MCLEAN, VA—To amplify its growing brand portfolio, Hilton Worldwide has created an All-Suites brand category, encompassing Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. The company anticipates the newly created division will maximize the synergistic relationship that the three brands share across development, operations and sales.
Changes resulting from the newly formed category, implemented on Jan. 1, aim to foster greater owner support, quality assurance and product enhancement, according to Hilton. The All-Suites brand category further allows the company to streamline its operations under one umbrella, similar to its three other brand categories—Luxury & Lifestyle, Full Service and Focused Service.
“We can now combine brands that have common denominators and support them with one brand support performance organization, rather than duplicate those functions once a new brand is added,” said Jim Holthouser, EVP, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. “The new category allows Hilton Worldwide to operate more efficiently in a more focused, transparent and simplified way.”
After previously serving as the global head of Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites, Bill Duncan currently oversees the All Suites division. Hilton Worldwide devised the new category to drive the delivery of relevant and meaningful support to its owners as the company expands its reach toward a wider and more diverse consumer base, noted Duncan, who also serves as the brand manager of Embassy Suites.
“Two out of the three All Suites brands— Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites—specialize for guests who stay for five or more continuous nights at the same hotel,” he said. “Plus, 25% of stays at Embassy Suites consist of extended stays for meetings and events. That type of customer base for that length of stay requires something unique, and that’s why we wanted to create synergy between the brands.”
He added, “This is really a unique opportunity. Hilton Worldwide has three strong and significantly growing brands that offer many of the elements that an Airbnb customer is looking for.”
Bringing together the three brands under the All-Suites category would help foster Hilton Worldwide’s attempt to strengthen its portfolio, according to Holthouser. “This category allows us to pass along best practices throughout the portfolio and operate with greater efficiencies,” he said. “We sit on the largest all-suite portfolio in the world when you add up the inventory.” Hilton’s suite-style brands comprise nearly 15% of the company’s current inventory and almost 20% of its pipeline, by rooms.
Last month, Hilton Worldwide announced its expansion to 100 countries and territories, capping a record year of growth including its All-Suites brands. Embassy Suites opened eight new hotels in 2015. Home2 Suites opened 28 new properties in 2015 and closed the year with nearly 300 hotels in the pipeline. The brand also signed more than 160 properties in 2015. Meanwhile, Homewood Suites is on track to reach its 400th hotel in 2016.
The All-Suites brand category’s pipeline consists of more than 400 signed contracts, according to Duncan. “Driving growth is going to be significant,” he said. “These brands are popular among customers and generate a strong repeat factor. To further optimize revenue, we devised a streamlined revenue management system. We’re making sure that we have the right product on the right shelf at the right time for the traveler staying during an extended period of time.” The category’s newly formed quality assurance team would maintain products and service relating to revenue management optimization.
The All-Suites brands offer owners added flexibility for development, according to Duncan. “Hilton Worldwide’s All-Suites brands make an attractive investment,” he said. “These brands are not only strong revenue performers but also adapt well to land consideration. As sites become harder to find, owners are looking for flexibility while also maintaining the distinctness that the brands represent. We’re seeing a lot of interest for dual-branded developments within this category.”
To further maximize performance across the enterprise, Hilton Worldwide restructured its leadership roster. Previously the global head of Hilton Garden Inn, Adrian Kurre now acts as global head of Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites, replacing Duncan. John Greenleaf, formerly the global head of DoubleTree by Hilton, takes over Hilton Garden Inn as the global head. And, Dianna Vaughan, who performed as global head of Curio by Hilton, now serves as SVP and global head of DoubleTree. She will also continue to oversee the Curio brand.
“Our company is growing and evolving very fast,” said Holthouser. “As we continue to add brands and increase the global presence of our existing brands, we need more top brand management talent. One of the ways we can grow brand management professionals is to move them around and give different assignments.”
He added, “[Duncan] has done a fantastic job for Home2 Suites when he led the launch of the brand, which has become one of the fastest growing brands in Hilton’s history. For almost a decade, he worked on the Embassy Suites brand, in which he would assist underperforming hotels with revenue optimization solutions. Overall, this is a great opportunity for him and the company.”