It’s hard to imagine a hotel management firm with nearly 100 properties in its portfolio as having a niche, but a niche is just what Bespoke Hotels has developed. The United Kingdom-based firm manages hotels broken into four distinct regions: Scotland, northern England, southern England and central England. It also manages a few properties in the English Countryside and in the United States. As its name suggests, Bespoke Hotels’ portfolio is filled with unique properties that tailor their services and play up their identifying attributes to capture the attention of guests. And that is Bespoke’s niche. 

“We have a couple of hotels that are branded, but the vast majority are boutique,” CEO Haydn Fentum explains. “We are working that market in between pure owner-operator independent boutique and the large branded property. The hotels we operate are pretty big, and some are quite large, but they all have that independent flare.” 

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel offers more than just accommodations to visitors of Grand Rapids, Mich. “One of the objectives of our owners has always been to spur development in the city’s downtown, and that continues to be a focus of ours,” President Richard Winn says. 

The 682-room hotel, adjacent to two other large hotel properties and the city’s convention center, regularly makes changes and additions to its offerings with the larger community in mind. One recent example of this was three years ago, when the hotel rebranded a AAA five-diamond restaurant on the property, the first and only one of its kind in the state. “We liked the prestige of having the restaurant, but it wasn’t really driving people to the downtown,” Winn adds.

Westgate Resorts’ properties can be found in a wide range of unique and highly sought after vacation spots, and the company added to that list this year when it purchased the former Las Vegas Hilton and the historic Cocoa Beach Pier in Cocoa Beach, Fla. 

“We are the largest privately owned timeshare company in the world,” President and CEO David Siegel says. “We are one of the big three in the timeshare industry.” 

With more than 664 locations up and running and 175 properties in the development pipeline, Residence Inn is the largest upscale extended-stay brand in North America. Being that it’s the pioneer in this segment of the hotel industry, it makes sense, after all, it does have at least 20 years of industry presence over the second-oldest competitor in this market. Residence Inn has been around for 40 years and a part of the Marriott family since 1987. Some of its competitors, however, are just a few years old. 

Select-service hotels are dominating the hospitality business, but HEI Hotels & Resorts has found success by concentrating on a different niche. Its customers “need an experience with a little more sophistication to it,” Principal and COO Ted Darnall says. 

Based in Norwalk, Conn., HEI acquires, develops and manages full-service, upscale and luxury hotels. The company’s roots go back to the formation of HEI Hospitality in 2002, which invested in hotel properties. Four years later, the company shifted from investments that managed, to a dedicated management organization better positioned to support its investments, Darnall says.

Hay Creek Hospitality is recognized for offering memorable and special guest experiences. From the outside, its upscale independent hotels embody the essence of each community in which they are located, while one-of-a-kind features inside are sure to surprise and delight even the most seasoned travelers.  

“I wanted to create a company that was focused on the art of hospitality,” founder, President and CEO Norman MacLeod says. “The key principles and I have spent our entire life in the hospitality business. In this model, we have been able to utilize all of our skills by focusing on properties that need renovations or repositioning, and have developed a concept that is full-service, best in market and heavy in food and beverage for small memorable and special, independent properties.” 

Like most hospitality providers, The Grand Hyatt Kauai has made improvements to its offerings and accommodations in its nearly 25 years in business. Although upgrades to the facility continue to be made, there is one thing about the 602-room resort that will never change.

“We have a real sense of place, a ‘Hawaiian classic’ feel that captures what people are looking for when they decide to visit Hawaii,” says Keith Butz, general manager of the resort, located in Poipu on Kauai’s south shore. “From the moment they arrive, our guests truly know they are in Hawaii. Our ownership has enhanced the look and feel of our building over the years, but they’ve never deviated from a classic Hawaiian feel.”

In a market crowded with design firms, GH2 Hospitality Architects sets itself apart through its flexibility, Cara Shimkus Hall says. “We pride ourselves on being able to work with anyone’s budget, no matter how large or small,” she says. “We want to make great spaces for our clients to love.”

Based in Tulsa, Okla., GH2 Hospitality is a specialty practice of GH2 Architects, an international architecture and design firm with more than four decades of experience. Hall is an owner and principal in charge of hospitality at the firm, which serves multiple markets, including education, healthcare and historical preservation.

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