Business Traveller

New in hotels: Lodging designed for guests who want fun, exploration

Daisy Carrington, for CNNUpdated 17th June 2016
(CNN) — Hotels aren't just places to sleep. They're places to experience.
That's how the newest generation of travelers are viewing hospitality and -- in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway -- big hotel brands are having to adjust to meet the expectations of their discerning new clientele.
To lure young travelers, Marriott has created the hotel brand Moxy, which doesn't cater to guests, but "fun-hunters," according to Marriott's global brand officer Tina Edmundson.
What's the difference between a guest and a fun-hunter?
"They're really excited, they're full of life, they want to discover new things," says Edmundson.
To cater to this, Moxy offers communal spaces, where guests can take in a Foosball session, or a game of Cards Against Humanity.
The big hotel chains are diversifying with new offshoot brands aimed at younger travelers. Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, the first in Hilton's Canopy line, is set to open in Iceland in July.
Rooms are laid out differently, with no closet space, and bathrooms that are larger and more luxurious than a standard hotel room.
"The majority of guests that are traveling on business don't unpack," she explains.
"They don't want the cookie-cutter experience. They're looking for something new; they're looking for authenticity."
Hilton, similarly, has created Canopy, a brand of hotels which promises to reflect the neighborhoods in which they're located.
Gone are the days when uniformity was an essential part of brand building -- no two Canopy outposts will be the same.
Hyatt, meanwhile, has created Centric, which now has seven locations.
While the Marriott is targeting "fun hunters," Hyatt's desired demographic is what they call "modern explorers."
Hyatt's Vice President of brand marketing, Lara Migliassi, says that Centric needs to appeal not just to its guests' aesthetic sensibilities, but to their frame of mind as well.
"There's a target mindset. Everyone has a little bit of an explorer in them, and they're looking for something that really offers the best of each city and experience in an authentic way," she says.
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