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Hilton Experimenting with New Hotel Brands

Fortune reports Hilton is planning to create several new hotel brands in the coming years to fill space in its current portfolio. The most eye-catching announcement was the plan for an urban micro-brand, which the company will look to formally introduce sometime next year.

The rooms would likely be between 125 and 150 square feet with an emphasis placed on connectability, flexibility, and a local vibe.

“We have a lot of customers that want to now be in these urban environments, that even with our lowest-priced products can’t afford to be in these cities, so we’re giving up a lot of business. We’re not getting customers in that environment through our system early in their travel lives,” Christopher Nassetta, Hilton CEO said in an interview at the Skift Global Forum in New York Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Hilton is planning a new five-star soft brand, “Hilton Plus.” Hilton is beta-testing “the connected room,” which is being used currently in some hotels. This smart room would know a traveler’s preferences, among its features.

Hilton’s new hotels will also include trendy restaurant and bar areas to attract locals. That, the company believes, will help travelers feel like they’re connecting with their destination rather than simply observing it.

“It’s very trendy in a sense, sort of like a hostel on steroids. But a lot of steroids,” Nassetta said of the new hotel concept, what he called an “urban micro brand.” The CEO first mentioned the ultra-small hotel idea in 2016.

The chain could launch the connected room globally in 2018.