Starwood had its earnings call earlier this week and, although being on sale (Hyatt is the latest rumored acquirer – red more here), told that it would introduce 11th brand.
Starwood is a majority shareholder of Berlin run Design Hotels that is collection of independent design focused hotels around the world.
Hotel News Now run a story about the conference call and below is the excerpt about the Design Hotels part (access the entire article here):
Starwood officials also said during the call that they have plans to announce a new brand at some point in “a few weeks.”
“We expect to finalize actions in November that consumers will see an 11th Starwood brand through a marketing partnership with Design Hotels,” Aron said. “This will fill a special niche in Starwood’s portfolio, incorporating a handpicked collection of independently owned smaller properties committed to individuality, progressive design and cultural authenticity.”
Aron specifically mentioned some of Design’s properties: The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, the Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Iceland and the C-Hotel in Lake Como, Italy.
It would have been wise from a distribution point of view to have these Design Hotels available for bookings via Starwood channels.
Seems that they are launching separate “Design Hotels” Starwood brand for those hotels that don’t mind paying the SPG participating fee of 5% from the revenue and perhaps offer some elite level benefits for Gold and Platinum members.
Eagerly awaiting what will come out of this. These Design Hotels appear to be good fit considering Starwood’s customer base.