Choice Hotels, the second largest hotel chain in the world by number of properties, is launching Clarion Pointe, a sub-brand to their existing Clarion brand, in the mid-scale, select-service segment. It is targeting conversions of existing hotels and already has 50 properties in the pipeline, so you will see them in the market quickly!
A confusing number of hotel brands already exists, but that isn’t stopping the big hotel management companies from launching new ones. Choice Hotels, with more than 6,500 hotels, already has 10 brands, mostly covering the economy and mid-scale segments, making it very difficult to distinguish the existing brands! There is a lot of overlap already and you have to be an expert to differentiate a Quality Inn from a Comfort Inn or Clarion hotel.
But the brands are often launched more with an eye on hotel owners and operators than for the benefit of the customers, so Choice Hotels is launching the Clarion pointe sub-brand in the mid-scale segment as a select-service offering (which is easier and often more profitable to operate) and targeting conversion opportunities – which means existing hotels are rebranded and refreshed before they receive the new logo on the roof.
In this case Clarion pointe is a more modern version of existing Choice mid-scale brands, with a better technology offering, more interesting food and drinks (including craft beers and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) and more contemporary decors, including “signature murals”!
Conversion brands often give a lot of leeway to the hotel operators, requiring only some common elements (like cheaply implemented murals), rather than consisting room decors following a specific prototype. If I’m staying at a chain hotel, I expect consistency, so I generally avoid conversion brands and won’t be going out of my way to try out Clarion pointe. I recommend to carefully check individual online reviews of each property before booking!
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