After acquiring three hotel brands in the last two years, Wyndham Hotels is now launching its 19th hotel brand, the Trademark Hotel Collection! Similar to other “collections”, Wyndham is trying to bring independent hotels in major urban centers into the company and rewards program under the Trademark brand. While Hilton‘s Curio collection and Marriott‘s Luxury Collection are targeting the top end of the hotel market, Trademark is targeting the upper midscale market where brands like Wyndham’s Tryp, Choice‘ Comfort or Hilton‘s Hampton Inn fit in!
I admit it – I have a love-hate-relationship with “soft” brands. The idea of bringing independent hotels into the fold, while allowing the hotels to maintain their unique character and to reflect a location without being smothered under tight brand standards, is very appealing. You also can earn and redeem points in the associated rewards program. But often, under pressure to add more and more hotels, the standards are so low, that you end up with a mixed bag of mediocre hotels instead of the unique landmark hotels the brands claim to have! And you end up paying a premium for the “brand” compared to independent hotels!
Wyndham is targeting the Trademark Collection below the existing collections in the upper midscale market for 3-4 star hotels. Hilton’s new Tapestry collection is probably the closest in the upscale segment, while Hilton’s Curio is in the upper upscale segment and Luxury Collection is in the, well, luxury segment.
That makes sense – Wyndham is strongest in the budget and midscale segments, giving it a good understanding of that market. It also makes Wyndham more attractive for travelers, by offering more hotels in urban centers and in the upper midscale segment, where their offer is pretty thin so far!
According to the Wyndham Press Release, they already have 50 properties in the pipeline, a mix of conversions and independent hotels currently under construction!
While I’m always cautious with “soft brands” and recommend to read reviews carefully, I consider this good news for travelers. Wyndham Rewards is a high-value hotel rewards program (even awarded as the best) and having more attractive upper-midscale hotels available to earn points or book a the fixed rate of 15,000 points per night in big cities makes the program even more attractive!
I’m looking forward to announcements for the first Trademark Hotel opening and will try to check one out as soon as I find one near my travel plans!