Hilton unveils new brand, with a hand from Arianna Huffington

There are 30 hotels in the works and talks about 30 more

TRD NATIONAL /
Jan.January 16, 2020 03:00 PM
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta and Arianna Huffington (Credit: Getty Images)
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta and Arianna Huffington (Credit: Getty Images)

Hilton is striving for balance, or at least a better night’s sleep.

The hospitality giant is starting the new decade by tapping into the wellness craze with yet another new hotel brand geared toward travelers on a budget and a health regime, according to Phil Cordell, Hilton’s global head of new brand development.

Dubbed Tempo by Hilton, it is Hilton’s 18th brand and the fourth launched by the company in the past two years. On the question of oversaturation, Cordell said the audience is broad enough to support all those titles.

In the case of Tempo, a limited-service concept with a twist, it’s targeting “modern achievers” who want to feel healthy wherever they go.

The brand’s distinct features were shaped by a survey of 10,000 people conducted by Arianna Huffington’s health and wellness company, Thrive Global. The company tackles stress and burnout through a combination of workshops, pumping out content for various partner websites, an app and now hotels.

As a result of Thrive’s findings, 25 percent of the space in Tempo’s 330-square-foot rooms will be dedicated to a “Get Ready Zone” and Thrive has created a custom set of “rituals” for guests to follow morning and night. Rooms are also specially adjusted for optimal sleeping — a key issue for Huffington, a self-described “sleep evangelist.”

A fast-casual cafe and bar on the ground floor will serve $10 to $12 healthful food items and drinks, notably mocktails designed for the 40 percent of Tempo’s target audience more interested in drinking if they can stay sober. There’s also a 1,000-square-foot fitness center.

Hilton expects to be flying its new flag at 500 hotels by 2030 and has 30 projects committed with 10 owners in markets including New York City, Boston, Dallas, Maui, Louisville and Del Mar, California. Cordell said about 30 more deals are in talks in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

The average Tempo hotel will consist of about 200 rooms priced at roughly $180 per night: Price-wise, Tempo is meant to fit between the Hilton Garden Inn and Canopy brands, Cordell noted. The properties are designed to be run with a team of 30 to 35 full-time employees.

Though the growth of revenue per available room has been lackluster throughout 2019, Cordell said Hilton is “optimistic.”

“We know that some of the fundamentals of travel are still good,” he said.

He also noted that most Tempo hotels will be new buildings, so there will be a lag time because of construction. He added that in his experience, development often relies on local banking relationships rather than big institutions “less susceptible to those ups and downs.”

Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]


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