I recently gave an overview of the Best Western Experience and covered the launch of Best Western’s SureStay “white label brand”. I was much more excited about their announcement to launch two boutique brands for the mid-scale market – and even more so when I found out that they will be coming quickly to Asia as well! Read what to expect from these brands and where to find them first!
I have spent way too much time in hotels with flower-print curtains and pastel paintings and I’m a big fan of boutique hotels that offer more stylish rooms. I frequently select independent boutique hotels (who started this trend after all ) and the W Hotels and aloft hotels by Starwood, Kimpton and Indigo from the IHG Group and art’otel by Carlson Hotels are some of my favorite hotel chains! Unfortunately, all of them are luxury or upscale brands with price tags to match, so it’s great to see that Best Western is bringing this design trend to the mid-scale market.
The Vib (say “vibe”) brand is targeting the upper midscale market as an urban boutique concept, think of it as the younger, more stylish sibling of a Best Western Plus hotel. They offer a modern lobby with seating around a fireplace or water feature, an open cafe, a mini-shop for food, sundry and tech items and a lobby or pool bar and fitness center. It all reminds me very much of what you’ll find at an aloft hotel – Starwood should be flattered! The rooms are equally stylish with a modern bathroom with a glass window to the bedroom and a chic desk and office chair (at least they do have a desk – looking at YOU Hilton & Marriott). To achieve the target market segment, the rooms are pretty small at 200sf compared to the more standard 300sf in typical hotel rooms. That is typical in Asia, Europe and New York and I’m ok with that if the room is as functional as in this design.
The Glo brand is also targeting a younger audience with small, new-built hotels (100 rooms) for suburban areas and secondary cities. They are targeting an Average Daily Rate of $90/night, a solid midscale offering comparable to a regular Best Western hotel, and will compete with Hilton’s new Tru brand in that space. The name references the exterior design feature – a bright, glowing blue column at the front of the hotel. The lobby is a bit simpler than the Vib and has seating, a business bar with computers and a bistro for breakfast. You’ll also get a fitness center. The rooms are more basic than the Vib and have a contemporary design with bright colors. It’s a smart layout that doesn’t waste any space and gives you a room of 250-280sf – bigger than the Vib!
Typically the US hotel companies launch the first hotels of a new brand in the US – and you’ll find new Vib hotels in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami soon. But I was excited to find out that these brands will launch internationally immediately. New Vib hotels have been announced for South Korea, Vientiane, Laos and Yangon, Myanmar, and a new Glo hotel is planned for Pattaya, Thailand!
I’m looking forward to trying out these new boutique hotel concepts at lower price points and will keep you posted on future developments!
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