A sneak peak at this year’s new buzz-worthy hotel brand concepts.

As we plunge into a new year, there are countless opportunities for hotel brand expansion, and hoteliers are responding to the challenge. They’re debuting mid-scale and luxury offerings in tried-and- true spaces and niche markets, with a special focus on the international traveller.

In Central Canada, Quebec City is fast becoming a hotbed of hotel development. Case in point,  Wyndham Hotel Group, a Parsippany, N.J.-based company, is using the historic city as its North American launching pad for its new Tryp brand. “Quebec City uniquely combines tradition with modern-day innovation to create an unmatched experience for visitors,” says Daniel del Olmo, brand senior vice-president, Tryp by Wyndham. “The opening of the first Tryp by Wyndham in North America marks a truly exciting moment for our brand.” Specifically geared to the Gen-X and Y business and leisure traveller, Tryp provides an affordable central location that gives travellers full access to the city. The new build will take over the space left by the Condé Nast Traveler’s award-winning Pur hotel.

The 242-room Tryp promises a sleek, minimalist decor, complete with luxurious bathroom amenities, including Japanese soaking tubs and a view of Quebec history, such as the Saint Lawrence Seaway and Old Quebec. Room rates start at $129, and, the brand, which is already operating in Brazil and Costa Rica, is expected to expand to key urban markets.

Meanwhile, Ian Schrager, the man behind boutique hotels, recently unveiled Public in Chicago. He’s hoping the new brand will transform and redefine the boutique concept by focusing on making personalized, inclusive service available for “anyone and everyone who wants it,” with affordable rooms that start at $135.

The 285-room hotel features a guestroom design that mixes soft colours with modern pieces in unexpected combinations, offering an “anti-hip” feel. “Luxury is no longer about spending the most money. It’s about getting the best value and being made to feel special. This is not in response to difficult economic times; it is a true paradigm shift,” says Schrager of the new concept.

Located inside the city’s revamped Ambassador East Hotel — built in 1926 — Public will house the historic Pump Room restaurant, a re-imagined eatery with a menu developed by acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. But, expansion isn’t the only thing on the menu.

Courtyard by Marriott is preparing to unveil a new design catering to European clientele in Aberdeen, Scotland. The prototype is based on a 170-room, six-level hotel built to meet site market conditions. One major difference travellers will notice is a smaller room size. “We wanted to come up with a design that felt more minimalist,” says Arielle Quick, VP, Brand Support, Europe, Courtyard by Marriott. The smaller 22-square-metre room features a light, airy design with wood accents and a Mediterranean colour scheme.

The launch of the hotel’s Bistro restaurant will cater to a European appetite with a regionally adapted dinner menu. “We want to have a level of authenticity for guests to feel like they’re present in local markets as well — so there will be regional components to the menu,” explains Quick. And, that’s not all. Expect more innovative concepts in the coming year. In fact, Courtyard by Marriott is already promoting an Asian-inspired design to debut later this year.

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