Generator Hostel is one of the leading hostel brands in Europe that went through a drastic rebrand and redesign in Europe. When they started venturing west, they had great locations, but didn’t know what to do with their food and beverage offer. They could offer the standard hostel fare - vending machines and maybe a continental breakfast, but we felt there was a fantastic opportunity to attract more discerning travelers, digital nomads, and even locals by developing a dedicated F&B program. See what they developed here!
Does it really matter whether you call a place to stay a hostel or a hotel anymore?
By Deanna Ting, Skift
London-based Generator has always been known as a brand eager to upend preconceived notions about what a hostel could be.
So, it makes perfect sense, as the 14-property brand matures and expands into new markets — including Miami this month — that Generator drops the “hostels” part of its name and moves forward simply as “Generator.”
“I think the hostels part is going to disappear generally,” Generator CEO Alastair Thomann said. “The moment we call ourselves ‘hostel,’ it limits us in certain markets.”
“If we had to call ourselves ‘Generator Hotels,’ that’s a complete misrepresentation,” Generator Chief Marketing Officer Jason Rieff added. “The same way as if we had to call ourselves Generator Hostels. Although that’s something that historically has been our name, it’s also not really a full representation of who we are.”
Not only that, but as the brand expands to new markets, North America included, it’s finding it challenging to move forward with “hostels” in the name.
“There’s a very negative connotation toward the word ‘hostel’ in the American market, irrespective of what your product offering is. If it has the word ‘hostel’ in it, there will be negative connotations,” Rieff said. “In Europe, hostels are the go-to place for Millennial travelers, so it’s a very tricky situation of how we position ourselves in Europe to how we position ourselves in the U.S., and that’s something we’re trying to bridge.”
What Generator really is, Rieff and Thomann said, is more of a hybrid between a boutique hotel and a hostel driven not only by what today’s consumers want, but also reflecting where the overall hospitality industry is headed. It’s another byproduct of the convergence we’re seeing in which traditional accommodation categories are beginning to blur.
“Our industry, in general, what we used to call the hostel industry, in terms of the luxury hostel, is moving more and more toward boutique hotels,” Thomann said. “And you’re finding boutique hotels adding dorm rooms; they’re moving toward the hostel model. It’s more about the social spaces and the community. At some stage, we’re going to be very close together, these two segments.”