Today, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, in partnership with six well-established hotel operators, launched the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. Curator will be a first-of-its-kind collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts on an owner-centric hospitality platform. It was developed to offer a way for independent lifestyle hotels to amplify their performance with best-in-class operating agreements, services, and technology while allowing them to retain their individual identity. The founding members of the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection include Pebblebrook and Benchmark Global Hospitality, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance Hotels, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts.
“Curator is a champion for the independent lifestyle hotel, uniting and empowering individual small brands and properties. Every property in the Curator Collection offers its own distinct, singular guest experience. We’re excited to bring these hotels and resorts together in one collection that is incredibly diverse, yet unmistakably cohesive,” said Jon Bortz, founder and chairman of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection and founder, chairman, and CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, in a press release.
Curator was developed to enhance independent lifestyle hotels’ performance, providing the benefits and support that come with belonging to a larger collection of like-minded unique properties. Leveraging the power of scale, Curator will drive operating cost savings for its members through an array of curated benefits and initiatives. The collection can also leverage its scale to provide better rates on necessary products and services. In addition, Curator will manage vendor negotiations, executing advantageous portfolio-level agreements to help reduce operating costs and increase profit. Members will also be able to access shared business intelligence reporting, insights, and proprietary tools and technology solutions.
At launch, the Curator Hotel & Resort Collections comprises 120 independent lifestyle hotels and resorts throughout the United States. LODGING connected with John Belden, chairman and CEO of Davidson Hotels & Resorts, to talk about the new collection and the challenges of launching such an endeavor during a global pandemic.
How long has the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection been in the works?
I would imagine Jon [Bortz] had been thinking about this for quite some time, but the real active incubation has been over the last couple of years at Pebblebrook with the team there. When the concept for the collection really started to come together, Jon began the outreach to other owners and operators.
Why was joining the Curator Collection the right move for Davidson Hotels & Resorts?
We’re thrilled to be part of this launch. About half of our portfolio is oriented towards the lifestyle and resort space. About a third of our portfolio is independent. I think this is a platform that is going to be very, very successful, largely because there’s a growing demand for independent lifestyle hotels as consumers increasingly seek out unique experiences, cultures, and physical environments. We believe that an authentic, one-of-a-kind hotel experience only heightens the overall attraction of the destination by strengthening independent hotels, which, in turn, are expanding the opportunity for consumers to discover a vast array of unique and authentic experiences.
Why was 2020 the right time to launch a new collection?
This was an organic launch; we launched the collection when it was ready. I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate that it’s launching in the middle of a pandemic, but I’m going to look at it through the fortunate lens. There’s no question that these are terrible circumstances for everybody. However, this platform has so many powerful cost-saving elements to it, many of which could help owners survive this really difficult time. The Curator platform can help owners create value in their hotels and, at the very least, amplify cashflow at a time when cashflow is very important.
What are your hopes for the Curator Collection?
While this is a business venture geared toward creating value for independent hotel owners, there’s a huge benefit to the industry in lifting up these independent and smaller branded hotels. We’re helping the health of their business, which helps the industry as a whole. Keeping our industry healthy, vibrant, and alive is key to its survival during these difficult times. That’s what I’m most excited about for this collection.