unique ways for guests to engage with others or spend time alone - in one of four distinct zones for lounging, working, eating or playing.
- The Play Zone, filled with table games, a large-screen TV (featuring DIRECTV), and tiered, stadium-inspired seating.
- Centrally located Command Center - a re-envisioned front desk - featuring a social media wall with real-time content to foster engagement among guests, and a 24/7 market offering fun snacks and refreshments, single-serve wine and beer*, healthy light meal options and sundries for purchase.
- Complimentary "Build Your Own" breakfast consisting of a toppings bar with 30 sweet and savory items allowing guests to customize bagels, donuts, Greek yogurt and oatmeal to satisfy their taste buds and cravings.
- Fitness center that defines wellness trends, rather than follows them, with a concept focused on cardio, strength and flexibility.
- Technology-forward mentality featuring segment-leading complimentary Wi-Fi bandwidth allowing guests to download and stream content on their devices, plentiful power sources, and mobile check-in, room selection and Digital Key available through the Hilton HHonors mobile app.
- A collaboration with DIRECTV, offering guests more than 150 channels, like they have at home.
- Rooms and linens cleaned by P&G Professional's (NYSE: PG) top hospitality brands, including Tide® Professional, Swiffer® Professional and Febreze Professional to help enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies.
- A brand personality that's full of life with a spirited culture grounded in a thoughtful, reliable and unflappable approach to guest service.
The first Tru by Hilton hotel is expected to open by the end of 2016 in the U.S.