motto by Hilton – a new micro-hotel brand, not a hostel!

Hilton is launching their newest brand, motto, inspired by urban boutique or pod hotels and offering small rooms in big cities at affordable prices. They are following the lead of small chains like citizenM or Marriott’s moxy, targeting the millenial mindset. While the Hilton CEO called it a “hostel on steroids”, Hilton is back-paddling from the toxic hostel label. Find out what you can expect from Hilton’s latest brand!

Urban hotel markets are tough – prices for land and staff are sky-high and for years, hotel companies have moved towards smaller rooms and limited service offerings to keep prices affordable. And many independent hotels have experimented with “pod-style” hotels, offering micro rooms that are stylish and functional, sacrificing space to keep the experience upscale. My favorite hotel in this category is citizenM, which has tiny, but upscale rooms and great, relaxed service, like at the citizenM Taipei!
But don’t call these boutique hotels “hostels” – they have given up multi-bed dorms and shared bathrooms, because while many travelers are willing to sacrifice space, they are not willing to give up on privacy! 

Both, Hilton’s own Tru brand and Marriott’s moxy brand are targeting this market, but started out in suburban or small town locations, with less of a premium on space. Marriott is trying to migrate the moxy brand to urban centers, like in New York or the moxy Berlin. Hilton decided to launch a separate brand for urban markets – meet motto by Hilton! They are going beyond shrinking the rooms, describing “5 steps to motto: 

Hotels offer a common space to hang out, have drinks or food or work, just like you would at a New York coffee shop. Rooms are flexible and you can – a first in the hotel industry – book connecting rooms, making it easier for families or groups of friends to travel together.

This is both a step up from a hostel and a competitive move against airbnb, a favorite with families and groups who want to stay together. motto will have rooms with bunkbeds, rooms that convert from a sofa to a bed or regular double beds, giving you an option to create your own home away from home. Rooms will be much smaller than usual, at only 160sf (15sqm) each.

The “fly-through” video provided by Hilton is an excellent intro what you can expect from motto:

Motto by Hilton – Virtual Flythrough from Hilton Newsroom on Vimeo.

p style=”text-align: justify;”>While other hotel companies often just have a handful of hotels, Hilton has big plans for motto and is expecting to open a dozen hotels in the next three years, with 50 in the pipeline and 100 hotels in the next few years. That would cover many of the biggest cities in the US and around the world. The first few hotels are under development now, including in London and Washington DC.
I’m open to this kind of hotel and am willing to give up space for quality and style. I’m looking forward to the first motto opening and I’ll give them a try as soon as my travel plans line up!

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