PHOENIX—To be, or not to be? For the eclectic team behind a new upper-upscale brand, that question is best answered by asking what guests want their hotel experience to “B.”
Such playful verbiage is an essential element for B Hotels & Resorts, which was announced last week at the 2010 Lodging Conference.
“If you start listening to how people talk, they talk about how they want things to be. And if it’s not that way, they talk about how can we get it to be that way,” said Christopher Tompkins, the company’s corporate VP and brand marketing director. “We thought about that and we started really playing with the name. … ‘B’ literally speaks to you as an individual. It speaks to me as an individual. It’s want I want (my hotel experience) to ‘be.’”
Christopher Tompkins, corporate VP and brand marketing director, B Hotels & Resorts
To foster the level of engagement, the brand, which will be executed through a franchising model, offers guests several “B Signatures.” The B Adventurous component connects guests with local excursion packages, for example, while B Indulged speaks to the limited-service spa suite or full-service spa at every property.
“It’s an upper upscale, 3.5- to 4-star product,” Tompkins said. “One of our definitive taglines was to ‘B approachable.’ We wanted it where as an individual traveler, as a group traveler, as a business traveler or as a social traveler that our brand is approachable and there’s not a negative stigma about staying at our brand.”
Each B hotel will boast “modish” styling, which Tompkins described as “classy, sleek, stylish and approachable.” Music and lighting in public spaces will transition throughout the day in an attempt to “match the pulse of morning, afternoon, evening and nighttime,” he added.
Properties also will feature standalone, full-service restaurants that are not tied to the look and feel of the hotel, as well as the B’Stro, a more traditional hotel restaurant that offers a variety of organic food offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
|An artist's rendering of the B Ocean lobby.
B Hotels & Resorts is led by: A real-estate developer Ayelet Weinstein, who serves as president and CEO; Tompkins; and an advisory council comprising professionals from the hotel, airline, design, real estate, public relations and publishing industries.
The brand’s flagship B Ocean Fort Lauderdale will open in December. The property features 240 guestrooms and suites and 8,000 square feet of meeting space. As with all B hotels, the B Ocean will offer complimentary high-speed Internet access.
“We wanted to announce the brand and it not be two years before we actually had a hotel,” Tompkins said. “So we announce, we open, and now we’ve got 90 days to show the success of the brand and show some statistics right off the bat.”
The Fort Lauderdale flagship will be managed by Davidson Hotel Company. B Hotels & Resorts hopes to establish a list of about six recommended management companies for owners moving forward.
Target markets include urban locations throughout the U.S., such as New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Tompkins said the group is exclusively targeting conversions.
“The first thing we look at is the destination,” Tompkins said. “The second part of that is where does the hotel fit within that destination? Does it have an opportunity to capitalize on its surrounding environment? The third thing we look at within the destination is what’s available in terms of excursions.
“It’s an untapped opportunity within our industry.”