Lead Stories

Doubling Up

Hilton Lifestyle Brand Manages To Expand Portfolio During 2020

By Dennis Nessler | May 27, 2021

While 2020 was wrought with challenges for the lodging industry as a whole, the tumultuous year clearly didn’t impact the growth trajectory of Hilton’s Canopy brand, which effectively doubled its portfolio with 15 openings.

The company’s premium lifestyle brand—which was launched in 2014 as Hilton’s first entry into the segment—continued to expand its global footprint recently opening the Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero, which brings the portfolio to 30 properties.

The brand’s growth momentum includes recent openings such as Canopy Hangzhou West Lake; Canopy Sao Paulo Jardins; and Canopy San Antonio Riverwalk. The brand also has current projects in development in Madrid, London and China, as well as Chicago and Portland, ME, all scheduled to open this year.

“While nothing about the past year has been easy we’ve been able to keep our momentum and celebrate the fact we opened 15 Canopy hotels. It’s been such an exciting journey to introduce our guests to all these amazing new neighborhoods around the world,” said Harald Han, director of brand management, Canopy by Hilton, during a recent media conference.

Han further described the DNA of the brand and some of its key attributes.

“We are that vibrant branded boutique hotel for travelers who are looking for that authentic and elevated local experience. Our hotels are uniquely designed with that local narrative in mind from the architecture to interior design to restaurants that are served with that local flair. We really want to bring each neighborhood to life, and so furthermore we kind of balance that sophisticated design with the more comfortable and residential feel,” he said, later adding the typical guest is an “experiential traveler.”

Meanwhile, Phil Cordell, Hilton Global Category Head, Hilton Lifestyle Brands & Global Brand Head, Canopy by Hilton, noted how the pandemic has helped bring guests’ needs more clearly into focus as he detailed what’s driving interest in the brand.

“I think one of the things that’s really cool for travelers is they’ve learned that connecting with friends, family, and loves ones is more important now than ever. I think that’s one of the reasons we see an accelerated curve in the reboot of leisure travel. When you think about Canopy that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about connecting with the local neighborhood in ways that enable our team members to be familiar with the neighborhoods and to offer an experience that’s kind of unique,” he said.

Meanwhile, although Canopy by Hilton doesn’t have what might be thought of as a lot of “traditional meeting space,” Han noted the properties have been benefitting from an uptick in smaller group business.

“The demands we see from customers and owners is more for these mixed-use collaborative kind of spaces that are flexible,” he said, adding the importance of the “aspirational element of it.”

Cordell further pointed out that Canopy has a lot of unique venues with rooftops and different types of spaces. As such, the brand has “started to get greater visibility with weddings.” He also noted the trend toward smaller, more “personal touch events” should benefit the brand.

Dennis Nessler

Dennis Nessler is Editor-in-Chief of Hotel Interactive, parent company of Hotel Community Forum. Nessler brings more than 28 years of editorial experience to his position, including some 17 years in the hospitality industry. As part of his duties, Nessler not only covers the industry editorially but moderates various high-level panel sessions at hospitality events and frequently conducts one-on-one interviews with C-level executives.

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