Starwood unveils Tribute as 10th hotel brand

Royal Palm South Beach Miami has become the first member of the Tribute Portfolio
Royal Palm South Beach Miami has become the first member of the Tribute Portfolio

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has launched the Tribute Portfolio, its 10th brand.

Unveiled at a press conference in New York on Thursday, Tribute will be a collection of independent upper-upscale hotels, complementing the company’s existing Luxury Collection.

The new brand has already added its first member, the Royal Palm South Beach Miami. And this will soon be joined by new hotels in the US states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

But a global roll-out is planned, with Starwood targeting a portfolio of 10 hotels by the end of 2015 and 100 properties by 2020.

“We believe Tribute Portfolio will be an exciting solution for hotel owners of distinct properties who wish to maintain their independent spirit, yet benefit from Starwood’s powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platforms,” said Adam Aron, Starwood’s CEO. “Our mission with Tribute Portfolio is very simple: bring great hotels in great destinations to our loyal SPG members, who make up more than half of all Starwood stays.”

Dave Marr, Starwood’s senior vice president of brand management for North America, has now become the “global brand leader” for the Tribute Portfolio.

“Sixty-percent of four-star hotels globally are not affiliated with a brand flag. This provides Starwood with a vast landscape to grow Tribute Portfolio,” said Marr.

“In speaking with many owners, it is clear that they welcome the opportunity to partner with Starwood to enhance the performance of their independent hotels.  They are attracted to the benefits that will come from the power of SPG and our high-end Starwood sales customers coupled with the flexibility of minimal brand specific standards.”

Tribute Portfolio becomes the latest example of a large hotel group trying to capitalise on the independent hotel sector. Accor, Marriott, Carlson Rezidor have respectively launched their MGallery, Autograph and Quorvus collections, and last month Best Western unveiled its BW Premier Collection.

But Starwood was arguably the leader in this field, having first launched its Luxury Collection back in 1994. The Luxury Collection’s portfolio has increased more than 60% in the last five years, prompting Starwood to launch this new collection for slightly lower-tiered hotels.

“Starwood has meticulously handpicked the luxury hotels featured in The Luxury Collection, and we will just as carefully select independent, upper upscale properties for Tribute Portfolio, ensuring a consistent high-end experience that meets guest and SPG member expectations around the world,” Marr added.

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