Bethesda, MD—Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and six industry hotel operators have launched Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts worldwide. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Benchmark Global Hospitality, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance Hotels, Springboard Hospitality and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts.
According to its founders, Curator’s first-of-its-kind owner-centric hospitality platform offers a competitive alternative for independent lifestyle hotels looking to amplify their performance, providing them with best-in-class operating agreements, services and technology, while allowing them to retain their identity and what makes them unique. Created by owners and operators, Curator gives its members the power to compete together on their own terms, unbound by strict rules or constraints. As of today, Curator’s seven founding members represent a collection of more than 120 independent lifestyle hotels and resorts throughout the U.S., with many more poised to participate over the next six to 12 months.
“Curator was really born from a market need,” Alex Cabañas, CEO, Benchmark Global Hospitality, told Hotel Business. “While consumer demand for one-of-a-kind stays is increasing, independent hotels are actually on the decline. Major hotel companies have created smaller sub-brands and acquired once-independent smaller brands. As a result, hotels are forced to conform to brand standards and requirements meaning that diversity, variety, uniqueness, creativity and independence are diminishing in the marketplace. Strengthening independent hotels, Curator Hotel & Resort Collection will lift the industry as a whole by providing increased consumer choice.”
Jon Bortz, founder/chairman, Curator Hotel & Resort Collection and founder/chairman/CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, added, “Curator is a champion for the independent lifestyle hotel, uniting and empowering individual small brands and properties. Every property in the Curator Collection offers its own distinct, singular guest experience. We’re excited to bring these hotels and resorts together in one collection that is incredibly diverse, yet unmistakably cohesive. We are seeing a rapidly growing segment of sophisticated travelers who value independence and creativity in their hotels. These travelers are searching for more individualized and unique experiences. Curator bridges the gap and connects these guests with independent hotels and resorts across the United States that provide just that.”
There is no one-size-fits-all uniformity for the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. Instead, each property provides its own authentic and memorable experience with the freedom to operate on its own terms. Quality assurance comes from customer ratings rather than mandated standards, allowing each member to focus on being themselves and providing standout guest experiences rather than conforming to restrictive checklists, standards and rules.
“Curator is an owner-centric model, created by ownership groups and independent hotel managers and structured for the benefit of owners,” said Cabañas. “Unlike existing collections, members remain independent, don’t have to pay large fees to join, aren’t not locked in with long-term contracts, and don’t have to conform to strict rating systems or brand standards, allowing them to retain their individuality.”
Curator also amplifies the performance of independent lifestyle hotels, giving them an alternative to consolidation and saturation, while providing them with the benefits and support that come with belonging to a larger collection of like-minded unique properties. Leveraging the power of scale, Curator drives significant operating cost savings for its members through an array of curated benefits and initiatives. With its competitive market knowledge, the collection can utilize its economies of scale advantage to provide its members better and less expensive products and services.
Additionally, Curator takes care of vendor negotiations so that its members don’t have to, executing and managing advantageous portfolio-level agreements to help owners reduce operating costs and increase profit. Members also benefit from shared business intelligence reporting, insights and proprietary tools and technology solutions, all of which help guide and focus key operational activities and cost-saving efforts. These initiatives allow owners to focus more time and resources on attracting customers and growing revenues.
Cabañas, sees a great opportunity for his company in being part of the collection. “There is no question that Curator will create incremental value for our properties, above what we can deliver on our own,” he said. “The unique benefit of cooperative competition will be good for our owners and not take anything away from our unique properties and approach to management.”
Strengthening independent hotels, Curator Hotel & Resort Collection will lift the industry as a whole by providing increased consumer choice, according to its founders. For consumers, Curator believes the fun is in the find—providing guests the freedom to decide what they want and the excitement of discovering it. The Curator Collection portal will serve as an online matchmaker between collection members and guests, amplifying the visibility and reach of independent hotels by connecting them directly with consumers, who will handpick their hotels from a curated selection based on their preferences.