Travel Tuesday: Even More Extended Stay Hotel Brands Are Coming
A couple of months ago, I wrote about Hyatt’s plans to launch a new imprint called Hyatt Studios. This brand — which the company bills as its first “upper-midscale” concept — is meant to appeal to extended-stay travelers and, in turn, will include such features as a full-sized fridge, multi-function convection microwaves, stovetop burners, and more. Well, apparently Hyatt wasn’t the only hotel chain thinking in this direction as, in recent weeks, both Marriott and Hilton have also revealed plans to launch new brands in a similar vein.
First up, Hilton announced “Project H3 by Hilton.” Worry not, though, as that’s just a working title for the concept. In contrast to Hyatt’s upper-midscale plans, Project 3 is looking to hit the lower-midscale market. As for what Hilton envisions for this proposed brand, they note that these properties would feature “essential amenities in a warm, comfortable, yet delightfully modern way.”
Looking at what those essential amenities would be, the apartment-style rooms include a full-sized refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and a two-burner stovetop along with dining supplies (plates, mugs, bowls, flatware, etc.). These would also boast ample storage space and movable, multi-purpose furniture. Outside, plans call for patios with grills and communal fire pits.
Having recently stayed at a Home2 Suites by Hilton, I can already see a lot of overlap between the two brands. That said, to me, this Project H3 concept seems almost like a cross between Home2 and another Hilton imprint I’ve tried: Tru. Then again, I can’t pretend to understand the differences between all of these hotel brands or how they rank on a measure of economy to upper-upscale.
Anyway, moving on to Marriott, they’ve also come up with a concept but not a name. So, in the meantime, they’re calling their idea Project MidX Studios. As for where this will fall in terms of market, the company labels it as “affordable midscale.” To my ears, that puts it above Project H3 by Hilton but below Hyatt Studios. Marriott’s press release didn’t offer as many specifics as their fellow hotel chains, but the attached art for the room seems to indicate similar amenities, such as a full-sized fridge, stovetop, and more.
I will say that the concept art that came with Marriott’s announcement caught my eye thanks to the unique set-up. While other kitchenette-equipped rooms I’ve stayed in basically just put all the devices near the entrance to the room, the project MIDX rooms have their own dedicated corner of the room. To me, this actually feels closer to an apartment (or at least a timeshare) than the other two extended stay concepts we’ve looked at.
As someone who appreciates extended stay amenities even if I’m only staying at a place for a couple of nights, I’m pretty pumped about the potential of there being a greater number of these types of properties. Of course, while Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott are pitching these concepts, it remains to be seen whether they’ll really come to fruition or, if they do, how many locations will end up in the brand portfolio. Skepticism aside, I look forward to hopefully reviewing these extended stay brands in the future — and maybe even understanding the differences between them.