Two check-in desks. Different toiletries. Contrasting color palettes, art and aesthetics. One address. So what’s the deal?
The number of hotels co- or tri-branding is growing in an effort to take advantage of limited real estate for expansion — and possibly grab most of the spotlight, too. In Vancouver, the upscale JW Marriott Parq pulls in a household brand with the DOUGLAS, a “boutique” hotel that blends nature with urban surroundings. And in Nashville, the Marriott’s first tri-brand complex (opened in January) brings 470 rooms courtesy of SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and AC Hotels. There’s two lobbies — one just for AC guests and one shared for SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn guests — and use of amenities, like a private rooftop pool, firepits, cabanas and meeting and event space, are mostly interchangeable.
So why mix concepts? Running what could be construction projects concurrently means it takes less time to finish. The options are covered no matter whether it’s a business, extended- or short-stay guest. And in some cases, staff can work between one property or another, meaning there’s more flexibility to train teams and fill needs at one property versus another based on fluctuating capacity.
As for the traveler, more options are rarely a bad thing. When one hotel is sold out, there’s no need to hunt down another property in the location you know you already like. Thanks to Marriott’s massive network, points earning just got a whole lot easier. If you were trying to save money on your accommodations but wanted to really splurge on a nice steak dinner, there are also more dining options than ever before, now that there are enough people at myriad price points to support several restaurant options. And thanks to new open-lobby concepts just right for socializing, charging a phone or in some cases enjoying a beverage in the lobby bar, the lines between brand experiences are hazier than ever before.
Here are a few options:
Hyatt Place and Hyatt House are dual-branded in Charleston, South Carolina, right in the heart of the Historic District. The 113 residential-inspired suites with modern living space and kitchens at Hyatt House are modern but comfortable, with microwaves, kitchen islands with barstool seating and colorful throw pillows on wrap-around couches. While the Hyatt Place picks up the same color palette, the business desks and working chairs in open-concept guestrooms with lighter woods give it a vibe meant for more short-term travelers.
In Atlanta, Marriott’s newest brand, Moxy, brings smaller rooms and more affordable prices for millennial travelers to meet up with a contemporary, Europe-inspired AC property. There’s a total of 188 rooms, 155 of which are at Georgia’s first Moxy property, with shared amenity spaces, including a rooftop pool and bar in Midtown.
It’s triplets for the North River area of Chicago, where Starwood Aloft, a Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites and a Hyatt Place all share one address. Hyatt Place bills itself as a “boutique” property in the heart of downtown, with easy access to Cubs games at Wrigley Field and Michigan Avenue. Brick walls and locally sourced artwork give it a fun and colorful vibe, with some cool exposed brickwork and great views. Aloft is pet-friendly, urban chic, with floor-to-ceiling windows, ergonomic work spaces and free WiFi. All rooms have mini fridges and flat-screen TVs. The Fairfield Inn & Suites boasts ergonomic work spaces and same-day dry cleaning for business guests, with 40-inch TVs and free HBO for families on vacation. Each guest can take advantage of the shared 24-hour re:charge gym, and there are shared meeting facilities.
Europe comes to Denver in the form of 495 rooms, a dual-branded AC Hotel by Marriott and Meridien Hotel by Starwood. The AC property looks like a modern ski lodge with peaked roofs, strong geometric lines and bold interiors. Materials used are indigenous to Denver, and include warm woods, chiseled stone and textured walls, all designed to fit into the concept of the “urban pioneer.” The Meridien takes its inspiration from snowboards and skis, with a cooler, grey color palette. Furry chairs in the lobby bring the feel of the Aspen slopes to the city, and the brand’s signature Hub reinterprets the lobby area as a social gathering place, with coffee in the daytime and cocktails at night.
The 235-room EVEN Hotels and Staybridge Suites combo in downtown Seattle offers full kitchens and your choice of studio or one-bedroom suites at the latter, with social mixers mid-week. The EVEN property is designed to help guests maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling, thanks to in-room yoga mats and equipment, fitness facilities, made-to-order smoothies, spa-inspired showers and all-natural eucalyptus linens.