This new brand — which is “simplified, spirited and grounded in value” — fills a void in the United States and Canada in the midscale lodging market which was originally the domain of the Hampton Inn brand before it was upscaled in terms of both amenities and price. This market segment is supposedly the largest in the lodging industry; “but a segment where no brand is meeting guests’ current needs,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, who is the president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide. “Tru will provide guests with a high-quality, contemporary, consistent and fresh experience at a great value for customers, while at the same time delivering strong returns to our owners.”
The first Tru by Hilton hotel property is expected to open by the end of 2016 in the United States.
Features of Tru by Hilton
The prototype of Tru by Hilton was designed to be easily scalable to fit urban, suburban, highway and airport adjacent locations — as well as adaptable to dual-branded hotels. This modern concept — purported to be “revolutionary” in terms of “providing a simplified and spirited approach that is grounded in value for business and leisure travelers” who are conscious of cost — is “designed to appeal cross-generationally” but is targeted more towards adults who are roughly between 21 and 40 years of age.
The innovative features of Tru by Hilton included:
The Hive, which is a first floor experience that is more than a lobby; with 2,770 square feet of open space — with unique ways for guests to engage with others or spend time alone — in one of four distinct zones for lounging, working, eating or playing
The Play Zone, which will be filled with table games, a large-screen TV featuring satellite television, and tiered seating inspired by stadiums
The Command Center, which is centrally located and features a re-envisioned front desk equipped with a “social media wall with real-time content to foster engagement among guests”; and a market open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, which will offer fun snacks and refreshments, healthy light meal options and sundries for purchase, and — subject to state and local laws where you must be of legal drinking age — single-serve wine and beer
A “Build Your Own” breakfast — at no extra cost to you as a guest — which will consist of a toppings bar with 30 sweet and savory items, allowing you to customize bagels, doughnuts, Greek yogurt and oatmeal to satisfy you taste buds and cravings
Guest rooms which will be “smart and efficiently designed” and full of features and amenities — such all-white comfortable platform beds, multifunctional chairs, 55″ televisions, windows which are eight feet wide, access to power everywhere in the room, open closet spaces with plenty of cubbyholes for storage, and spacious bathrooms — but no work desks
A fitness center which defines wellness trends — rather than follows them — with a concept focused on cardio, strength and flexibility.
Complimentary Wi-Fi bandwidth — which will be of a “technology-forward mentality” and “segment-leading” — allowing you to download and stream content on your portable electronic devices, “plentiful power sources, and mobile check-in, room selection and Digital Key available through the Hilton HHonors mobile app”
Satellite television offering you greater than 150 channels
Rooms and linens cleaned by the top hospitality brands of Proctor and Gamble to “help enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies”
A “brand personality” which is “full of life with a spirited culture grounded in a thoughtful, reliable and unflappable approach to guest service” — whatever that means
As compared to Hampton Inns — many of which inexplicably have narrow windows in the guest rooms — the windows which will be eight feet wide will be quite welcomed by me. I would prefer a work desk in the room — even though I could probably do without one.
Although guests of Tru by Hilton will enjoy the benefits of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program, neither the earning of Hilton HHonors points nor the actual room rates have yet been specified pertaining to the Tru by Hilton lodging concept; so it is still too early to say what exactly will be the value of staying at this brand of hotel properties from those aspects. It is also too early to see where the Tru by Hilton brand overlaps in terms of concept with other brands — such as Hampton Inns.
Still, this appears to be a brand concept in lodging with potential, as time will tell…