Hilton making pitch to go-getters with new Tempo brand

Tempo's “Get Ready Zones" will offer guests dedicated spaces to get dressed, get organized and work.
Tempo's “Get Ready Zones" will offer guests dedicated spaces to get dressed, get organized and work.

Hilton is bolstering its presence in the lifestyle space with the launch of Tempo by Hilton, a limited-service concept that targets a demographic the company has dubbed “modern achievers.”

“Tempo has been really driven in research,” said Phil Cordell, Hilton’s senior vice president and global head of new brand development. “We started spending time with customers who travel with some frequency, and one key insight was that there are people who are focused on being their best selves every day. They have a wellness routine for physical fitness, for nutrition, and sometimes when they travel, that rhythm is interrupted. We started to think about what we could do to help those travelers ensure that their rhythm isn’t disrupted, and maybe even uplift it a bit.”

On the chain scale, the new flag will be positioned just above Hilton Garden Inn and just below sister lifestyle brand Canopy by Hilton, Cordell said.

Among Tempo’s key guestroom components will be “Get Ready Zones,” offering guests dedicated spaces to get dressed, get organized and to work, as well as oversized bathrooms. The brand also promises to provide “a finely-tuned sleep environment,” with morning and bedtime ritual video content curated by wellbeing platform Thrive Global available in-room.

Also central to the concept will be an elevated food and beverage program. Developed in collaboration with restaurant and hospitality development group Blau + Associates, Tempo’s core F&B components will comprise an in-lobby Fuel Bar serving complimentary coffee and tea; a casual cafe serving “hearty and healthy” breakfast options and smoothies; and a bar showcasing alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails and small plates.

Blau + Associates also has partnered with Hilton to establish the “Chef Collective,” an advisory board of young, up-and-coming chefs who will assist Tempo in crafting seasonal menu items.  

A rendering of a Tempo king room.
A rendering of a Tempo king room.

“We’re asking the Collective to help us think not just about the foundational elements, but also about some really incredible F&B elements that we can deliver in a cost-effective way,” said Jon Witter, Hilton’s chief customer officer. “We want customers to say, ‘Wow, I never would have expected to get this at this price point of a hotel.’”

Other brand amenities: fitness facilities, flexible meeting spaces and collaborative work areas. There will be a focus on sustainability. In addition to implementing food-waste programs, responsible seafood sourcing and other eco-friendly initiatives, Tempo properties plan to cut down on single-use plastics by offering hydration stations and utilizing full-size bath amenity dispensers. 

Hilton has more than 30 Tempo locations in the pipeline, with initial outposts targeted for New York; Maui; Boston; Los Angeles; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville; San Diego; Charlotte, N.C.; Houston; Atlanta; and Washington, D.C. 

A timeline for the first opening remains fluid, said Witter, but he expects the inaugural Tempo hotel to open sometime in the second half of 2021. Hilton says there’s an opportunity to grow the brand to hundreds of U.S. locations over time, before expanding internationally. 

“We really want this to be a brand that resonates with customers and that, over time, regardless of which city they’re going to, they’ll want to check and see if there’s a Tempo there first and foremost,” said Witter. “There’s an element of affordability and also scale that’s integral to the brand, and we’re focused on getting both of those things right.”

Tempo is Hilton’s third lifestyle flag, joining Canopy and urban micro-hotel concept Motto, which was introduced in late 2018. The first Motto hotel is scheduled to open this summer in Washington, D.C.

Tempo is Hilton’s 18th brand.


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