by Michael J. Shapiro | October 23, 2018
Hilton has unveiled Motto by Hilton, a new brand of affordable micro-hotels slated to appear in urban destinations where space might be hard to find. Motto will be the hospitality giant's 15th brand and will join a portfolio of more than 5,400 properties in 106 countries and territories.
According to the company, the brand was inspired by the emerging "lifestyle hostel" model, but upon researching customer preferences, Hilton found that travelers who book hostels are not particularly interested in sharing rooms with strangers. They're more drawn to an affordable lodging option in convenient urban locations. Motto speaks to that, promising prime locations in popular neighborhoods, competitive room rates, multipurpose shared spaces and the authenticity of being part of the local community -- likely via a restaurant or café that caters to locals as well as guests.
 
"Hilton prides itself on being a leader in the hospitality industry and evolving with the needs of our guests," said Christopher Nassetta, the chain's president and CEO. "Innovation is in our DNA, and as we embark on our 100th year as a company, we are innovating more than ever before. With Motto by Hilton, we are bringing to market something the industry has never experienced, with its flexible and affordable room product, desirable locations and guest-empowered service." 
 
Because the properties are geared toward popular neighborhoods in larger cities, the room design is efficient. Small groups will have the option to book connecting rooms, as well as positioning the Motto properties for attendees seeking an alternative to big-box conference hotels. The hotels also would serve a need during high-demand citywide events, when many attendees look to alternative lodging options such as Airbnb to save money and still potentially be close to the action of the main event.
 
Space-saving room-design features will include such options as wall beds, loft beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls, and multifunctional furniture that can be stowed when not in use. Another feature that might appeal to groups is the option to split payments at the time of booking.
 
Hilton says a premium sleep experience will accompany the affordable rate, regardless of the central urban location: Premium mattresses, sleep kits with eye masks, essential oils, white-noise apps, blackout window shades and sound-absorbing materials in the rooms will all be among the options hoteliers can offer to ensure a good night's rest. All rooms will make the most of Hilton's Connected Room tech, as well, and allow guests to control features such as lighting, temperature, TV and more from the Hilton Honors mobile app.
 
"The launch of Motto by Hilton emphasizes our relentless commitment to creating innovative brands that meet what today's travelers want," said Phil Cordell, global head of new brand development for the company. "The unmatched flexibility of Motto offers tremendous value by empowering travelers to tailor every stay to their specific needs."
 
What could be the first Motto to open is already under development, a 100-room property in Marylebone, London. Construction aims to begin in January 2019, with a target opening date of 2020. Other deals are in the works for Dublin, Ireland, and Lima, Peru, as well as the U.S. cities of Boston; San Diego; Savannah, Ga.; and Washington, D.C. Hilton promises the brand will be global.