“Smart lifestyle” brand Project HQ launches

Worldwide: Lifestyle hospitality group sbe has partnered with hotel franchising company Wyndham to launch a “smart lifestyle” brand under the working title Project HQ Hotels & Residences.

Owned by sbe with investment by entertainment entrepreneur and sbe equity partner Marc Anthony and his company Magnus, Project HQ will be affiliated with Wyndham’s Registry Collection Hotels. 

Project HQ plans to open 50 hotels by 2030, delivering approximately 7,500 rooms designed for the Millennial and Gen Z traveller. Growth plans include 50 per cent of properties in the US with 50 per cent of openings internationally, and a mix of 80 per cent conversion projects and 20 per cent new construction.

The brand will also deliver a branded residential offering for markets such as integrated student housing, workforce housing and more.

Its name “Project HQ” has been conceived from the idea that hotels will be located in city centres, serving as the ‘headquarters’ for “dining, nightlife and wellness”. The brand will provide owners with sbe wellness programming such as sbe Wellness Clinics, as well as food and beverage offerings ranging from fine dining to brands featured on the virtual platforms C3 and Nextbite.

The launch marks sbe’s first hotel brand after the 2020 sale of its hospitality management platform which included over 100 hotels (comprising the SLS, Delano, Mondrian, Hyde brands and more), more than 150 restaurants and lounges, and over $4 billion of luxury residential sales.

Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of sbe, said: “At sbe, we believe in the fundamental value of hotels as places where people make memories and experience wonder. When we created lifestyle luxury back in 2005 with SLS, we forged a new category. Now, almost 20 years later we look to reinvent lifestyle again with Project HQ, the first smart lifestyle hotel brand. We will channel our entrepreneurial spirit and deep industry expertise into crafting intuitive, groundbreaking solutions for both hotel owners and guests. 

“As a global leader for over two decades, we feel uniquely equipped to solve for the unmet needs of the next generation who are eager to engage with culinary excellence and vibrant social spaces that we’ve curated and cultivated with intention. It is such a privilege to have the support of an icon and entrepreneur like Marc Anthony as we embark on this next chapter. We also feel so honored to have established a strategic alliance with the best-in-class team at Wyndham and look forward to bringing The Wyndham Advantage to owners of Project HQ hotels around the globe,” he added. 

Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “Today we are combining Sam Nazarian’s unmatched culinary and lifestyle experience with the unrivalled scale and resources of the world’s largest hotel franchisor to fuel Project HQ Hotels & Residences. Our owners drive our success. Hotel owners searching for a differentiated, yet approachable, lifestyle brand will immediately benefit from the scale and resources of the world’s largest hotel franchisor, gaining access to best-in-class sales, distribution and technology, along with the industry’s number one hotel loyalty program in Wyndham Rewards.”

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