MCLEAN, Va.—Hilton Worldwide today announced the launch of Curio – A Collection by Hilton, including plans for the first hotels to join the new brand.
Created for travelers who seek local discovery and authentic experiences, Curio will be a carefully selected, global collection of distinctive four- to five-star hotels. Each Curio hotel will be different from the next, with individuality being a common thread. Letters of intent have been signed for the following properties: SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, S.D.; The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, N.C.; and a soon to be named hotel development in downtown Portland, Ore.
“Our customers and owners have expressed strong interest in a brand from us that includes hotels that can retain their unique identity but also deliver the many benefits of our system, including our Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide. “That desire, combined with the current size of the independent hotel market and demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world, made for the right timing for this launch. Curio is an exciting new brand for us—one of two unique concepts we’ll introduce this year.”
Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide, said, “Curio expands our portfolio to a total of 11 exceptional brands and creates additional opportunities to serve our existing customers even better, attract new customers, and grow our pipeline. With Curio, we can help owners leverage our scale, scope, and expertise while keeping intact each hotel’s individual character.”
SLS Las Vegas, owned and operated by SBE, is located on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip at the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Resort—a location steeped in Las Vegas history. The hotel and casino will open following a three-year, $415 million renovation, which includes the total redevelopment of three existing Sahara towers. Billed as a high-style collaboration between SBE Chief Executive Officer Sam Nazarian, renowned design icon Philippe Starck, and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef José Andrés, the re-imagination of this 2.5 million square foot development will feature an all-encompassing, mixed-use resort and casino with more than 1,620 guestrooms and suites, 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and a collection of SBE’s dining and nightlife brands when it opens later this year in time for the September U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend.
Nazarian said of SLS Las Vegas being one of the first Curio hotels, “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of an important relationship between SBE and Hilton Worldwide and an opportunity for me to work alongside a mentor and good friend in Chris Nassetta. Our mission to redefine excellence in hospitality to our guests at SLS Las Vegas aligns perfectly with the Hilton Worldwide vision for Curio. We have a proven record of creating brands that provide memorable guest experiences, whether in the hospitality, dining, nightlife, or real estate sectors. Partnering with Hilton and Curio allows us to maintain the SLS brand identity while offering the benefits of Hilton Worldwide’s commercial engines and the strength of the Hilton HHonors loyalty program.”
Additional Details for Planned Curio Hotels
Originally opened in 1924, The Sam Houston Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For 90 years, “The Sam” has treated guests to an authentic Texas hospitality experience in downtown Houston. American Liberty Hospitality will maintain management of the hotel when it joins the brand later this year.
Located near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Hotel Alex Johnson is also on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a well-known fixture in downtown Rapid City since 1928. Prior to joining Curio next year, the hotel will update its guestrooms, public areas, and meeting rooms as part of a multi-million dollar renovation. Hotel Alex Johnson is owned by Cortez LLC and operated by Isis Hospitality LLC.
Owned and operated by Wintergreen Hospitality, The Franklin Hotel is located in downtown Chapel Hill, one block from the University of North Carolina campus. It is expected to join the brand in late 2014.
Construction is planned to begin in early 2015 on a hotel development by The Widewaters Group Inc. in downtown Portland, Ore. The hotel is anticipated to debut as part of the collection in late 2016.