Commune CEO Sounds Off on Differentiating Brands

Niki Leondakis, CEO of Commune Hotels & Resorts, has four brands to juggle—residential-style Thompson Hotels; playful, personality-filled Joie de Vivre; eco-friendly, exotic Alila; and the company’s latest venture, micro lifestyle brand Tommie. At this year’s Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas, she broke down what makes each brand’s style stand out.

Thompson Hotels
“Thompson Hotels is an edgy, sophisticated, refined-cool brand that brings very active and locally relevant bars and nightlife to the guest experience, but it’s deigned in a way that is more residential in style. The interior guestrooms, lobbies, and public areas almost look like someone’s home. It’s a collection of pieces and furnishings that were collected over time, but they all have a certain point of view; most are coming from a midcentury modern point of view and very layered, but somewhat understated. I think of Thompson as a moody, nighttime brand—a little bit sexy, a little bit masculine.”

Joie de Vivre Hotels
“Joie de Vivre is very approachable. Each of the hotels is a brand of one. They are created individually, but the Joie de Vivre DNA is brought into each property through an attitude: It’s about bringing joy, happiness, and life into the guest experience. This is a lighthearted, fun, daytime brand. Each one is different. There isn’t any common design thread that runs through them.”


Alila Hotels & Resorts
“Alila is a Singapore-based, ultimate luxury resort brand. They’re very refined—the design is contemporary, but each feels indigenous to its place. The materials and style are consistent with the locale that it’s in. They’re very suited locally to the environment. They’re in these remote locations, and they’re all reflective of the place that they’re in, not just in the look and feel, but in the immersive, one-of-a-kind experiences that it offers its guests.”

“Tommie is our bun in the oven—we’ve been incubating Tommie for a few years now, and a lot of people like to refer to it as being for millennials, but we don’t like to say that. I don’t really believe it’s for millennials, but for the youthfully minded—a group of people who share an attitude around the notion of essentialism. It’s about the experience and the functionality—not about square footage in the guestroom or about 2,000-thread-count sheets. The experience is really programmed in the public spaces with things like listening lounges, libraries, and great restaurants and bars.”