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"Tribe" brands: hotel chains that target communities

Hotel brands are increasingly offer unusual concepts, with a goal of offering their customers an original experience. In order to stand out, some of them go further and have bet on an offer addressed to specific groups: LGBT, literature or art lovers, or even fans of certain sports (Formula 1, golf ...). Who are these "tribe" brands that make the spirit of community a weapon for differentiation?

While today's hotel market is marked by the growth of alternative accommodation offers, some hotel chains are trying to stand out by targeting "tribes". These brands are characterized by their concept centered on a specific way of life or interest. Because they make it possible to target a specific public, often "active promoter" online and on the social networks, without being cut off from the general public, they are increasingly numerous.

Launched in 2003 with the opening of a first property in Barcelona, Axel Hotels offers an unprecedented concept: a hotel chain addressed to the LGBT community. Although the brand mainly targets this community in support of a marketing strategy that clearly embraces the LGBT visual codes, it does not exclude heterosexual couples and introduces itself as a "hetero-friendly" brand extolling diversity and tolerance. It currently has 5 properties located in Barcelona (two addresses), in Berlin (two properties), in Ibiza and in Maspalomas on the island of Gran Canaria, and will soon open a hotel in Madrid.

Winner of the 2014 Worldwide Hospitality Awards, the Dutch brand The Student Hotel relies on its hybrid concept aimed at the wider public of "millennials", and more particularly students: the brand offers rooms for short stays as well as student accommodations. Its trendy design properties include workspaces and libraries, play and meeting spaces, and also organize numerous social events (trips, parties ...). The chain currently has 16 properties under operation and / or development in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Barcelona, Paris, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Florence and Bologna.

Targeting art lovers, the Australian boutique-hotel group Art Series Hotel offers a concept centered on contemporary art. Established in the cities of Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Bendigo, in trendy neighborhoods, each of the group's 6 properties offers a colorful setting composed of original creations made by an Australian artist. In addition to an atypical design, they also include libraries, television channels dedicated to art, and provide clients with creative tools. The brand also offers guided tours on the theme of art in the districts where hotels are located.

And then there are the properties belonging to the Society of Literary Hotels: these target all literature lovers. Each property presents the work of a famous writer, they have the particularity to provide clients with a large selection of books translated in all languages. They also offer an atypical setting composed of works of art recalling the author’s universe. Founded in 2010 by Jacques Letertre, the network currently has three addresses from the Best Western group: The Best Western Premier Le Swann dedicated to Marcel Proust in Paris, The Best Western Literary Hotel Gustave Flaubert in Rouen and the Best Western Plus Literary Hotel Alexandre Vialatte in Clermont-Ferrand. Two other properties are expected to join the network shortly. The Hotel Littéraire Marcel Aymé will open its doors at the end of 2017 and will be located in the district of Montmartre; The Hotel Littéraire Blaise Cendrars, located near the Gare de l'Est in Paris, will welcome its first customers in 2018.

Gradually integrated into Kyriad Design's Enzo label as part of a partnership signed with Louvre Hotels in 2010, Enzo Hotel properties are attracting automobile aficionados. This unusual concept founded by Yves Richer in 2007 offers guests decoration inspired by the atmosphere of the paddocks of Ferrari and F1, where the checkered flag flirts with the colors of the Italian car racing team. Present in France and Luxembourg, the hotel group currently has 12 properties including 8 under the Kyriad Design Enzo banner.

This brand, however, is not the only one trying to attract this clientele: Choice Hotels group's Ascend Collection label has just announced the opening of a property in the new Motorworld Köln-Rheinland, dedicated to the personal car collection of the former Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher. Located in Kerpen, Germany, the birthplace of the pilot, the V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld will include 10 rooms decorated on the theme of the automobile and 5 lofts allowing guests to park their cars next to their room.

Besides the automobile, golf is another sport with appeal on which hoteliers can rely. Many groups integrate golf courses within their upscale properties, including Marriott International with its St Regis, Westin, Sheraton, JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands. The Fairmont brand, now in the portfolio of AccorHotels, is also deeply rooted in the world of golf with the Fairmont St Andrews and no fewer than 17 golf resorts being the subject of dedicated offers. Finally, this is also the case of the Trump Hotel Collection, whose golf resorts have an active promoter in the person of the current President of the United States.

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  • Ascend Hotel Collection enters the game in Germany in Michael Schumacher's automobile exhibition park 

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