But sheer volume of boutique brands leaves some independents cold
Hotel executives say that the value of brands in the industry is higher than it ever has been. There is currently especially rapid growth in mainstream luxury brands, with many emerging luxury hotel brands from different parts of the world trying to establish a reputation. Many are adopting a boutique style and are coming out of Asia in particular. This means that there are lots of opportunities for independent hotels to adopt a brand that best fits. However, it’s also true that the boutique and lifestyle brand space is getting rather overcrowded. For many independent properties, it’s tempting to remain independent.
For leading international brands seeking to acquire a new asset, key considerations include the hotel’s location, product, market and the amount of money they need to invest in bringing it up to the brand’s standards. But how stringently these standards are applied leads to the question of hard branding versus soft branding. St. Regis and Sheraton, for example, are hard-branded and guests know exactly what they’re getting, while The Luxury Collection and W are not so rigid.
[pictured: Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Towers and Casino]