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June 14, 2016
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Millennial Meetings: New U.S. Boutique Hotels




thompson seattle
Guestroom at the new Thompson Seattle

Millennials tend to eschew their “grandparents' hotels” and gravitate toward smaller, boutique properties that can help them get immersed in the local culture. They are also attracted to fun elements and more diverse, flexible food and beverage options. Here are a few new and upcoming options to consider when booking events designed to appeal to Gen-Y.

The brand new Thompson Seattle has opened in that city’s downtown area next to the Pike Place Market. Its 158 mid-century modern guestrooms include eight corner studies and two suites. A minimalist approach to the interiors emphasizes exposed steel and concrete, as well as a blend of modern and vintage furniture and fixtures of reclaimed woods.

The hotel has 5,000 square feet of event space, spanning six indoor and outdoor venues. The largest, The Nest Private Event Space, is a 1,500 square foot rooftop lounge with views of Pike Place Market and Puget Sound. Blackbird, Dreamliner, Fly Baby and Grasshopper range from 500 to 1,300 square feet and have floor-to-ceiling windows. 

For foodies, the hotel’s Scout restaurant, operated by Huxley Wallace Collective under the direction of Executive Chef Josh Henderson, highlights locally sourced items such as shellfish from the Puget Sound, wild mushrooms from the Cascade Mountains, and grass-fed beef from the eastern farmlands. The Nest, billed as the highest hotel rooftop bar and lounge in Seattle, offers neat pours, seasonal batched and barrel-aged cocktails, and shareable plates.

About a mile north of the Thompson, construction has begun on the Moxy Seattle South Lake Union, a joint project between Stonebridge Companies and Marriott International. The hotel is expected to open in late 2017. It will have 147 guestrooms, a lobby designed to offer a social atmosphere, a bar, and elevators with photo booths and props. Guests can easily access nearby attractions such as the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project. Moxy is also scheduled to open hotels in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Nashville and Washington, DC, over the next few years.

 

A photo posted by Hotel Zephyr (@hotelzephyrsf) on

L.E. Hotels’ new Hotel Zephyr — San Francisco has opened in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood. Guestrooms are designed with nautical themes, as well as bar-style workstations, a magnetic dartboard, backgammon, and multi-device docking stations with smart TV streaming. There is also The Yard, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor lounge and event space, complete with fire pits, shuffleboard and life-sized games such as Connect Four and Jenga.

 

A photo posted by The Asbury Hotel (@theasburyhotel) on

Innovative features at the brand new The Asbury in the beach resort town of Asbury Park, NJ, include movies on the roof, 49 disco balls at the door and a welcome desk that also serves as a grab-and-go counter. The lobby, which doubles as a tomato-growing greenhouse, is a soaring public space that encourages guests to hang out, with a sunken seating pit upholstered in velvet silk on one side and bright blue bleachers on the other. Nearby, on a giant marquee wall, huge emojis broadcast the weather, hotel happenings and “happy thoughts.”

The Asbury has 4,800 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor space, including the Asbury Hall and the outdoor The Terrace lawn, both of which are divisible into two or three smaller spaces. 

The Asbury’s Sound Booth serves signature cocktails from a platform made of stacked bathroom tiles. Vinyl LPs, cassette tapes and CDs fill a massive wall next to the bar — a shrine to the history of music and Asbury Park’s rocker DNA. The outdoor Beer Garden has a specially outfitted 1960s truck to dispense five kinds of ale from outside taps and another truck serving different varieties of hot dogs.

Room Mate Hotels, a design-focused/ downtown-centric boutique brand with properties in Miami Beach and New York, is reportedly eyeing Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco for future expansion.


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About the Author: David Moseder

David Moseder


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