Hilton's Success in the Dynamic all Suites Segment a Product of Working Closely With Owners

By Dianna Vaughan Global Head & Senior Vice President, All Suites Brands by Hilton | February 17, 2019

On November 2, 2018, The All Suites brands by Hilton – Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton – reached a major milestone with the opening of our 1,000th property.

This achievement is not only a testament to the enormous appeal of the 100% suite hotel concept Hilton helped pioneer with the launch of the first full-service, all-suite brand, but also to the strength of the relationships we've developed with the owners who have accompanied us on this over thirty-year journey.

The success of the Suites brands by Hilton, which have close to 600 additional all-suites properties in the pipeline, highlights the essential importance of Hilton's partnerships with owners and operators, who played a vital role in identifying the potential of the all-suites concept and supported it from the start. Moreover, as we expand the footprint of the All Suites brands by Hilton in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America we will continue to rely on recommendations from owners to ensure the sound placement of new hotels and strong ROI.

A History of Pioneering Innovation Through Collaboration

Hilton began its foray into all-suites hotels with Embassy Suites by Hilton – an award-winning upper-upscale brand - in 1984, and that paved the way for two other popular 100% suites offerings in the extended-stay space. The first was Homewood Suites by Hilton, an upscale all-suites brand, which opened in 1989 and quickly became an industry leader. Then rising demand for extended stay hotels prompted owners to request a midscale all-suites product and we answered with the launch of Home2 Suites by Hilton in 2009. Like its sister All Suites brands, Home2 Suites has earned numerous awards and continues to be one of the fastest growing brands in the Hilton portfolio.

While each of Hilton's All Suites brands were enjoying notable success individually, when we analyzed feedback from owners, it became clear that there was a wealth of synergies among the three brands that could and should be capitalized on. Our response was the creation of the first-of-its-kind All Suites brands by Hilton category. Launched in 2015, the category has successfully combined the knowledge and achievements of each brand into a one-stop shop to optimize owners' investments in the fast-growing all-suites lodging sector. Simply put, we've created a collective offering that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.