This month’s roundup of news from the independent hotel sector includes: Toronto’s boutique boom; influencer backlash; and people on the move.
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The influence of influencers
Are you engaging with social media influencers when it comes to marketing your hotel? A recent article in The Atlantic points out some of the challenges luxury hoteliers—both branded and independent—are having when it comes to determining the value and return on investment social media influencers bring to the hotel relationship.
“Everyone with a Facebook these days is an influencer,” Kate Jones, marketing and communications manager at the Dusit Thani in the Maldives told The Atlantic. “People say, I want to come to the Maldives for 10 days and will do two posts on Instagram to like 2,000 followers. It's people with 600 Facebook friends saying, ‘Hi, I'm an influencer, I want to stay in your hotel for 7 days,’” she said. … “These people are expecting five to seven nights on average, all inclusive. Maldives is not a cheap destination.”
The article shares examples of hoteliers’ vetting practices for influencers to determine the ROI of publicity, such as looking at engagement metrics, vetting the specificity of the requests and even sometimes choosing to opt out of inviting influencers altogether.
Buyer emerges for Tremont Chicago Hotel
Private equity real estate firm Hotel Capital LLC purchased The Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile in Chicago from seller Marriott International. The deal includes Mike Ditka’s Steakhouse.
According to a news release, this was the last North American hotel for sale as a result of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016.
The hotel will retain the Tremont name and undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Toronto home to new boutiques
Four independent hotels have opened recently in Toronto, adding to the city’s expanding cultural, food and entertainment scene, according to an article in The Chicago Tribune. Those new openings include:
- Bisha Hotel Toronto, a 96-room hotel in the city’s entertainment district and developed by nightclub owner Charles Khabouth, includes a rooftop lounge and two restaurants;
- The Broadview Hotel, a 58-room boutique hotel housed in a renovated 1891 building and developed by Streetcar Developments;
- Hotel X Toronto, a 404-room connected to the TenX athletic complex. The hotel, from Library Hotel Collection, has an art gallery, 250-seat theater and screening room; and
- The Anndore House, from Canada’s Silver Hotel Group, has 113 guestrooms in downtown Toronto.
Openings, management, people on the move
- Shaner Hotel Group assumed management in mid-June of the 123-room Château Élan Hotel & Conference Center in Sebring, Florida. The property is owned by IMSA Properties.
- The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, completed a series of renovations and upgrades that coincides with the resort’s centennial. The hotel’s main lobby has been expanded, guestrooms have been refreshed and the golf club and restaurants also were upgraded. Denver-based Johnson David Interiors led the project.
- The new-build Lido House, an Autograph Collection Hotel, opened in May in Newport Beach, California. The 130-room hotel was built by R.D. Olson Construction and includes 15,000-square-feet of meeting and event space.
- The Kessler Collection named Steve Spear GM of Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California, completed a refresh of its 24 guestrooms by Hirsch Bedner Associates.
- Sage Hospitality named Caryn Granzow as director of sales and marketing at The Blackstone in Chicago.
- Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas, named Beth Smith VP of sales and marketing.
- Hotel Phillips Kansas City, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, named Sarah DeVault director of sales and marketing.
Compiled by Stephanie Ricca.