Starwood's new brand of independent luxury hotels joins a growing trend

The Royal Palm South Beach Miami, the first hotel in Starwood's

The Royal Palm South Beach Miami, the first hotel in Starwood's "Tribute Portfolio" division (Business Wire)


, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

International hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts, known for its Westin and Sheraton brands, has launched a new brand: Starwood Tribute Portfolio will be a collection of 100 four-star and upper-luxury independent hotels.

Tribute Portfolio will allow premium independent hotels to benefit from the prestige of the Starwood brand and give Starwood Hotel clients the ability to continue enjoying Starwood services and earn Starwood loyalty points in the world's most popular destinations.

"We believe Tribute Portfolio will be an exciting solution for hotel owners of distinct properties who wish to maintain their independent spirit, yet benefit from Starwood's powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platforms," said Adam Aron, Starwood's Chief Executive Officer.

The first hotel to join the Starwood Tribute Portfolio is The Royal Palm South Beach Miami, a four-star hotel with 393 rooms and suites located on Collins Avenue, Miami's "Millionaires Row". Hotels in Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN, Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC will join the brand in the next 12-24 months, followed by an expansion to Europe. The company aims to build up its portfolio to 100 four-star and upper-luxury hotels by the end of the decade.

Independent hotels, the new moneymakers

This is not the first time that a hotel giant has worked with independent hotels. Hilton Worldwide previously launched Curio - A Collection by Hilton, which they describe as a collection of distinctive four and five-star hotels that represent the local area and offer authentic experiences unique to the destination.

International hotel chains have understood the appeal of boutique hotels. By reducing the number of rooms and focusing on personalized services, both Starwood and Hilton are attempting to cash in on the demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world.

France-based Relais & Chateaux also curates a collection of independent hotels: its members are often historic or heritage landmarks like castles or manors, set in unique, often rustic areas in the world and properties are admitted based on factors such as 'charm' and 'character.'