Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.



2009 February 19

Hotel brandnames. My part in their success.

I’ve had a string of successes with brandnames for hotel groups. True, no group has actually followed-up on my suggestion, but in this case I associate success with self-satisfaction.

Read the following, and I am sure you will agree. These are in no order:


[] Walk Inn. Proposed for Accor before it decided on a new name for its backpacker places. It chose ‘X Base Backpackers’ (really). But just look at the facts – starting with six in 2003, and targetting 30 inns for about 2008. Well, today it has 12, and Accor has distanced itself from the division. I suggested other names as well, such as Budgetel.


[] Concorde. For the Taj group, which has just announced its second brand (or third if you count Taj itself, which I suppose you should do; Ginger, Taj, and now Gateway). I didn’t actually attach it to a group of hotels at Taj, but I presume it would be a notch higher than Gateway.

Of course, I realise that others have got the Concorde name – Singapore-based HPL in Asia, and the Louvre group (sort of part of Starwood – Capital not Hotels). But neither is doing much with the name.


[] Also for Accor, I suggested Pullman is a better name than Sofitel for the group’s top-brand. Accor has decided to struggle along with Sofitel and will probably never ever change its mind. My argument is that Pullman is already established in minds of travellers as a top brand.

(I know the reason why Accor favours Sofitel over Pullman and will reveal all if a certain amount is paid into my favourite charity…)


[] Maybourne. The name Claridges chose for its rump hotel group after the Savoy was sold off. Three years later, and you can count the number of travellers who actually know the Maybourne name on the same number of fingers (x1000).

The reason for all this if that I’ve got another. This one is for the Singapore group, Millennium & Copthorne – which has some hotels under Millennium, and some under Copthorne, and a bunch of others.

One other is in Singapore, and was to be part of another division. It is M, rather obviously copying Starwood’s W. Well, five years on, and there is still only one M.

But the name should be ‘MC’, or maybe Emcee. Of course not only is this the initials of the M&C company, but it is also an acronym for Master of Ceremonies. Now, isn’t that a good description for a hotel group? Particularly if it seeks the MICE market?

(Or maybe the name should be MICE?…)


[] Tune Hotels. It is an Asia-based budget-hotel group. Why-oh-why did it not choose Tune Inn – now to be owned by me as a hotel services company?



The Fox