Hilton is planning to create several new hotel brands in the coming years to fill space in its current portfolio.
Christopher Nassetta, chief executive of Hilton Worldwide, said the company would gradually look to build on its current collection of 14 brands.
The most eye-catching announcement was the plan for an urban micro-brand, which the company will look to formally introduce sometime next year.
“We have a lot of customers that want to now be in these urban environments, that even with our lowest-priced products can’t afford to be in these cities, so we’re giving up a lot of business. We’re not getting customers in that environment through our system early in their travel lives,” Nassetta said in an interview at the Skift Global Forum in New York Tuesday.
Nassetta said the rooms would likely be between 125 and 150 square feet with an emphasis placed on connectability, flexibility and a local vibe.
He added that this would be the “hardest” of the five brands he has helped launch to get right.
Elsewhere, Hilton is planning a new five-star soft brand and what Nassetta dubbed a “Hilton Plus.”
“Probably in the not-too distant future we will create a capstone to our soft brands — that was always the intention. We started with Curio, at the middle we did Tapestry to get three-star, and we always wanted to have a capstone, which would be five-star and sort of have three, four and five stars. So that’s reason close,” he said.
“The other one we’ve been working on is, I call it a Hilton plus. A higher level of Hilton. Because we thought there’s a bunch of markets around the country where we think there are opportunities to get a little bit more rate, do a Hilton plus. I think that’s not too far off.”
Nassetta also said Hilton is beta-testing “the connected room,” which is being used currently in some hotels. This smart room would know a traveler’s preferences, among its features.
Nassetta said the chain could launch the connected room globally in 2018.