ATLANTA—IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announced that its upscale voco brand has arrived in the Americas with the first locations planned for New York City, St. Augustine, Florida, and Columbia, Missouri. Initially launched outside of the Americas in 2018 with the first hotel in Australia, the voco brand “combines the informality and charm of an independent hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand” with a focus on conversion opportunities, according to IHG.
IHG introduced voco as a new upscale opportunity to owners in the Americas earlier this year, and potential projects are under consideration in key cities, leisure destinations, and college markets. In IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa (EMEAA) region, the brand has 12 hotels currently open. voco will expand to 19 countries over the next five years with a current global development pipeline of 28 new properties. IHG plans to continue to grow the brand in urban and leisure locations worldwide.
“voco Hotels is one of our highest potential, most flexible brands for owners, with diverse projects and markets ranging from the 470-room voco Dubai to the newly announced 50-room Franklin Hotel in Manhattan,” said Julienne Smith, senior vice president, development, Americas, IHG. “As the voco brand makes its debut in the Americas, it is generating terrific momentum with our initial three signings illustrating how strongly it resonates with owners seeking to enhance the originality of an existing property or develop a new hotel, while also tapping into IHG’s powerful global network and enterprise offerings.”
The first three voco Hotels projects in the Americas are:
1voco The Franklin Hotel in New York City
Located in on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the hotel has served travelers from around the world for a century and is within walking distance of attractions including Central Park, the Museum Mile, and Madison Avenue shops. The hotel is owned by Andrew and Stephen “Chip” Weiss Jr. of Flintlock Construction and will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality.
2voco Historic St. Augustine, Florida
This three-year-old hotel sits between the beaches of St. Augustine and the city’s Historic District, which includes restaurants, shopping, galleries, museums, and tourist attractions. The hotel is owned by Axis Income Fund, LLC.
3voco The Tiger Hotel in Columbia, Missouri
One of the tallest and most recognizable buildings in Columbia, this landmark hotel is adjacent to the University of Missouri (Mizzou) campus in the city’s downtown with access to area restaurants, bars, shops, and more. Since first opening its doors in 1928, The Tiger Hotel has evolved alongside the traveling public and the surrounding neighborhood. The hotel is owned by Glyn Laverick of Columbia Hotel Investments, Inc.
“Offering a unique guest experience in a prime location, our property is known as the place where upscale modern meets historic architecture for uniquely relaxing sojourns, meetings, and weddings,” said Glyn Laverick, owner of voco The Tiger Hotel. “We’ve made significant investments in The Tiger Hotel in recent years, resulting in consistently high reviews from guests, and we believe partnering with IHG and the voco brand is a great opportunity to further elevate the guest experience and amplify the hotel’s reputation to travelers from around the world.”
IHG markets the voco brand as “Reliably Different,” providing a consistent experience from an upscale brand, delivered in an unstuffy way that is true to the soul of each individual property. Hallmarks of a voco Hotels stay include a “warm and memorable” welcome experience, guestroom touches that “make the most of me time,” and a lively bar/lounge atmosphere.
Additionally, the voco brand integrates sustainability through elements such as bedding made from recycled materials; high-efficiency, aerated showerheads; bulk bath amenities; and filtered water provided in non-plastic bottles.
For owners, IHG says that the voco brand offers: a more flexible approach to brand standards and a customizable, property-specific commercial strategy and support model that makes voco Hotels well suited for conversion, adaptive reuse, and new build projects; a succinct, easy-to-implement set of signature quality standards offering efficiency and lower capital outlay compared to other brands; upweighted, property-specific field marketing and commercial support for hotels during their initial ramp-up phase.