Jan252016

Tru Hotels, new Hilton midscale brand for when Hampton Inn is too upscale

Hilton announced it will launch Tru Hotels, its 13th hotel brand, targeted for midscale market segment travelers. You might think Hampton Inn already fills the midscale market niche in the Hilton family of hotel brands, however, STR Chain Scale places Hampton Inn in the upper midscale market. Tru Hotels are geared for a new hotel brand targeting younger travelers with lower priced room rates and modern tech conveniences.

Tru by Hilton

Hilton’s press release describes the features of Tru Hotels.

Tru by Hilton’s innovative features include:

  • The Hive, a first floor experience that’s more than a lobby – 2,770 square-feet of open space with unique ways for guests to engage with others or spend time alone – in one of four distinct zones for lounging, working, eating or playing.
  • The Play Zone, filled with table games, a large-screen TV (featuring DIRECTV), and tiered, stadium-inspired seating.
  • A centrally located Command Center – a re-envisioned front desk – featuring a social media wall with real-time content to foster engagement among guests, and a 24/7 market offering fun snacks and refreshments, single-serve wine and beer*, healthy light meal options and sundries for purchase.
  • A complimentary “Build Your Own” breakfast consisting of a toppings bar with 30 sweet and savory items allowing guests to customize bagels, donuts, Greek yogurt and oatmeal to satisfy their taste buds and cravings.
  • Smart and efficiently designed guest rooms full of the things that matter most – all-white comfortable platform beds, 55″ TVs, eight-foot wide windows, access to power everywhere, and surprisingly spacious bathrooms.
  • A fitness center that defines wellness trends, rather than follows them, with a concept focused on cardio, strength and flexibility.
  • A technology-forward mentality featuring segment-leading complimentary Wi-Fi bandwidth allowing guests to download and stream content on their devices, plentiful power sources, and mobile check-in, room selection and Digital Key available through the Hilton HHonors mobile app.
  • A collaboration with DIRECTV, offering guests more than 150 channels, like they have at home.
  • Rooms and linens cleaned by P&G Professional’s (NYSE: PG) top hospitality brands, including Tide® ProfessionalTM, Swiffer® ProfessionalTM and Febreze® ProfessionalTM to help enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies.
  • A brand personality that’s full of life with a spirited culture grounded in a thoughtful, reliable and unflappable approach to guest service.

What are Tru by Hilton Room Rates?

Hotel room rates in the USA have increased by about 30% in the past five years. Hampton Inn average daily rate for 2015 Jan 1-Sep 30 was $119.38. The estimated average daily rate for Tru Hotels is anticipated to be around $90 to $100 when hotels start opening in late 2016.

Hilton says it has already signed 102 properties and 30 more are in the works. Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta states he thinks Tru will become Hilton chain’s largest brand over time. That is a tall order considering a new Hampton Inn opens somewhere in the world every couple of days. There are 2,080 Hampton Inn hotels worldwide according to the 2015-Q3 Hilton investor report.

Tru Guest Room Work Desk? Forget About It.

The basic room idea is millennial minimalist with about 250 sq.ft. of room space, a king or double queen beds and 55-inch TV screen. Instead of a work desk in the guest room, there will be a multifunctional chair. Closet space is open with cubbies for storage.

The lobby concept sounds like Hyatt Place or Aloft with a focus on functional social space. Complimentary make your own breakfast space and free coffee and tea available throughout the day.

Hilton HHonors and Tru by Hilton Hotels

I will be interested to see how Tru by Hilton plays out in the Hilton HHonors arena. My question is will this new hotel brand be positioned within Hilton HHonors as a lower earning hotel brand similar to Home2Suites at 5 base points per dollar? Or will Tru be like Marriott’s Fairfield Inn and earn the full 10 points per dollar rate in Hilton HHonors?

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Wow – this 2nd last one is a real selling point….Rooms and linens cleaned by P&G Professional’s (NYSE: PG) top hospitality brands, including Tide® ProfessionalTM, Swiffer® ProfessionalTM and Febreze® ProfessionalTM to help enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies.

    I really think the chains are going overboard creating all these different brands.

  2. I still don’t understand the fascination with doing away with desks in rooms. Sure, some people don’t use desks in hotel rooms, but as with the Marriott announcement, if you’re advertising up front that your rooms don’t have usable work spaces where one can work in private for multiple hours at a time, I’m going to “advertise” up front that I won’t stay at your hotel. Every other aspect seems just dandy – but I need to work during my work trips!

  3. I’m surprised that they’re going small – other than the fact that smaller rooms are cheaper for them. I love the Hyatt Place. They’re all spacious rooms, all have desks, and the layout actually makes the “separate living and sleeping areas” meaningful.
    I do think that having a lounge that everyone can access may become more commonplace. We liked the one at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Loop. If you’re visiting with people or traveling with multiple rooms full of people, it’s great to have somewhere to hang out that doesn’t require people sitting on one of the beds. As much as I like being part of a subset of the hotel population that can access the lounge, I think people will like not needing status or an upgraded room to get into the lounge.
    Now, whether the Tru’s lobby with all of its different zones actually satisfies this need will depend on the design.

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