Skift Take

Will Millennials really be swayed by soft music and hotel lobby front desks that are more curvy than square? We'll reserve judgment until we see the changes in reality later this year.

Choice Hotels, a major franchisor with nearly a dozen brands, has decided to change the name of Cambria Suites to Cambria Hotels & Suites with an eye toward wooing millennials with more choice, and redesigned lobbies and rooms.

Cambria Suites debuted in 2007, and the concept until now has been as an upscale brand representing the “best of a modern home” with luxury bedding, furnishings and amenities. One of its tag lines has been, “Where luxury meets style.”

The new Cambria Hotels & Suites will soon get a new logo and visual identity, with the goal of a transformed guest experience by the end of 2014.

Company officials say the rebrand will emphasize choice, with guests getting the option of staying in a standard hotel room or suite. In-room technology and furniture will be updated, and the vanity will be larger, too, officials say.

The plan is to give the lobby a makeover, emphasizing an open feel that millennials will supposedly eat up.

“The new Cambria Hotels & Suites will provide a high-quality, memorable experience from the moment guests arrive,” the company pledges. “Guests will be greeted by soft music as they enter the large, open lobby and notice a soft, rounded front desk instead of a traditionally linear front desk.”

“This new design is inviting and captures the openness of the room, while still maintaining the traditional, and expected, presence of a front desk. Guests will immediately feel welcome and at home while they complete the check-in process.”

Or that’s the idea. Company officials didn’t immediately have any photos available depicting the envisioned changes.

Cambria Hotels & Suites’ revamped front desk comes as some other brands these days are eliminating the front desk altogether, or emphasizing mobile check-ins.

Cambria Hotels & Suites is Choice Hotels’ smallest brand in terms of number of properties (18) and rooms (2,119). The properties are new construction, not converted hotels, and Choice is currently investing in joint ventures, and making loans to franchisees to assist construction of new properties.

Choice Hotels & Suites competes against Hilton Garden Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, among others.

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Tags: branding, choice hotels, millennials

Photo credit: Cambria's new logo. PRNewsFoto / Choice Hotels International, Inc

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