Another Hotel Brand? How Many More Do We Need?

by joeheg

Hotel brands like to try to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be difficult because, at the end of the day, they all offer the same product: a place to sleep away when you’re away from home. What a guest wants out of that stay can be dramatically different. From an economy stay, where all you’ll need is a bed and bathroom, to a once-in-a-lifetime splurge at a bucket list location, mega-hotel companies want to be able to offer something to everyone.

Large hotel chains tend to have a vast number of brands under their umbrella. This may be due to mergers and acquisitions, where the company acquires names from another company, or it could be a result of organic growth, where the company develops a new idea and adds either existing hotels or new properties over time. However, with so many different brands available, customers often struggle to differentiate between them. This is especially true when it comes to niche brands that have only a few properties.

Here are a few hotel brands. Let’s see if you know which hotel conglomerate they belong to:

I’m sure a few of you know the answers because this is a travel blog and you follow these things. But the majority of travelers do not. The last thing we need is another brand in the marketplace, but that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Handwritten Collection

Accor is adding its first US location of the Handwritten Collection hotel brand in San Francisco this summer. The Handwritten Collection currently has 12 locations in 9 countries. The newest member of the brand is Hotel Stratford, which originally opened in 1910 and is located on Powell St. in San Francisco near Union Square.

Accor says this about the Handwritten Collection, which started in 2023:

Handwritten Collection gathers charming and stylish places curated by thoughtful people.
 Each distinctive in its own right, Handwritten Collection hotels intimately reflect the warmth and personality of the people who look after them

That sounds like it’s for boutique hotels that don’t fit Accor’s existing categories. The Handwritten Collection is included in the Accor Live Limitless’ Midscale property list, along with hotel chains Novotel and Mercure. Accor already has two categories for boutique properties in the Luxury Category, Emblems and M Gallery.

Final Thought

I appreciate the need for hotel chains to have a place to put a hotel that doesn’t fit any of its existing categories. To be “flagged” as a specific brand, a hotel needs certain things that many boutique hotels lack. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad hotel, but maybe it doesn’t provide room service or have a pool or exercise room.

But we’ve gotten to the point where it’s impossible to keep track of which hotel brand is which, and maybe just having a category called “Independent Hotels” would be more prudent.

If you’ve read this far, Spark is part of Hilton Honors, Garner is an IHG brand, Caption is part of Hyatt, and Origin is affiliated with Wyndham Rewards. And that is the rest of the story.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Christian May 9, 2024 - 3:21 pm

Well said. This has gone way, way too far.


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