Last year Hilton announced the launch of a new hotel brand, Tru, and now the first hotel is scheduled to open next month in Oklahoma City. While their is a dizzying number of hotel brands out there already, this is one brand I’m excited about: It’s a mid-scale, select service hotel brand that is much bolder than any other brand in the Hilton portfolio and it’s growing faster than any hotel brand in history – it’s worth checking out!
The new Tru hotel is positioned below Hampton, the successful and slightly boring limited service brand with over 2,000 properties worldwide. While Hampton was also launched as a mid-scale brand, it has since moved up in price, leaving room below. Tru will compete directly with brands like Best Western’s Glo and Accor’s ibis styles brand. Hotels will stand out with their exterior, with new built hotels looking like this:
You will be welcomed into what Hilton calls a four-zone-lobby, with space to work, play, lounge and eat – more a space to hang out than just check in & out! It reminds me a bit of the shared spaces at Starwood’s aloft brand – my favorite limited service brand out there! Tru calls the lobby “Hive” – probably not the best marketing idea. It reminds me more of a space for insect-like aliens to breed than friendly people to mingle!
The open restaurant will feature a free breakfast with plenty of choices to mix and match! Also a nod to millennials are the semi-private work spaces – instead of working at your desk in your room, you can work in alcoves in the shared space, alone or with friends or colleagues. There’s also a fitness center, which is very welcome in this market segment, where many hotels still don’t offer it!
And while other hotel companies have freshened up their brands, like Starwood with aloft, Accor with ibis and Best Western with Glo, the Hilton brands started to feel rather old fashioned. That is changing with Tru, that is targeting Millenials and everybody else eager for a little brighter designs. The rooms will also be smaller and have no desks to work at (hence the lobby co-working spaces), but huge TVs!
I could probably do without the cutsy slogans in the bathroom (something I dislike about ibis as well), but at least they are bright and fresh!|
I really enjoy modern, bright and friendly hotels and don’t mind the limited service. I’d rather have fast wifi internet than bellboy service! And I’d take a small & stylish room over a large one with flower prints! Tru promises to deliver an aloft feel at a lower price point and will compete in the US with a lot of old, worn motels of the many Wyndham and Choice brands. That market sorely needs a fresh wind of competition – nowhere are midscale and budget hotels as bad and boring as in the US!
Tru has been signing up new agreements faster than any other hotel brand after launch – with more than 140 hotels signed up and more than 200 in the works. The first one is opening next month in Oklahoma City and one in Georgia in May. I expect that pace to quicken with more Tru locations opening around the US and soon internationally. You can start booking them on the Tru website that’s now life! I’m looking forward to a Tru hotel along my travel path and will report on it as soon as I’ve stayed at one!
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