The Independent Collection Adds Boutique Hotel, Debuts Loyalty Plan
PHOTO: The Independent Hotel in Philadelphia is a member of the growing Independent Collection. (Courtesy of Independent Collection)
It may not be a brand that you recognize, but that could change quickly over the next few years. The Independent Collection, or IC as it calls itself, is a group of 10 boutique lifestyle hotels overseen by HHM, a hotel management company.
IC is now working to raise its awareness in the U.S. hospitality market by increasing the number of hotels in the collection and introducing a new loyalty and perks program for guests. This comes roughly a year after IC launched a dedicated website to showcase the properties in its collection.
“Our guests were asking us to make sure we tell them if we have hotels in other markets,” said Naveen Kakarla, HMM’s president and CEO, who launched the first hotel in the collection over eight years ago. “The same person was going to many of our hotels and not realizing they were connected.”
Earlier this week IC announced that it was adding the 156-room St. Gregory Hotel in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C., the collection’s third hotel in D.C. and the 10th property overall. In fact, IC has doubled in size in only two years, going from five to 10 hotels in its managed portfolio.
It also has plans to increase its collection to up to 20 hotels over the next two years, with new properties in such markets as Key West, Northern and Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and further expansion in existing markets. IC is focused on adding boutique, four-star properties with roughly 100-150 rooms, though a number of its existing hotels have less than 100 rooms.
IC currently manages the Boxer Hotel in Boston, Duane Street Hotel in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City (the first hotel in the collection), NU Hotel in Brooklyn, the Independent Hotel in Philadelphia, the Graham in Georgetown, the Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, the Blue Moon in Miami Beach, Winter Haven in Miami Beach, and Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara, Calif. IC focuses on managing boutique, lifestyle hotels that offer personalized service and a connection to local communities.
“We are proud to be tactically expanding in key neighborhoods throughout the U.S.," said Kakarla. “With the addition of the St. Gregory Hotel to our D.C. portfolio, which already includes the two diverse properties and neighborhoods of The Graham Georgetown and Capitol Hill Hotel, our guests now have an accommodation option in Dupont Circle, a quintessential IC neighborhood rich with boutique shops, cultural destinations and remarkable restaurants.”
In addition, IC also has a new loyalty and perks program, IC Local, which rewards all members for every stay throughout the calendar year. IC Local program provides guests with rewards and local amenities at all IC properties. These consist of everything from a cupcake baked at Georgetown’s Baked and Wired to chocolate from Philly chocolatier Verde or a bottle of wine from a Santa Barbara-based vineyard.
IC Local members get benefits based on their earned tiers — Gold, Platinum and Black — and can accelerate their status in the program by staying at different IC hotels within the same year. Other benefits include mini-bar credits, point allotment, a birthday discount, late checkout, room upgrades and guaranteed availability for Black status members.
“With the addition of our IC Local program, we will continue to set ourselves apart by giving back to our guests, enhancing their stays, and encouraging new guests to experience all the Independent Collection has to offer,” said Foiz Ahmed, IC’s vice president.
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