February 21, 2018

Is the traditional hotel chain dead?


In the era of Airbnbs and travel apps, are classic hotel chains obsolete? Three industry titans weigh in.

Modern accommodation options such as Airbnb are an obvious threat to the industry, but Ian Schrager is quick to point out that hotels can offer what these services cannot: an experience. “The only way that hotels can compete is by offering the socialization and communal aspect that Airbnb cannot,” he explains. “This along with the level of service.”

His latest venture, Public, was developed with equally revolutionary ambitions, as a response to the threat of online booking services.

Public’s ethos is one focused on the democratization of luxury, making it more accessible and attuned to evolving consumer preferences. “New hotels need to respond to how people are today,” Schrager says. “Luxury now doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s not just for the rich—it’s a state of being.”

At Public, there are no superfluous five-star fixtures; you won’t find bone china, Egyptian cotton sheets, or suited-up bellboys rolling your bags for a tip. It’s all about providing service, style, and spirit for a reasonable price. And if you’re guaranteed a great experience for a similar cost, there’s really no incentive to roll the dice and stay in someone’s home instead.

Get the full story at Robb Report