Hilton has unveiled Signia Hilton, a new hotel brand that focuses on meetings and events, and announced the first three destinations where the brand will launch: Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Orlando.
The brand has been designed to fill a gap in the upper end of the meetings and events space, said Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s president and CEO. “We spent a lot of time talking to our customers about what they wanted and talking to the meeting planners that do so much work in this space about what they wanted.”
The brand’s meetings and events spaces will be the “showpiece” of each hotel, with large ballrooms and pre-function areas featuring “smart design paired with the newest technologies,” and “small to mid-size meeting rooms [that] feature unique design and technology that spark new ideas and optimize work and collaboration,” according to a Hilton press release. The hotels will infuse “state-of-the-art technology and design into every aspect of the guest experience,” the press release said.
The hotels will occupy a space “above flagship but not quite into the luxury space,” in the Hilton portfolio, said David Marr, senior vice president and global head, Full Service Brands, Hilton. The Signia Hilton Indianapolis and the Signia Hilton Atlanta will be new construction, and be built alongside the Indiana Convention Center and the Georgia World Congress Center, respectively. The Signia Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, in Orlando, will open in an existing Hilton hotel that will be renovated to the brand’s standards. Opening dates, and details about the plans to open future Signia Hilton hotels in additional destinations, including international destinations, were not provided.
Each Signia Hilton will have a minimum of 500 guest rooms and 75 square feet of flexible meetings and events space per guest room, although many of the hotels, including those planned for Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Orlando, will exceed those numbers.
The announcement was made at a Feb. 22 breakfast press conference in New York City, where an empty floor at 3 World Trade Center was built out with comfortable and stylish furnishings and a meeting-room prototype in order to give press conference participants a taste of the Signia Hilton experience.
In Hilton’s discussions with meetings professionals, planners “honed in on three basic things,” Marr said. “First, modern design.” Planners, he said, “want more flexibility and much more daylight.” Planners also want “not the flashy kind of technology,” but the kind of smart technology that will help them run meetings much more efficiently and make things much more customizable for their meeting attendees, he said. The third thing they asked for, Marr added, was a focus on the culinary experience, not just in banquet and catering spaces, but in the hotels’ restaurants,“grab and go” offerings, and the development of “destination bars.”
“Those three things — design, technology, and culinary — are our three big pillars this particular brand,” Marr said.
Read Hilton’s press release about the new brand.