As the new brand head of TRYP by Wyndham, Anthony Emanuelo exudes passion and excitement for the continued success of the lifestyle hotel segment. While TRYP properties can be found all over the world, including in Latin America, China, Australia, and Europe, Emanuelo is concentrating on bringing more TRYP hotels into North America. Emanuelo spoke with LODGING about the impetus behind TRYP and what’s prepared him for his new role.
TRYP is positioned well for the lifestyle environment. Why do you think this segment has taken off?
Lifestyle hotels have gained long-term momentum. This is more than just a segment in the industry; it’s a way people want to travel going forward. It’s the experiences that people want when they’re in a city, and that transcends the hotel experience. Guests want to feel the vibrancy and the energy of a city, especially in their hotel. Nobody wants to wake up in a new city in the same box and feel like they never left where they were previously.
Since becoming TRYP’s brand head, what is your focus, and what steps are you taking to move this brand forward?
Our biggest focus is on North American development. We’re bringing TRYP to key cities, airport locations, and college towns across the continent. We don’t believe lifestyle brands should be tethered to only top markets—lifestyle brands should be in locations that connect guests to a city. We’re trying to help owners understand this concept and bring local experiences to TRYP guests, but we’re also focusing on our employees who are passionate about the city and take pride in their work. At our Newark, N.J., location, for example, 50 percent of our employees are local to Newark. This is a significant advantage for this hotel because it’s not the norm to have that many locals working at a hotel. They understand the best restaurants, local nightlife, and shopping outlets. When you have employees that are passionate about the brand and the hotel, service culture is just born in them. They don’t have to be trained.
How are you attracting these employees that are passionate about TRYP?
When looking for employees, you don’t always have to look for hotel veterans. You’re looking for a disposition and attitude that somebody has towards customer service. They are ambassadors for the brand who understand that giving a great experience is paramount to guests. Every employee is a customer experience ambassador for the brand, and they have to understand that.
What does the future look like for TRYP?
We’re rolling out a new prototype that will keep its Mediterranean heritage, roots, and brand essence, but with an updated look and feel. Although the brand is currently geared toward new construction, the pipeline is full of projects, and we have a new property opening next month in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood in a readapted, old vocational school. It’s in an amazing location with great dining outlets. Because of that, I’m excited to look for other projects in up-and-coming neighborhoods in warehouses or other abandoned buildings that can be repurposed into TRYP hotels. They’re open canvases and provide an authentic look and feel.