Cool New Hotel Brands We’re Digging Now
Calling all millennials. These tech-savvy, local-inspired, community-focused hotels are for you.
Canopy by Hilton
Artisanal breakfast. Free WiFi. A bike borrowing system. Sounds like all the trappings of a small boutique hotel, right? Surprise! It’s actually a Hilton—well, Canopy by Hilton, the company’s new, community-focused brand. Set to unveil its first property in Reykjavik this spring, the chain plans to roll out 25 outposts across cities like New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Washington D.C. over the next few years. What to expect? Techy amenities like mobile check-in, keyless room access, plus craft beer and wine tastings, and complimentary breakfast goody bags. Guestrooms will be kitted out in a soothing color palette, while the lobby and dining areas will sport a bolder, more eye-catching design.
The word “hostel” can conjure images of dank rooms, bunk beds and scratchy sheets. But stay at a Generator, and you’ll swear you’re bedding down at some edgy, under-the-radar design hotel. With nine outposts in some of Europe's hottest cities (plus Amsterdam, Rome and Stockholm to come), the luxe European hostel/hotel chain is one of the fastest growing in the market. What we love? Free WiFi, trendy common areas (think: mixed pattern furniture, wall art and geometric poufs), social events (live DJ sets and game nights), plus the brand's signature big-on-design-and-easy-on-the-wallet style.
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Room Mate Hotels
The chic Room Mate brand is a Madrid-based chain known for its loud, urban style and warm service. There are currently 19 hotels around the world, each with free breakfast, late check-out and a stylish, unbuttoned design meant to feel like a friend’s laidback digs. The brand's latest addition is Room Mate Grace Times Square, with a blond-wood paneled bar, bold, colorful guestrooms, and a clubby, aquarium-like swimming pool that’s visible from the lobby.
21c Museum Hotels
In launching 21c Museum Hotels, owners Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson set out to revitalize smaller American cities like Louisville, KY and Durham, NC through contemporary art. The design duo's trailblazing, art-driven hotels feature permanent site-specific installations, rotating curated exhibition that are free to the public 24/7, and monthly culture events like poetry readings and film screenings. Don't expect 21c to make its foray into big cities like New York or Miami—Brown and Wilson have their sights set purposefully small, with openings in Nashville, Kansas City and Oklahoma City on deck in the coming year.
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Generation Y spoke; Marriott listened. And so Moxy—the chain’s newest Millennial-targeted brand—was born. Currently in Milan, Tempe, New Orleans, Munich and Frankfurt, the hotels have industrial-inspired looks, full service bars, and “living rooms” (aka lobbies) with plug-in zones and board games like Jenga and Cards Against Humanity. And just in case you weren’t sure of the target demographic, there’s also a hashtag (#atthemoxy), a “digital guestbook" comprised of Instagram posts, and an unofficial slogan, "Just like home, but with a bartender."
Culture is key at the fashionable Hamburg-based 25hours, which has properties spanning Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Take, for example, 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, where you'll find private hammocks, Mini Cooper's available to rent, a buzzy rooftop restaurant overlooking the Berlin Zoo and a trendy bar crowded with hip well-dressed locals. Up next? Cologne and Munich later this year.
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So far, Radisson Red is just a prototype. But that hasn’t stopped the youth-oriented hotel brand from causing major industry buzz. With plans to operate 60 hotels by 2020, the chain will be technology-driven, with a mobile app that will allow guests to check in, order a drink from the bar, and schedule a taxi to the airport. The hotel's first property is set to open in Brussels in spring 2016.
Location trumps all at Hyatt Centric. Each property has a unique look tailored to its destination, a restaurant inspired by local flavors, and a super friendly staff who's quick to suggest a favorite neighborhood hangout. At the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, just steps from the shore , there’s a Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant, an evening happy hour serving up sangria and mojitos and a barefoot-casual vibe sure to appeal to the young creative set. We can’t wait to see the next outposts in Tokyo and Lansing, Michigan.
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Tru by Hilton
Think of Tru, Hilton’s 13th brand, as a trendier, more upscale version of your college dorm. It’s budget-friendly (rooms are less than $100 a night), fun-focused (the lobby is scattered with ping pong and foosball tables) and built with you in mind (there’s a 24/7 market offering snacks and drinks, plus a build-your-own breakfast station). Guestrooms will have a smart, no-frills look with platform beds, 65-inch TV's, doorless closets, and a multifunctional chair in place of a traditional desk. Hotels in Atlanta, Houston and Chicago are in the works.