New Prototype for Hampton by Hilton

With the new Hampton prototype, Hilton recognized an opportunity to leverage the latest architectural trends and construction materials, and explore cost-saving options. Shruti Gandhi Buckley outlines the changes in this Q&A article.

Hampton by Hilton now has a new prototype. Guest rooms and the overall hotel footprint are smaller, guestroom windows are larger and lobby areas have been redesigned. Hilton’s Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton, outlines the changes in this Q&A article. 

Canadian Lodging News:  When was the
last time Hampton had a new prototype?

Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton.

Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton.

Shruti Gandhi Buckley: The existing Hampton
prototype, which has been in place for a decade, continues to perform extremely
well but we recognized an opportunity to leverage the latest architectural
trends and construction materials, and explore cost-saving options to evolve
the exterior design while maintaining threads of consistency with our existing
portfolio.  The new prototype is the
latest phase in Hampton by Hilton’s evolution, and positions us for future
success.

Hampton’s interior
design evolves regularly. The latest interior décor package capitalizes on
fabric and color trends, which bring Hampton’s unique personality to life in
the stay experience. We also leveraged guest research to improve functionality
and operational efficiency to better address the needs of today’s traveler and
how they live while on the road.

CLN: 
Why was a new
prototype needed?  

SGB: Hampton
is nearly 35 years old, and we must continue to innovate to stay relevant and attuned
to the changing needs of guests, capitalize on the latest design trends, and
drive greater value for owners. We will continue to pioneer new initiatives to
maintain our position as a leader and innovator in the upper midscale category.
The new prototype still appeals to our core customer, but also represents an
evolution to attract new guests seeking a more contemporary aesthetic, which
meets the functional needs of how they live, work and relax while on the road.

Currently,
the Hampton brand has more than 2,345 hotels opened in 21 countries with over
610 planned hotels. We are laser-focused on maintaining steady growth on a
global scale. The prototype is innovative, cost-efficient and design-forward,
making it easier for existing and new owners in North America to help us grow
the brand, while driving guest loyalty and satisfaction.

CLN: 
What are some
of the features of the new prototype?

SGB: The
new prototype and décor package is influenced by the latest design trends,
guest research and owner insights. It is designed to work with Hampton’s
offerings to create a seamless travel experience, ideal for all travel
occasions. The prototype introduces functional and design elements intended to
elevate the overall guest experience and position our hotels to address the
evolving needs of travelers and our diverse guest profile. New features include
a more contemporary building design, refreshed multi-use public spaces and
décor, and updated guestrooms.

The
prototype retains the flat roof model that has become a signature of Hampton
and builds on it, allowing us to incorporate contemporary, architectural cues
and create a consistent thread across the portfolio, even as we evolve and
modernize several of the architectural elements and incorporate new building
materials. We were able to eliminate approximately 2,000 square feet from the
overall footprint to increase efficiency and flexibility and deliver a stronger
ROI without compromising the guest experience.

Key
elements of the new building prototype include a fresh approach to the
porte-cochere and enhanced lighting, which provide guests with Hampton’s warm
welcome and an improved arrival experience. The exterior includes the Hampton
signature fin design
element and updated paint scheme. A new exterior lighting package strengthens
the hotel’s visibility at night and highlights several of the new design
features. Additionally, we have introduced flexibility to use local construction
materials to achieve cost-savings while incorporating local elements as part of
the design esthetic.

Guest
research heavily influenced the interior spaces. In the public areas, we are
building on the success of our Perfect Mix Lobby with interior design that
allows guests to customize their experience for work, leisure or a blend of
both while maintaining the Hampton personality our guests value and trust. 

The
modifications include a reimagined lobby and front desk area with customized
front desk signage paying homage to the local area and provides the warm
welcome I mentioned previously. The design incorporates timeless and uplifting
décor throughout the lobby and gathering spaces. The communal areas offer
varied seating and comfortable spaces to encourage socialization, gathering and
activation throughout the day. The ancillary spaces such as corridors, meeting
rooms and recreational spaces also leverage the new decor.

Queen guest room Casual style.

Queen guest room Casual style.

The
third area of focus is the guestrooms, which have been redesigned based on how
guests live, work and relax while traveling. Functionality has been improved
with new, intuitive storage solutions. The décor scheme in the rooms includes
carefully choreographed pops of color combined with comforting warm tones.
Guest room windows have been enlarged by 25 percent to increase natural light,
while adding more architectural interest to the exterior. Lastly, we’ve updated
the bathroom décor to build on the already “best bath experience” in the
category.

Additionally,
this summer, we will introduce two optional Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment
(FF&E) décor packages for the guestroom and public spaces that include
pre-approved vendors and negotiated pricing. These purchase-ready packages provide
owners ease and speed of execution.

Queen guest room Confident style.

Queen guest room Confident style.

CLN: 
What are the
advantages for developers?

SGB: The
new prototype has several advantages for owners – it provides owners and
developers with a flexible building model that embraces emerging guest
preferences, improved functionality and design efficiency. Owners utilizing the
new prototype can expect savings of upwards of 5 percent due to the
efficiencies we have identified. For example, owners are now able to use local
materials, resulting in even more cost-savings while adding local
customization.

In
addition to the prototype, we have introduced a new functionally improved
FF&E package for the guestrooms and a new décor package for the public
spaces. 

The packages include the timeless and uplifting décor that is a
signature of the new prototype, and a colour palette of warm tones with pops of
color. The packages are an easy-to-implement solution for our owners that come
with pre-approved design elements and negotiated pricing. They have been
curated to be seamlessly incorporated into the overall hotel design and will
add a level of consistency to the guest experience across the brand.

As
mentioned, our owners and franchisees were heavily involved in the new
prototype development process. We gathered feedback from our franchise partners
and Owner Product Advisory Council over the last year. We shared a sneak peek
of the new design at the 2017 Owners Conference this past October, which
received an overwhelmingly positive response. In fact, after we presented the
new prototype at the Owners Conference,
several owners under construction or with completed plans chose to invest to
make revisions to incorporate the new prototype features. 

Our first modified
prototype will open near Baltimore this summer, just a few months after we
released the prototype specifications. It’s exciting to see this come to life
so quickly.

CLN: What are some of the features of Hampton as a brand?

SGB: Hampton by
Hilton has been a leader in the upper midscale segment for 35 years. We are a
lighthouse brand with a history of innovation, such as being the first to offer
free hot, healthy breakfast and a satisfaction guarantee, known as the Hampton
Guarantee®. Our culture of hospitality has been a true brand differentiator and
helps drive a consistent experience around the world.

We are known
for outperforming competitors by double-digit RevPAR index points. Hampton by
Hilton won “Most Loved Brand” by Hotel Interactive’s Lodging Industry Elite
Awards. Additionally, Hampton is ranked #1 in the Hotels & Motels category
of Entrepreneur magazine's annual
Franchise 500 list for the ninth year in a row (the brand ranks #29 on full Franchise
500 list).

Guests choose
Hampton because of our strong track record of setting the bar high and
delivering an outstanding guest experience backed by the Hampton Guarantee, an
industry first that demonstrates our team’s continued commitment to new and
returning guests.With more than 2,345 hotels, we are everywhere
travelers want and need to be, and are often in locations with no other
focused-service hotels or Hilton-branded properties in the area.

Hampton also
has a synergistic relationship with owners. We are continuously seeking their
feedback and evolving our product to meet their needs while reflecting the
desires of modern travelers.

CLN: What types of
guests go to Hampton?

SGB: Hampton has a broad
guest profile, from the family traveling for a weekend sports tournament to the
traditional business traveler in town for a meeting or event. No matter the
real travel occasion, Hampton offers the flexibility to welcome any type of
guest due to our great value and amenities. Our team members are uniquely trained
and energized to provide a service experience, which addresses the individual
needs of our guests, something no other brand has been able to accomplish.

The new prototype is designed
to work with Hampton’s offerings to create a seamless travel experience, ideal
for all travel occasions. The model specifically addresses how to maximize
guest productivity and comfort, which meets the needs of our diverse guest
profile.

CLN: 
How many Hamptons
do we currently have in Canada?  Any new ones in the pipeline?

SGB: As
of Q1 2018, Hampton by Hilton currently has 56 hotels in Canada, with an
additional 18 in the pipeline. Notable upcoming openings include Hampton by Hilton St. Catharines Niagara and Hampton
Inn & Suites Belleville (both scheduled to open later this year).

CLN:  What types of
locations are suitable for Hamptons? Primary, secondary or tertiary markets?
Urban or suburban?

SGB: Hampton
by Hilton’s expansion is market agnostic; from urban, downtown and beach
locations to suburban business districts and tertiary destinations. Our vast
distribution in the U.S., and growing international footprint, demonstrates the
brand’s success across all markets. Our flexible prototype allows us to
seamlessly adapt to varying market requirements. As previously mentioned,
Hampton hotels are often in locations with no other focused-service hotels, or
we are the only Hilton brand in the area. With more than 2,345 properties in 21
countries and territories, Hampton by Hilton is a global brand that is
everywhere travelers want to be.

CLN: Are there any
plans for the new prototype in Canada?

SGB: The new prototype is for
new builds in the U.S. and Canada.

CLN: How is
Hampton doing worldwide? 

SGB: Hampton is growing
exponentially on a global scale. With the largest pipeline in brand history,
Hampton by Hilton is focused on global growth in China, Europe and in key
Central and South America markets.

In China, Hampton by
Hilton has an agreement with Plateno Hotels Group to build about 400 hotels
over the next decade. Currently, Hampton has over 30 properties in China, and over
200 signed hotels in the pipeline – the fastest growing pipeline of any
international hospitality brand in China. In addition, Hampton will make its
debut in the Middle East this summer, opening our first, and largest, property
in Dubai.