Spark By Hilton Value Brand Launched
Over the years it seems hotel companies have been falling over themselves to create new hip brands to cater to the ever-changing standards of consumers. Companies like Hilton, Hyatt, IHG & Marriott which all used to have a small number of brands have seen their offerings swell.
Over the past 15 years Hilton has more than doubled their total number of brands and that trend has only accelerated. For example Tru, LXR, Motto, Tapestry and Tempo all launched in just the last few years. And yes those are the real names! Truth be told I stayed at a Tru property last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed my stay at Crockford’s in Las Vegas which is an LXR property. So while it may be confusing, in some ways Hilton has delivered with these new offerings.
Hilton Going Downscale
Hilton announced today that they are launching yet another brand and this time they are going downscale. According to Hilton, Spark their new brand will be “premium economy” level. They say it will “deliver a simple, reliable and comfortable stay, all at an accessible price”.
In describing the brand Hilton focuses on four brand characteristics that they feel differentiate Spark by Hilton in the space. Here are the signature elements of Spark by Hilton:
- Thoughtful Simplicity: Spark by Hilton will offer simple, inspired design with splashes of color and cheer that bring the outdoors in. Each hotel will provide a welcoming sense of arrival with colorful exterior statement walls and energizing artwork. The public space will feature multi-functional seating from communal tables to rocking chairs, offering plenty of options for guests to enjoy breakfast, socialize or work throughout the day. Guest rooms will be comfortable and relaxing so travelers can unwind and recharge for whatever comes next. Focusing on practical amenities, the simple, streamlined furniture will include an open closet, in-room refrigerator, multi-purpose work surface and bright bathroom.
- Reliable Service: As part of the Hilton family of brands, guests will feel welcome and confident in their stay from the moment they walk through the door. Warm and inviting hotel team members with attention to detail will provide happy and helpful service. And, guests will be empowered with the tools needed to make the most of their stay, such as 24-hour digital check-in and Digital Key.
- Unexpected Touches: Spark by Hilton will help add value to the guest experience by offering a simple, complimentary breakfast, featuring premium coffee, juice and a signature bagel bar with spreads, so guests can fuel up before hitting the road. The brand will also offer a 24-hour retail market for on-the-go travelers.
- Consistent Quality: To ensure the goal of a consistent, quality guest experience, each hotel will be required to complete a full renovation, encompassing all guest-facing areas of the hotel, prior to joining Spark by Hilton and the Hilton family.
Spark by Hilton Is A Conversion Brand
One interesting part of their press release is targeted towards current property owners looking to shack up with a new brand. “Spark by Hilton was developed in close collaboration with our developer community, and we are thrilled by the positive feedback and excitement we have received to date,” said Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton. “In fact, we already have more than 100 deals in various stages of development across the U.S., with the first properties anticipated to open this year.”
Hilton says owners will benefit from their technology and network effect. They also focus on the cost-effective nature of the conversion and how it can transform properties by focusing on areas that benefit the guest experience while giving a more cohesive experience. Admittedly something that could be beneficial in this segment.
Is Spark by Hilton A Good Idea?
Who am I to tell a mega-hotel corporation whether or not they want to dive even deeper into the little leagues of hotels. I would expect there to be challenges converting a ton of older lower tier properties, but this could be an interesting strategy for growth. If they can make the economics work for owners then shacking up with Hilton would make a lot of sense.
Hotels in general have gotten better at all levels these past couple of decades and I think this is an example of that phenomenon. The hotel industry in some ways has matured and a budget room today is often much nicer than a budget room 20 years ago. This allows space for Spark by Hilton which should bring a uniform approach to these lower tier properties and hopefully will deliver a decent experience.
Spark By Hilton Value Drive Brand Launched – Bottom Line
Hilton has added yet another brand to their quickly growing portfolio with the addition of Spark by Hilton. This new premium economy brand will focus on conversions of other properties and will be focused on a more downscale market compared to many of their other brands. With 100 deals in the works it will be interesting to see how this new brand ends up working out.
What do you think of the new Spark by Hilton brand? Does this look like a place you would stay? Let me know in the comments!