With competition for the consumer dollar intensifying, Canadian developers are eager to tap into new concepts in the lifestyle, boutique and mid-scale segments that cater to a value-focused, experiential traveller. Canopy by Hilton is only one example of a new lifestyle brand that will feature free Wi-Fi as a staple to attract millennials. Hilton Worldwide’s newest concept will begin popping up over the coming months in various urban centres and secondary markets such as Reykjavik, Iceland and downtown Nashville. Developing as a new-build or conversion project, Canopy by Hilton features an open lobby, relaxing public spaces and rooftop bar. Markham, Ont.-based Easton’s Group of Hotels has signed on to open the first Canadian unit of Canopy by Hilton as part of a residential project in downtown Toronto, where it will occupy the first nine floors of a 52-storey condo development, slated to open in late 2019.

Best Western’s new Vb concept is also set to join the boutique segment. The development strategy for this concept, which is designed to combine value and style, is focused on major markets including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. “Since the launch of Vb we have had tremendous interest from hotel developers and are especially pleased with the response from those who have not previously developed Best Western hotels,” says Ron Pohl, SVP of Brand Management. Vb was designed for a connected traveller who is interested in social engagement, technology integration and consistent service.

Meanwhile, Grande Prairie, Alta.-based Pomeroy Lodging is set to unveil the first of its new Hotello brand this month, with the opening of Hotello by Pomeroy-Vegreville in Alberta. Hotello’s modern decor reflects the character of the location. The hotels will offer a 24-hour fitness centre, common area for relaxing and socializing, as well as a ‘Jar-and-Bagel Bar,’ stocked with Milano Espresso machines, juices, bagels and prepared jars of yogurt and granola. Guestrooms are minimalist and modern by design and include in-room microwaves and fridges as well as an all-in-one plug-in media hub with USB fast-charging ports, HDMI connection for mobile devices, laptops and gaming consoles and Bluetooth pairing that connects to the rooms’ HDTVs.

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