Targeting millennials plus like-minded business and leisure travelers, a series of new lifestyle hotels provide such "givens" as free Wi-Fi, keyless entry, and social lobbies that minimize registration desks and maximize gathering spots.
The new buzz in lodgings: Lifestyle hotels. In 2014, Marriott debuted 3 brands—Moxy, AC by Marriott and Edition—and IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) introduced its lifestyle offering, Even. Virgin opened its first property in Chicago this winter. Summer’s launches include Hyatt Centric. In 2016 Canopy by Hilton will open. Targeting millennials plus like-minded business and leisure travelers, the new properties provide such “givens” as free Wi-Fi, often keyless entry via smartphone, and social lobbies that minimize registration desks and maximize gathering spots with bars plus additional seating that plays to groups but also enables solo guests to feel part of the scene. Use this primer to help find your hotel match.
Even hotels ride the wellness wave. Do your exercise routine in the reasonably appointed gym or work out using the resistance bands, yoga mat, and balance ball in your room. Grab fruit and protein bars at the 24-hour marketplace and dine on salads, smoothies, seafood, and other healthy fare at the restaurant, where you can also reward your good behavior with desserts and chocolate. In the evening, sip complimentary herbal tea in the lobby before retiring to your bed made with natural eucalyptus linens, the better to keep you cool and comfortable. Lodgings in Rockville, MD, and Norwalk, CT. ihg.com/evenhotels
Currently, you can sample Moxy, Marriott’s 3-star category entry, in Europe. Launched in Milan in 2014, Moxy properties should open soon in Munich, Berlin, London, Frankfurt, and Oslo. This brand lures cost-conscious millennials with lively lobbies anchored by bars and Instagram walls for posting photos. Spend lots of time in those spaces because the room is a cozy 160 to 180 square feet. The 8 upcoming US hotels—3 in New York, plus San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, and Chicago—should feature pegboards so you can hang-up the luggage rack, folding table or chair you’re not using. Those are slated for a late 2015/2016 opening. In 2016, Marriott plans to have 2,700 Moxy hotel rooms in Europe. Moxy-hotels.marriott.com.
AC Hotels by Marriott
Like Moxy, AC started in Europe and is a co-brand of Marriott and Spanish hotel group AC. Compared to Moxy, AC by Marriott offers bigger rooms, (in Maryland standard rooms are 260-square feet), and sleek European styling. Lobbies, the hotel’s heart, feature the AC Lounge, the spot to get small plates, specialty drinks and craft beers plus advice on trendy spots to visit from knowing bartenders. AC opened in Europe and Latin America in 2011. The first US property appeared in New Orleans November 2014, followed by Kansas City, and National Harbor, MD. In May AC comes to Chicago and Miami Beach. achotels.marriott.com
The first 2 properties are opening soon. Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago opens this month and Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami opens in June. Centric plans to showcase each lodging’s location with native food, local art, and signature cocktails at the bar and in your room. Just follow the directions in the build-your-own cocktail kit conveniently placed next to your room’s mini-ice bucket and maybe orange wedges and a martini shaker (specific cocktail details not yet revealed). Rooms average a good-sized 300-square feet and televisions feature Bluetooth so you can sit back in bed, stream media from your own devices and enjoy that cocktail. hyattcentric.com
Created by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott, each Edition catches the city’s vibe with a sophisticated yet fun setting for well-heeled millennials and others. The Miami property, a reimagining of the 1955 Seville Hotel, retains the lobby’s gold mosaic columns, evoking that era’s panache. Signature elements include restaurants helmed by star chefs and night life. “All Edition properties feature 360 degrees of hospitality and are luxury lifestyle resorts so they cater to guests who enjoy entertainment and amenities without having to leave the property,” notes a spokesperson.” At the Miami Edition, go bowling, ice skate indoors and dance until 5 a.m. at Basement Miami. Edition properties are in Miami, Istanbul, London, and soon in New York and Sanya, China. marriott.com/edition-hotels.
Canopy by Hilton
The first Canopy hotel should open in 2016. The brand plans to replace in-your- face design with a friendlier feel (although exactly what that is remains to be seen). Canopy aims for the middle space in the lifestyle market, the one between high-end design and low-end service. Walls with wood planks that form a canopy will back the beds and local artwork will brighten the walls. To add value, a breakfast, likely continental, and Wi-Fi will be included. Properties are slated for Portland, Oregon; London, Miami, Washington, D.C.; Nashville and Savannah. canopybyhilton.com
If you’ve stayed at any of these properties, let us know about your experience.
What would your ideal lifestyle hotel be like?