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TORONTO—Hilton Hotels and Resorts is opening its 100th hotel this summer, with the unveiling of the dual-branded Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton on the site of the former Citadel hotel in downtown Halifax.
The 135-room Homewood and 181-room Hampton are numbers 99 and 100. Both hotels are owned by SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts.
Six of Hilton’s brands currently have properties in Canada, with a seventh brand, Home2 Suites by Hilton, debuting in West Edmonton later this year.
Craig Mance, senior vice president North American development for Hilton Worldwide told CLN the 99th and 100th hotels are “a good strategic development with SilverBirch.
“We’ve done five hotels with SilverBirch in the last eight or nine months—including DoubleTree Regina, DoubleTree West Edmonton, and also the first Home2 Suites.”
He noted that dual branding is very popular, and in places like Calgary Airport, they even have three-packs.
“In terms of construction, the economies of scale are fantastic—you only have to build one pool, one health club, and one set of meeting rooms. The hotels can share the parking lot, and put more rooms on less land. “Over the next 20 to 30 years, from an operations standpoint the efficiencies are terrific.
“The only downside is that because of the way they are constructed, you have to sell them as dual branded. But big REITs are buying them like crazy. The acquisition of dual-branded properties is very popular in the U.S.”
Guests enjoy the dual branding immensely, said Mance. “They always include extended stay, which captures customers who stay for five-plus nights. They’re usually paired with a Hampton Inn & Suites or Hilton Garden Inn.”
Vertical and horizontal splits
The check in and lobby need to be prototypical. Normally the brands are side by side, but they can be vertically configured in urban centres. The Doubletree/Homewood in Silver Spring, MD is split vertically.
“The guest really feels they are getting everything they expect—there has been a terrific guest response to this. In the beginning the brand folks were a little concerned, but now they totally endorse it as long as their brand standards remain sacrosanct.”
Vito Curalli, executive director, worldwide sales, Canada, Latin America and International, says that Hilton’s growth has been great from a sales perspective.
“We continue to offer more choice of brands across Canada for customers in Canada and around the world,” he told CLN.
“Many of these brands are world-renowned and that makes it easier for our customers to identify with these new hotels,” he added.
With more than 40 hotels currently in the development pipeline and nearly 40 percent of those under construction, Hilton Worldwide will further bolster Canada’s tourism industry with the following upcoming openings:
- Dual-branded project from SilverBirch, a DoubleTree by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton in West Edmonton, Alberta. The 127-suite Home2 Suites by Hilton is set to open in July of this year and represents the brand’s first hotel in Canada. It will join the recently opened 235-guestroom DoubleTree by Hilton which opened in January.
- Hilton Calgary Airport, to open in 2017, will complete the company’s first multi-flag complex featuring three brands, joining the recently opened Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton, owned by Prestige Hospitality.
- Hampton Inn by Hilton Saskatoon South Saskatchewan, owned and operated by VJ Management, is a 100-room hotel set to open in June 2014.
- Hampton Inn and Suites Markham, owned and operated by JM Hospitality, Inc., features 99 rooms and is set to open July 2014. The hotel will be adjacent to JM Hospitality’s current 101-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton, which opened in 2007.
- Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Saskatoon Airport, owned by Randhawa Group, will open in Nov. 2014 and feature 132 rooms.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Ajax, Ontario, featuring 104 suites opened last month. It is owned by Wella Investments Inc.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario, featuring 97 suites is scheduled to open in this month and is owned by Benjamin Hotel Inc.