Inside Tempo by Hilton: New Brand to Focus on Minimizing Disruptions to One’s Lifestyle Caused by Travel

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L. to r. Jon Witter, Chris Nassetta, Phil Cordell

Frequent Business Traveler Editorial Director sat down with Hilton’s chief customer officer, Jon Witter, and Hilton’s global head of new brand development, Phil Cordell, shortly after the announcement to better understand why Tempo is a different kind of lifestyle hotel.

Why “modern achievers,” Mr. Spira asked Mr. Witter. “The creation of Tempo started with the identification of a specific segment of ‘unserved’ travelers,” Mr. Witter explained.  “We chose the term ‘modern achievers’ as they are trying to maintain their daily routines while traveling.  We se them as highly brand loyal and looking for a hotel option to fulfill this need.”

What then can Hilton offer modern achievers that no other lifestyle brand can?

Tempo will meet “the elevated wellness, food and beverage, and fitness expectations” of this “very demanding segment,” according to Mr. Witter.

Through its research, Hilton has the “unique ability to anticipate what our guests are looking for” before they know it, Mr. Witter said.  In this case, Hilton surveyed over 10,000 Hilton guests to help its designers determine its look and feel. It is also working with two design firms, the Gettys Group and Nelson, on the Tempo project.

By introducing Tempo to the market, Hilton wants to minimize the disruption that travel causes to one’s lifestyle.

“People are focused on life, home, work, nutritional needs, and exercise,” Mr. Cordell pointed out in the interview.  “Being at home can create enough challenges, let alone being on the road.”

Tempo “aligns with what I need to be my best,” he added.

But shouldn’t all hotels meet my style of life and living, Mr. Spira asked?   “They all should, but I’m not sure how many apply focus to this, if any,” Mr. Cordell said, adding that “there are hotels that dive into pieces of the style of my life, but we are trying to take a half step back and think about holistically.”

“The questions we asked,” he said, “went like this: can we think about your fitness, your sleep hygiene, about how you mentally prepare yourself for sleep and for the day upon awakening?  That’s what Tempo will do.”

“That’s all well and good for when the guest is in the hotel, but what about after he leaves?”, Mr. Spira asked.

“Simple,” was the reply.  “We are giving guests as part of our partnership with Thrive Global multiple tools including a ‘Power Down’ sleep guide with ten microsteps that can be rotated.” The “Power Down” guide includes suggestions such as “Take your devices out of the bedroom” and “Turn your room into a dark cool sleep sanctuary.”  There will be sound baths (a relaxation technique and meditative experience that can use the human voice as chimes or gongs to bathe in),breathing exercises, and even a caffeine cutoff time.

Hilton says it has 30 confirmed deals in major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Maui, New York City, Nashville, San Diego, and Washington D.C., which will offer rooms that will serve as a kind of “refuge” from the modern world.  An additional 30 are in the pipeline, the hotelier said, and it hopes to have some 500 Tempo by Hilton hotels around the United States within the next ten years.

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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