a building with a sign on the side
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Hilton To Acquire Graduate Hotels

These hotel properties will soon Graduate with Honors.

Hilton has agreed to acquire Graduate Hotels for $210 million in the latest endeavor of expanding the brands and offerings of the multinational lodging company. The deal is expected to close sometime during the second quarter of 2024.

Hilton To Acquire Graduate Hotels

a woman standing at a desk
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

In its agreement with Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners, Hilton will acquire the rights to the Graduate Hotels brand worldwide and become responsible for its future development and growth; while Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners will remain the owner of the greater than 35 operating Graduate Hotels properties — including those properties which are in the pipeline or under development — each of which will be operated under franchise agreements with Hilton for the long term.

“The Graduate brand will be incorporated into Hilton’s fast-growing lifestyle portfolio alongside Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Tempo by Hilton and Motto by Hilton — each of which has been launched in the last 10 years to respond to growing demand from travelers for localized travel experiences”, according to this official announcement which was released from Hilton earlier today, Thursday, March 14, 2024. “Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report identified that nearly a quarter of global travelers are planning getaways for concerts, sporting events and other one-of-a-kind, local experiences this year, many of which are happening in secondary markets anchored by universities.”

a room with a table and chairs
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Graduate Hotels is a chain of lodging options with locations in cities and towns where a major university is a focal point. Since its inception in 2014, each Graduate hotel — which is steeped in local history, charm, and nostalgia — is thoughtfully designed to reflect the unique character of its local university while offering the perfect setting for such events and activities which include game days, reunions, graduations, and visits to campuses.

Graduate Hotels are expected to be available for booking via the official channels of Hilton later this year; and although details have not yet been revealed at the time this article was written, they will participate in the Hilton Honors membership program.

In other words, this collection of hotels will soon Graduate with Honors.

Final Boarding Call

Hilton has been busy in 2024 in expanding its offerings through acquisitions and partnerships — including strategic relationships with both Small Luxury Hotels of the World and AutoCamp.

I have never stayed as a guest of a Graduate Hotels property — but I did ask a college student about one experience.

a building with a balcony
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

“That was the creepy motel with the axe looking hole through the door”, the college student — who is a member of Hilton Honors and will remain anonymous — said to me. “While the theming of the alumni key cards and rooms were quite cute, the rest of the experience was abysmal. The rooms were dingy and dirty, the walls were so thin you could hear your neighbors in the bathroom, the front door had a hole through it so you could see the outside, and the parking space ratio left many guests unable to park at the risk of getting towed. If traveling for work, the greatest problem would be the abhorrent wifi that spends minutes trying to pull up the browser home page unsuccessfully. The apparent steal for the cost of the stay becomes much more like a robbery every second you spend inside.”

The standards of that hotel property will hopefully significantly improve after Hilton takes over…

All photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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