Tempo By Hilton: New Brand For “Modern Achievers”

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

Hilton has just announced the details of their 18th hotel brand, called Tempo by Hilton. Hilton has been on a roll lately when it comes to introducing new brands that I struggle to differentiate, including Signia Hilton, Motto by Hilton, and more.

Why hotel groups create new hotel brands

Before we talk specifically about Tempo by Hilton, I think it makes sense to talk about why hotel groups start new hotel brands. It’s not necessarily to be able to sell to consumers, but rather to be able to sell to investment companies.

For the most part, the global hotel chains don’t own most of their hotels, but rather they just have management or franchise contracts for them. So the reason they create so many new brands is so they have something to pitch to investors.

They try to make each brand seem unique, in hopes of luring a company to build a city’s first Tempo rather than third Hilton, for example.

That’s why there’s also such little innovation when it comes to new hotel brands. Instead I feel like we just see each of the major hotel brands introduce similar concepts over and over.

The basics of Tempo by Hilton

To start, here’s the brand essence video for Tempo by Hilton:

Why are hotel groups so predictable? Tempo by Hilton is described as:

An approachable lifestyle brand curated to serve a growing segment of “modern achievers” who seek a hotel experience that reflects their ambition.

That could basically be the pitch for every single new hotel brand being introduced by the major hotel groups nowadays.

As it’s described, Tempo by Hilton will combine thoughtful design and diverse lifestyle partnerships, to provide owners and developers with a highly scalable brand that is both uplifting and within reach for future guests, all powered by an efficient service model.

Tempo by Hilton will have partnerships with experts across well-being, food and beverage, and other lifestyle spheres, as they’re working with:

  • Arianna Huffington’s behavior change platform, Thrive Global
  • Culinary firm Blau + Associates

Hilton suggests that these organizations “bring a sense of discovery to the brand, while empowering guests to continue prioritizing well-being and personal growth even while traveling.”

Hilton’s SVP and Global Head of New Brand Development, Phil Cordell, says:

“Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies owners expect from a limited service model with an uplifting dose of inspiration.”

As you can see, Tempo by Hilton will be a limited service brand, but worry not, it will offer “an uplifting dose of inspiration.”

Signature elements of every Tempo by Hilton

Here’s how Hilton describes the signature elements of every Tempo by Hilton:

  • Reinvigorating and Relaxing Guest Rooms: More than rooms, Tempo by Hilton accommodations serve as a refuge where modern travelers are reinvigorated for the day ahead. In-room experiences include the one-of-a-kind Power Up and Power Down collections; curated assortments of morning and bedtime rituals created in partnership with Thrive Global; as well as other unexpected touches, such as a finely tuned sleep environment and a dedicated Get Ready Zone with space to get ready, organize for the day and focus on work. In addition, the oversized bath suite, which includes mirrors with built-in Bluetooth speakers, is spacious, bright and invigorating to help guests recharge and renew.
  • Shared Spaces and Amenities Designed to Inspire: Envisioned as catalysts for genuine, memorable experiences, all Tempo by Hilton public areas and amenities bring a fresh approach to industry mainstays. These include art and design collections specifically chosen to encourage guests to look up from their daily grind and take a moment for themselves. Guests will also enjoy state-of-the-art fitness offerings; flexible meeting spaces, which can be easily reserved by guests on the go; as well as more informal areas perfect for collaborating with teammates or concentrating on individual tasks.
  • Culinary Journeys: Developed alongside the award-winning Blau + Associates, Tempo by Hilton’s food and beverage offerings ensure guests have access to everything they need to sustain energy and boost focus. The in-lobby Fuel Bar, a complimentary coffee and tea bar, offers a hand-selected assortment of premium coffees and teas, along with various benefit-driven mix-ins. Additional hearty and healthy options, including artisanal smoothies and other breakfast favorites, are available at the casual cafe. At the bar, spirited and non-spirited craft cocktails and small plates round out the concept’s culinary program. Additionally, Blau + Associates will collaborate with Hilton to form a Chef Collective, an advisory board of young up-and-coming chefs who will help curate seasonal menus.
  • Sustainability: Tempo by Hilton aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half. To that end, this new brand is committed to implementing sustainable practices throughout the guest experience. Examples of specific initiatives include LightStay, food waste programs, responsible seafood sourcing, hydration stations throughout the property to replace single-use plastic bottles and full-size bath amenity dispensers to reduce disposable plastics.

Tempo by Hilton renderings

Here are some renderings from Hilton of what the new hotels will look like:

30 Tempo by Hilton properties in the pipeline

Even ahead of the official unveiling, Tempo by Hilton already has more than 30 individual commitments to date, with properties confirmed in New York, Maui, Boston, Los Angeles, Lexington, Nashville, San Diego, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and more.

On top of that, a further 30 deals are in various stages of development.

My take on Tempo by Hilton

As far as limited service hotels go, the renderings of Tempo by Hilton look quite nice. I like the design of the rooms, and I like the look of the public spaces. So overall I look forward to checking one of these out.

However, I can’t help but just turn into somewhat of a grouch when I read how these new brands are described. It sure seems to me like these brands are developed by marketers rather than actual experts in the field. They’re so desperate to appeal to millennials that I find the whole thing off-putting. Modern achievers? An uplifting dose of inspiration? C’mon.

Despite all of that, I still think Tempo by Hilton looks like one of the better limited service brands out there. And I guess I am a bit of a millennial, in the sense that I like avocado toast and an “elevated coffee bar” (as the video describes it), even though I don’t like desk-less rooms and exposed closets.

What do you make of Tempo by Hilton?

  1. Watched the video for about 10 seconds and became naseous. That said, go on Hilton with your bad self. Look forward to trying the brand out.

  2. Ben, I share your grouchiness, honestly I am in the prime demographic that Hilton is targeting for this but I feel like they don’t get me at all haha. Nothing wrong with the already huge range or choice they already have!

  3. I have a curated bedtime ritual. I take my clothes off and get in bed. What a load of marketing based piffle.

  4. Rooms look fine, nice even, but I feel like I just had my full year’s PR and marketing nonsense in just 1 press release. I’m having anxiety that I might not be enough of an achiever or have enough ambition to stay here!!
    The Get Ready Zone ( oh please?!) is basically a wardrobe without a door!

  5. While the renderings look nice, it really comes down to the quality of the buildout, the materials used, the solidness of the craftsmanship, etc.

    The colors, etc. look good, but if the finishes are essentially drywall with lightweight, cheap chairs from IKEA, it feels cheap.

    I hope they invest some $$$ into quality materials, carpentry, craftsmanship, etc. Otherwise it will just feel MEH.

  6. What does “lifestyle” brand mean? I’ve seen that used to describe everything from $600+ per night Park Hyatts to <$100 per night Marriott properties near airports.

  7. It is Hilton’s answer to AC Hotels for Marriott. In the same way AC is basically a dressed up Courtyard, Tempo will be a dressed up Hilton Garden Inn. Developers will snap Tempo up like hot cakes because the Hilton Garden Inn brand is built out in the majority of the core Urban markets. It will also become a desired brand for dual-branded projects.

  8. I’m in all in favor of these “lifestyle” hotel brands because it works for the way I travel.

    I want a nice, modern room but I’m not typically going to use any of the amenities that the hotel provides outside of the room.

    I spent most of my travels when I can in Elements, Alofts and AC Hotels. It’s time for Hilton and Hyatt to get on this train more seriously

  9. I like the idea of new brands, but no one is going to pick these out purposefully. It depends on price and location. If there’s a DoubleTree/Hilton down the block that costs $30 less per night, I’m not going to try one of these.

    I think Doubletree is my favoritie Hilton brand, but others have their own.

  10. I’m willing to try it. I liked what they did with Canopy but Tru left me feeling like they were trying to cheap out on every basic amenity they had. When I travel I tend to stay at the Doubletree. Used to love Hampton Inn but they have become hit and miss. Stayed at a great one near Chicago lately and an absolute pit out in Houston. The standard brand Hiltons have been consistently decent but Embassy Suites feels like an aging courtesan someone has tried to pretty up in the hopes someone will give it a spin.

  11. I think it has more to do with management methods, than with real product differentiation. If you hire a team to design a new brand, (a) the team will have to deliver something, and, perhaps more importantly, (b) those who hired the team will have to approve the result, because otherwise it seems that they wasted resources on the wrong task or with the wrong people or both …

  12. These lifestyle brand always suck, usually no executive lounge or nice suites that you can be upgraded to. No thanks.

  13. So it’s a slightly nicer Tru?

    And I could be called a millennial as well. But why in god’s name do I want Bluetooth speakers in the bathroom mirror?

  14. @heishen LOL! Hilton c-suite, please, please give it a rest already. I stay in Hiltons _a lot_ and all this brand management is making me sick and I want to get off the ride.

    As for all the comments that this is Hilton’s AC, it looks that way but, this has a definite “affordability” aspect in the written materials. This is like an AC had a fling with a Tru at the airport Hilton and this is the unoriginal love child.

    Do potential developers really fall for this saccharin photoshop marketing?

  15. Any news on the points earning at this brand? It seems to be all new Hilton brands only earn 5 HH points per $, rather than the standard 10 points per $.

  16. I think it’s funny that Courtyard by Marriott took off by storm when launched. One big differentiator?: that, compared to the Holiday Inns of the era, Courtyards had closed closets rather than just a clothes rack on a wall.

    And here we are with now hanging our clothes on open racks again. Even at full-service properties!

  17. I still adhere to the notion that my eyes are closed for the majority of time I’m in a hotel room. I would always go for a shower that drains, fast wifi, a toilet that flushes, and general cleanliness than “an uplifting dose of inspiration.”

  18. I tell you, as a young, business only traveler, I love this concept (at least on paper). Reminds me a bit of that other brand (Marriott I think?) that is piloting in-room fitness areas. I hate closets; they just increase the chance of me forgetting a piece of clothing. I hate the free coffee at Hampton Inn, Garden Inn, Fairfield Inn; the Starbucks at Courtyard is nice, as are the breakfast items I’ve eaten there. I also like the small, circular tables at Courtyards that have individual TV’s. I hate poor lighting in the bathroom, where I can barely see my stubble as I try to shave, so a bathroom with solid lighting is a plus. If these “Power Up/Down” experiences are actually useful, maybe a quick yoga stretching video for free (I’m super inflexible) then that would be a clear differentiator for me. And these lower tier brands, except for Courtyards, definitely have shit food. I’ll gladly give up a standard free breakfast (yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, toast, that sort of stuff) for better, healthier food options even if I have to pay.

    Can’t wait to try one of these. I’m tired of the above mentioned brands, and can’t stay at the more luxury brands for business travel unless someone more senior is travelling too and the team has to stay together.

  19. Absolutely agreed with the second to last paragraph – all this comes across as some contrivance from out of touch marketing executives. I’m an educated, professional millennial and find Hampton Inns to be perfectly satisfactory. I question how much of a market there really is for all these new hipster “lifestyle” brands. (Honestly, why do I care if the hotels where I spend one or two nights at a time properly reflect my supposed “lifestyle”?)

  20. As a 20 something road warrior, all I want is a big gym with a variety of equipment and weights. Don’t know why any of the chains haven’t picked up on this…

  21. Am I the only one to think that associating your brand with Arianna Huffington, who might be considered too “polarizing” by some potential customers, is a very risky move?

  22. @Jay – as someone who has worked a LOT with Elizabeth Blau and her chef/husband Kim Canteenwalla, you are going to be very disappointed by the food. Every one of their restaurants is a first test kitchen version of what a good restaurant would be. They get a good write up on Eater then go out of business in 2 years because actual diners go once and never go back. They’re good for my business though since I have a bankruptcy creditors’ practice and two of the three largest liquor distributors as clients.

  23. Are any slated to have swimming pools? I did some research but couldn’t find anything one way or another. A 1) well-maintained, well-staffed, energetic hotel, 2) in a good location, 3) with a swimming pool, is my dream business hotel. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about a free carb-laden, sugar-intensive, dairy-drenched breakfast. I can plan to pick up something edible in the neighborhood.

  24. @ all those seeing similarities with AC: The history of AC is completely different. AC was founded as an independent Spanish hotel chain in the 1990s and acquired by Marriott only in 2011. Unfortunately, Marriott downgraded the product subsequently, e.g. they eliminated the free (well stocked!) minibar for all. On the other hand side, Bonvoy benefits remained really at a really austere level …

  25. What happened to the “bathroom door” on all these new brands?
    Are Millennials afraid of closet doors?
    Someone please help my understanding, thanks.


  26. No desk? Millennials like to put their feet up on chairs, lounges, airports usually with shoes on.
    Well working with a laptop on ones lap is actually not good for our sexual health. Imagine that. It’s really not good.
    No desk!

  27. Seems like a blatant cash grab just to appeal to developers who don’t want yet another generic Hilton family property

  28. I disslike that there is no individual toiletries. It doesn’t cost hotel much more but it makes a difference in the guest experience.

  29. They could offer bonus points for those wishing to use the bulk toiletries. There is many guests who prefer to use the single use ones. I prefer to use them over any environmental reasons which are in place for cost cutting.

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