Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Hilton announced their latest brand, Denizen, here in Berlin this morning. Denizen will be Hilton's entire into the "lifestyle brand" category pioneered by Starwood Hotels' W brand. Not coincidentally, Denizen will be led by former W boss Ross Klein.
And why "Denizen?" Merriam-Webster defines Denizen as "an inhabitant" and while Dictionary.com takes a more suave approach with "a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué: the denizens of a local bar." Klein defines Denizen as meaning literally "citizen of the world" which is somewhat humorous given the next definition from Dictionary.com: "a person admitted to residence in a foreign country ; especially : an alien admitted to rights of citizenship" - that sounds like the startings of a debate on immigration.
Denizen sounds to be cut from the same cloth as W in many respects - a focus on large, urban destinations, cutting edge design, anticipating guests' needs in advance, cutting edge technology etc. Sounds a bit like Marriott's Edition as well.
No actual confirmed locations were announced but the usual suspects (along with a few new, non-W cities) were listed: Abu Dhabi, Austin, Beverly Hills (California), Buenos Aires, Cancun, Hollywood (California), Istanbul, Jerusalem, Las Vegas, London, Los Cabos, Miami, Montreal, Mumbai, New York City, Panama City and Washington D.C.
Lets hope the hotels run better than the new website, www.denizenhotels.com which is crawling along at a very pokey pace today.