by Michael J. Shapiro | October 15, 2014
Hilton Worldwide president and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta announced the launch of the company's much-anticipated lifestyle brand today at Hilton's Global Partnership Conference in Orlando. Canopy by Hilton will be a "more accessible" lifestyle brand, foregoing elaborate and expensive design elements to focus on an "energizing, comfortable stay." The Canopy brand will have four primary characteristics:

• Part of the neighborhood. No two properties will be alike; rather, the focus will be on local design, food and beverage, and art.
• Comfort. Guest comfort will drive the design, from an open, welcoming lobby space to warm, inviting guest rooms.
• Included amenities. With an emphasis on value, included in the room rate will be basic Wi-Fi, artisanal breakfast, a local welcome gift and evening tastings of local beer, wine or spirits.
• A "positively yours" service philosophy. Hotel "enthusiasts" will be one-stop representatives for all front-of-house service.

"The demands and preferences of today's travelers continue to evolve, and Canopy by Hilton creates something new for consumers in the lifestyle space," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. "Canopy by Hilton will deliver more choice and control for guests than ever before, from a mobile straight-to-room arrival to surprising extras throughout each stay."

The new brand will consist of new-build and conversion projects in key urban neighborhoods, as well as secondary markets globally, with the first Canopy properties expected to open next year. Letter of intent have been signed for 11 hotels already, including: Canopy Charlotte-Uptown; Canopy Indianapolis-City Centre; Canopy Ithaca (N.Y.)-The Commons; Canopy Miami- Brickell; Canopy Nashville-Downtown; Canopy Oklahoma City-Bricktown; Canopy Portland (Ore.)-Pearl District; Canopy San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter; Canopy Savannah (Ga.)-Historic District; Canopy Washington, D.C.-Bethesda North; and Canopy London, neighborhood to be announced.