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Tru by Hilton brand to debut in McDonough, Georgia for millennial mindset travelers

Tru by Hilton is a new ‘millennial mindset’ midscale hotel brand announced in January 2016 by Hilton Worldwide. The first Tru by Hilton hotel had its groundbreaking ceremony in McDonough, Georgia in a town about 25 miles southeast of Atlanta Hartsfield Airport ATL. This Tru by Hilton hotel is scheduled to open in late 2016. Hilton says they have signed 189 Tru hotels for development.

The announcement of Tru by Hilton as a new midscale hotel brand at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit January 2016, along with the Tru by Hilton website, indicates to me this new brand is geared more to hotel developers and owners seeking a lower entry cost investment than a hotel brand focused on guest needs.

What is a Midscale Hotel Brand?

In terms of the hotel industry, hotel market segments are generally divided into six categories based on highest to lowest average daily rate for rooms:

1. Luxury  (Waldorf-Astoria, Conrad)

2. Upper Upscale (Hilton, Embassy Suites, Curio Collection)

3. Upscale (Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites)

4. Upper Midscale (Hampton Inn, Home2 Suites)

5. Midscale (Tru by Hilton)

6. Economy

Hotel industry marketing speak is something I run through my bullshit filter, kind of like political candidate speeches. Unveiling a new brand or idea is generally just the same old crap in a new wrap, coming from a different mouthpiece.

Tru by Hilton Minimal

Try by Hilton is another one of these hotel brands like Radisson Red, Moxy by Marriott, Starwood’s Aloft and other cookie-cutter hotel designs for realtively low cost entry to investors and owners that are being sold as the new cool trending lodging option to a new generation of consumers. The common thread for these new brands is a hotel with minimal room design, plenty of power outlets, a large TV and a focus on the lobby for hotel entertainment and social interaction.


Photo: ©Hilton Worldwide

55-inch TV with Direct TV for when you want to lay in bed or work from the chair is one of the main feature of Tru.

You can play a photo slideshow of Tru by Hilton images at this link.

Tru by Hilton Our Guest Profile

We created Tru to attract a broad spectrum of leisure and business guests who span generations – millennials, gen-Xers, boomers – all united by a common mindset. We call this a “millennial mindset.” They share a youthful energy and a zest for life. They have a desire to connect with others and want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Tru guests are traveling on a budget, looking for value. They want the basics – a super-comfy bed, a great shower, a high-quality breakfast, up-to-the-minute technology, and on-demand entertainment – served up in a surprisingly affordable way. They have a desire for human connection and want to have a hotel experience, rather than just a “stop along the way.” No brand is meeting their needs in their price point today. Tru was developed to better meet the needs of millions of travelers today and to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s traveler.

Is Tru by Hilton really offering anything new?

Tru, Red, Moxy, Aloft

I fit the Tru demographic for a traveler on a budget, looking for value.

However, I found a similar hotel style on my first stay in Starwood’s Aloft brand nearly a decade ago. Starwood Hotels commonly seems to lead the way in new design for the hotel industry.

Here are descriptions of other hotel chain’s new midscale brands:

Moxy by Marriott


Forget what you know about budget hotels. At the Moxy, we’ve ripped all that up and started over. We kept premium comforts, convenient services, and, made it chic, modern, with a vibrant social scene. Because why shouldn’t you have it all? (Hint: You should.)

We tossed out stodgy suits and forever check-in lines and created a stylish atmosphere where self-service means you can do what you want, when you want without holding you up. Because you know how you take your coffee – or your Manhattan – and you have places to be.


Of course we did our homework. We had some of the best design teams find out what people love most, or could live without, at a hotel. Turns out most folks never use their closets. So, we kept some room for your stuff, but made more space for a sweet 42” TV and an even sweeter bed.

Also, apparently we’re not the only ones who wince at instant coffee. We brew up fresh joe downstairs in the lobby every day so no one has to know you’re not a morning person. And while you’re there, you’ll find all the amenities and comforts (not to mention games, grab-and-go bites, and a full-service bar) you’d expect of a boutique hotel, only at an affordable price.

Welcome to Moxy. You have arrived.


Games in the lobby and a bed in the guest room at Moxy by Marriott.


Building upon a successful introduction in Europe, Moxy’s fun, spirited brand will launch in eight US metropolitan locations, including properties in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Tempe, New Orleans and Chicago.

Moxy’s first New York property will be created by the world-renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The firm’s leaders, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, are widely known for delivering the unexpected and are dedicated to maintaining designs that reflect an imaginative, thoughtful and honest approach.

Radisson Red has Millennial Mindset Too

Radisson Red millennial mindset

Loyalty Traveler – Radisson Red brand debuts in Brussels (March 11, 2016)

Starwood Aloft Hotels

As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft hotels are shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft hotels offer a total sensory experience, with guest rooms featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of each aloft room is the ultra-comfortable plush platform bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss® spa. Each aloft room is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops – all linked to a large flat panel LCD television for optimal sound and viewing.

Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, aloft stays true to the W Hotel brand’s heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mixSM communal lobby area and bar w xyzSM. The re:chargeSM fitness center and splash, the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloftSM, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.

aloft Montreal Airport Opens, Making Global Lifestyle Debut

June 5, 2008

My first hotel stay at Aloft was November 2008 at Aloft Portland Cascadia Station.

Aloft has gone global and moved from the midscale hotel market segment it launched in back in 2008 to the Upscale market.

In-season room rates range from around $250 per night to close to $400 a night, Samson said. Though it offers generally the same amenities, Aloft Sarasota is overall larger than other Aloft hotel properties.

Bradenton Herald – Feb 8, 2016

Aloft is no longer an affordable hotel brand for the millennial mindset budget traveler in many places.

I wonder how long Tru will have truly budget value?

Loyalty Traveler – Experts evaluate four new hotel brands. Radisson Red thumbs up. Moxy thumbs down. (March 10, 2015)


  • Bob March 19, 2016

    Hampton Inn is Upper-Midscale? The horror.

  • Ric Garrido March 19, 2016

    Saving grace for Tru is they are supposed to be new build hotels.

    La Quinta Inn Monterey recently rebranded to Hampton Inn Monterey. I need to get down there about three miles away and check out the rebrand.

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