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May 15, 2007

The Brand New Heavies

A new generation of hotels is hell-bent on brandmongering.

Gone are the days when a Hilton was a Hilton and a Hyatt was a Hyatt. An increasing number of hotel groups are bent on branding their ever-diversifying portfolios by lauding them more as if they were works of art than places to bed for the night. So now when you stay at an Embassy Suites you’re staying at an “Embassy Suites by Hilton.” And Acqualina in Miami Beach is in fact “Acqualina, A Rosewood Resort” (pictured). But it’s the new breed of lifestyle hotels that are leading the naming game.

Prepare yourselves for “The Ritz-Carlton Reserve” brand, which will comprise of ultra-luxe boutique hideaways in out-the-way destinations. The first Reserve, Molasses Reef, will open next year in Turks & Caicos, and is accessible by only boat or small plane. Starwood, meanwhile, is rolling out a sister brand to its W Hotels that targets the tech-savvy and mingle-minded. It’s called “aloft” (and yes, New York Times, that’s all lower case, just like globorati). Having already launched a virtual version on the losers’ cult online society, Second Life, Starwood will welcome guests to its first aloft in Rancho Cucamonga, near L.A., in early 2008. Hyatt’s answer to all this brandmongering is “Andaz,” a new line of eco-luxe “upscale urban hotels” that will debut in London and New York. Oh, and for those of you who aren’t up to snuff on your Hindustani, “Andaz” means “personal style.”

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read more: 02. Sleep | boutique | resort | 07. Beach |

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