Hilton's Canadian expansion plans

TORONTO — Hilton plans to capitalize on Canada's tourism upswing by adding hotels from newer brands – Canopy by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton and Tru by Hilton. Jeff Cury reports they have nearly 70 hotels in the pipeline.

Tru by Hilton Edmonton lobby area.

Tru by Hilton Edmonton lobby area.

MCLEAN, Va. — Canada is seeing an upswing in tourism and Hilton is planning on capitalizing by adding more hotels from some of their newer brands – Canopy by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton and Tru by Hilton. But the expansion is not limited to these brands as Hilton’s all-suites, full-service and focused-service brands are also growing.

Hilton recently announced robust Canadian expansion plans for Canopy by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton and Tru by Hilton, driven by the region’s thriving tourism industry. Providing guests with vibrant, unique experiences at different price points, the expanded footprint of Tru by Hilton and the introduction of Canopy by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton into Canada will offer travelers more options in the country. 

Jeff Cury.

Jeff Cury.

Canada has seen an impressive upswing in tourism and in the first quarter of 2019, the tourism economy grew nearly 4 per cent. In a year-on-year comparison, the country experienced an 8 per cent increase in tourism growth, with overnight arrivals from the U.S. increasing 5 per cent in the first five months of 2019.

Hilton has the largest hotel construction pipeline in Canada with nearly 70 hotels and 8,000 rooms, comprising 22 per of the total hotel pipeline in the market,” said Jeff Cury, senior director, development for Hilton Canada. New hotels in the pipeline include Hampton Inn by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Home2 Suites by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tru by Hilton – in addition to the first Canopy by Hilton and first Tapestry Collection by Hilton property.”

At the end of Q2, Hilton’s portfolio included 144 properties in Canada (up from 137 at the end of Q42018). Brands currently in Canada include: Hampton Inn by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton and Tru by Hilton.

Jenna Hackett.

Jenna Hackett.

Tapestry Collection by Hilton:The introduction of Tapestry Collection to a country experiencing a significant rise in tourism is an exciting prospect for a brand still in its early development,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Our debut in the Canadian market will allow us to reach a new set of guests and offer those who have grown to love the Tapestry Collection brand more opportunities for authentic, independent experiences outside of the U.S.”

Tapestry Collection has three hotels anticipated to open in three cities – Moncton, Mississauga and Calgary. The first, Canvas Moncton, plans to open its doors before the end of the year.

As one of Hilton’s newer brands, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, which launched in 2017, will offer guests in Canada another option within the Hilton portfolio. We are delighted to be working with Perry Vashee and Opal Hospitality on our first Canadian Tapestry Collection by Hilton property in Moncton, N.B.,” said Cury.

The hotel’s design will be heavily art inspired, with a nod to the local community and its famous art festivals. This independently owned hotel was already under construction when Perry became involved with the project so the timing aligned for a conversion to Canvas Moncton, a Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The team was able to make the necessary changes to accommodate the brand requirements. It’s a must-see property when it opens in November of this year.”

With plans for global expansion, Tapestry Collection by Hilton has huge potential in Canada and beyond. Hilton’s Collection Brands (Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton) feature a portfolio of unique, hand-picked hotels, each with their own identify and story, allowing guests to enjoy an authentic, local experience. While in major markets, Tapestry properties are also located in more off the beaten path destinations, where travelers can get out and explore beyond the four walls of the hotel.

Tru by Hilton: Tru by Hilton has seven additional hotels in its pipeline that are expected to open by the end of 2021, primarily in Ontario. 

Talene Staab.

Talene Staab.

Earlier this year, Tru by Hilton opened its first hotel outside the United States, Tru by Hilton Edmonton Windermere. Conveniently located in Alberta’s Southern Business District, the property is just 20 minutes’ drive from the Edmonton International Airport and steps away from shops, food and area attractions including the West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America. The property is owned and operated by Rohan Developments, headed by father and son, Ravi and Rishi Bhushan. The Bhushan family have built a truly spectacular, next generation hotel that has been very well-received in the market,” said Cury. 

Building on the fastest brand launch in hospitality industry history, and with the largest midscale pipeline in the Americas, Tru by Hilton has so much runway for growth,” said Talene Staab, global head, Tru by Hilton. Canada provides the perfect opportunity for our brand to expand beyond the U.S., delivering a consistent, fun guest experience at an affordable price, while offering an appealing entry point for owners to join the Hilton family or expand their portfolio.”

There are over 300 Tru hotels in the pipeline in the U.S., so not only is there huge potential for growth for Hilton within the U.S. – but huge growth opportunities exist in Canada,” said Cury. 

This brand targets travellers who don’t want to compromise between a consistent, fun experience and an affordable price and provides developers with an opportunity to build a cost-effective hotel brand in primary and secondary markets. It also provides an opportunity in tertiary markets that historically have made new developments less attractive for development teams. Tru by Hilton’s future in Canada is poised for much growth from coast to coast.

Hotel developers are drawn to this brand for several reasons, but in a word – simplicity. The brand is a comprehensive, cost-effective prototype hotel with limited room-types in which designing, building and operating the hotel is made easier for the developer.”

The seven Tru by Hilton hotels that are currently in the pipeline are in Ajax, ON; Gananoque, QC, Kingston. ON, Toronto Downtown, Bracebridge, ON, Mississauga, ON, and Yarmouth, NS.

Canopy by Hilton Toronto - Yorkville.

Canopy by Hilton Toronto – Yorkville.

Canopy by Hilton: Hilton’s lifestyle brand is set to debut in Canada in 2022 with Canopy by Hilton Toronto – Yorkville. The property will be located at the cross-section of several neighborhoods known for high-end retail and vibrant culture, and will provide guests with a variety of thoughtfully local on- and off-property experiences.

Canopy by Hilton Toronto – Yorkvillle is progressing along very well and we are very excited about this project,” Cury told CLN. I recently spoke with the Easton Group’s Steve Gupta, the developer of this project and things are moving along very well. They plan to have five-levels of underground parking completed by January 2020. Once out of the ground, they will build a floor per week with a planned opening for the second quarter of 2022.”

Home2 Suites by Hilton Brampton, Ont.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Brampton, Ont.

All-suites Brands by Hilton: Earlier this year, Hilton’s all-suites brands, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton, announced their 30th Canadian hotel opening with Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown — a dual-branded property with Hilton Garden Inn — and has plans to continue expansion throughout the country with over a dozen all-suites properties in the pipeline. 

In the past year, both Homewood Suites by Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton have opened new locations in Toronto. In 2018, Embassy Suites by Hilton opened a property minutes from the international airport in Montréal, and there is a Homewood Suites currently under construction in the heart of the city’s most popular Midtown neighborhood which will open in 2020.

Another Canadian market with great potential for growth is suburban and surban’ neighborhoods just outside the city centre that demonstrate significant promise, especially for Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton,” Cury said. Regardless of travel segment — long-term, short-term, business, leisure, etc.— the spacious suites and homelike amenities at all-suites properties have become increasingly valuable to guests.” 

Full-service and focused-service brands by Hilton: Growth across full-service and focused-service categories has steadily increased in the last three years, with plans for future in-market development: DoubleTree by Hilton has 16 hotels and six in its pipeline; Hilton Garden Inn has 25 hotels and more than five in the pipeline; Hampton by Hilton has 58 hotels and nearly 10 in its pipeline.

DoubleTree by Hilton: In Canada, Hilton has DoubleTree by Hilton properties in the pipeline for Calgary, Kitchener, Windsor, Toronto, Surrey, B.C., and St. John’s, N.L.

DoubleTree by Hilton has been enjoying excellent growth internationally, including Canada,” Cury said. The enhanced performance models of these hotels are why we continue to grow this brand year-over-year. DoubleTree by Hilton owners have been great advocates for the DoubleTree by Hilton brand, because it performs extremely well in their markets. 

While we have several new builds, DoubleTree by Hilton is also an excellent conversion brand as it allows owners more flexibility in terms of interior design and space allocation when renovating their hotels, while still adhering to all the brand standards and providing a guest experience that keeps our guests returning,” Cury noted. The warm DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie given to guests upon check-in doesn’t hurt either!”

Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn by Hilton: These are powerhouse brands that have both paved the way in their respective segments,” Cury noted. Each with its own unique offerings, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton provide guests with quality and affordable accommodations. 

Seventy per cent of our franchisees own more than one hotel with Hilton, and this is a reflection that our systems deliver great value to the guests and for the bottom lines of our owners.

Canada is a large country with many secondary and tertiary markets so there is no lack of opportunity for growth in many areas for these brands. Having said that, there are markets, such as the GTA, that require a strategic approach to growth as we are currently well represented in many areas of the GTA.”

Bar at Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites dual brand in Ottawa.

Bar at Hilton Garden Inn/​Homewood Suites dual brand in Ottawa.

Hilton campuses and dual brands: There are approximately ten multi-brand properties in Canada, most of which contain one of Hilton’s all suites brands. There is a dual-brand Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites in Brampton which was recently completed, and Hilton recently broke ground on a dual-branded Home2 Suites/​Tru by Hilton in Markham which is also located in the Greater Toronto Area. There are also plans to develop a tri-brand Home2 Suites by Hilton, Tru by Hilton and Hampton by Hilton in the Greater Toronto Area by 2020

Other upcoming properties include Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton Montréal Midtown; Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown; and Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton Montréal Downtown, with several more in the works.

Hilton’s hotel brands continue to outperform in the industry and Canada is no exception,” said Cury. Many of our owners and the Canadian hotel community have access to hotel capital and, combined with the lowest interest rates in hotel lending in Canada, I believe there will continue to be growth in our industry. As a result, I am excited about the future of Hilton’s Canadian development growth.”

Matt Wehling.

Matt Wehling.

We are particularly excited about the growth opportunities in Canada for our newer brands, as our owners confidently embrace our organic growth strategy,” added Matt Wehling, senior vice-president, development, U.S. and Canada, Hilton. 

Thank you to our owners for their partnership. The successes we’ve had in Canada across our recognized brands including DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton demonstrate their commitment to an outstanding guest experience, and have paved the way for the introduction of our new brands.”