Future Guest Experience 2020

September 28 - 29, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

Hilton Launches New Hostel-Inspired Brand - Motto by Hilton - to Deliver "Affordable Style" in Coveted Urban Destinations

Brought to you by WBR Insights

As Hilton reaches its milestone 100th anniversary in 2019, it continues to break new ground in the hospitality landscape and innovate new options and experiences to meet the evolving needs of the global traveler. Now targeting the millennial market, Hilton has launched a new brand - Motto by Hilton - with a range of affordable lifestyle hotels with an urban vibe.

Construction of the first 100-bedroom Motto began in January 2019 in Marylebone, London, and is due for a 2020 opening. The new chain also has deals in various stages of development in other urban destinations around the globe, including San Diego, Boston, Washington D.C., Lima, Dublin and Savannah.

Seeking to bridge the gap between the micro-hotel and hostel models, Motto by Hilton takes inspiration from the pod-like hotel concepts that have been introduced over the past few years. As Phil Cordell, Global Head of New Brand Development at Hilton, explains, the company was looking for a way to implement a hotel brand that would retain a traditional guestroom layout - albeit one that is smaller in size - offset by more vibrant and social public spaces.

"Each of Hilton's brands was either acquired or launched to provide a specific guest experience," said Cordell. "We could have just launched a hotel with hostel-like rooms, but we wanted to consider what would be affordable to build or stay in, and what the international traveler will interact with."

Motto by Hilton

The result is a hostel-like hotel - though Motto is certainly much more than what one would usually expect from such an establishment. Hostels, of course, are characterized by large, shared bedrooms, often with bunkbeds. Motto is providing individual guestrooms - but the tradeoff is that they are on the small side. The average Motto guestroom will be 163 square feet - which is about half the size of a room in the upper midscale Hampton by Hilton. They come with space-saving features, such as wall-beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls, door-less closets, and multifunctional furniture that can be stowed away.

Motto properties will have various types of rooms - some with a bed at the center, others with beds in a corner that can be rotated to create more space, and still more with wall-beds that can pulled down and pushed back up again to make more room for entertainment or work. Some of these rooms will have connecting doors on each side - the idea being to join rooms together to create larger quarters for groups of friends or families - and will be linked by a common area. Groups of travelers will have the option to book multiple connecting rooms in advance and split payments at the time of booking between multiple people.

(Image source: newsroom.hilton.com)

"Following extensive market research that focused on consumers' needs and wants, we discovered the opportunity for a brand that offers travelers a trifecta of centrally located, reasonably priced and less traditional lodging that provide a one-of-a-kind experience," said Hilton's Chief Customer Officer, Jonathan Witter. "These findings led us to create Motto by Hilton, a flexible environment that allows guests to design their stay, their way."

Connected Room Technology

Building on the "poshtel" - or "posh hostel" - concept, all Motto guestrooms will feature Hilton's Connected Room technology, allowing guests to control features in their room such as temperature, lighting, TV, and window coverings from the Hilton Honors mobile app.

Motto by Hilton is also putting emphasis on the sleep experience for guests. With premium mattresses, Sleep Kits with eye masks, essential oils, vitamin bars, a white noise app, blackout window shades, and sound-absorbing materials throughout each room, Motto wants its guests to get the best night's sleep possible - something that's not always guaranteed in hostel-like establishments.

(Video source: newsroom.hilton.com)

Outside the guestrooms, Motto's commercial space will provide food, coffee, and a bar. Guests will also be invited to enjoy the benefits of Hilton Honors - Hilton's guest loyalty program for the company's district hotel brands. Members who book directly with Hilton will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose from multiple combinations of points and money to book their stay, exclusive member discounts, and free Wi-Fi.

"The launch of Motto by Hilton emphasizes our relentless commitment to creating innovative brands that meet what today's travelers want," said Cordell. "The unmatched flexibility of Motto offers tremendous value by empowering travelers to tailor every stay to their specific needs."

Final Thoughts

With Motto, Hilton's aim is to deconstruct the hotel experience, giving travelers more flexibility when choosing their accommodations in urban markets. With a big focus on apps, smart room technology, and premium sleep experiences, though small, Motto's rooms will be modern, stylish, and hyper-connected - creating flexible and innovative hospitality experiences in hip, urban destinations where connected and confident travelers want to travel most.

"Hilton prides itself on being a leader in the hospitality industry and evolving with the needs of our guests," said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton. "Innovation is in our DNA, and as we embark on our 100th year as a company, we are innovating more than ever before. With Motto by Hilton, we are bringing to market something the industry has never experienced with its flexible and affordable room product, desirable locations and guest-empowered service."

Hotel innovation is set to be a hot topic at Future Guest Experience 2019, taking place this September in Henderson, NV.

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