Aside from WorldHotels which it acquired in 2019, BWH Hotel Group is focusing on growing @Home, its new midscale extended stay brand, and Aiden, its upscale chic boutique brand that was first introduced in 2018.
Both brands will be fast growing because they fit into the needs of today’s developers and guests, said BWH president & CEO Larry Cuculic in an interview with TTG Asia.
The @Home prototype, in fact, was shaped through a collaboration between BWH and active extended-stay hotel owners. The result is an “effective and cost-efficient” extended-stay model, he said, and one that gives developers the flexibility in design elements, operations and breakfast areas.
“It allows the hotelier to decide the size of his lobby, or whether he wants a front or side entrance,” said Cuculic. “If you think about it, why do most hotels require porte cochère? It’s so that guests can exit their taxis when they come and go on a daily basis.
“But with extended stay, they are emptying their cars once a week, or once a month because they are staying longer. So, you don’t need a porte cochère. This is the kind of common sense that makes a hotel economical to build and have a smart footprint.”
“We didn’t design @Home – extended-stay owners did,” added Cuculic on the collaboration between BWH and around 12 owners.
Aiden, meanwhile, has received a massive boost from Scandinavian company CIC Hospitality, which intends to open 30 Aiden hotels in Scandinavia with new bells and whistles such as a digital hologram concierge for check-in/check-out and guest services at each hotel.
CIC, which believes the future of hotels is “sustainability and tech-inspired”, will include features such as solar roofing and modular design to drive environmental efficiencies at these properties.
Cuculic is confident both brands will also be well-received in Asia where, increasingly, a younger generation of owners has emerged and wants to build “an experiential hotel that matches their personality”.
A BWH press release says Aiden is set to grow by over 200 per cent in the years ahead. Aside from Scandinavia, BWH is capitalising on demand for the brand in India, Thailand and Australia. Currently, there are 19 Aiden hotels in countries including Australia, France, Italy, South Korea and the US.
As for @Home, launched at the group’s annual convention in November last year, a signing for the first @Home in Australia is imminent and it will be a conversion. Both @Home and Aiden are for conversions and new builds.