Hilton Worldwide is launching a new high-end brand for international expansion – Curio brand.

Curio will be a selection of “distinctive four to five-star hotels, ranging from boutique urban hotels to large beachfront resorts”.

Hilton has confirmed it has signed letters of intent for the following hotels: SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, The Sam Houston Hotel in Texas, Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, South Dakota, the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a soon-to-be-announced hotel development in Portland, Oregon.

In December last year Hilton announced it was planning to launch a boutique hotel brand in 2014, to compete with Starwood’s W Hotels and Marriott’s Edition.

The news comes four years after a lawsuit forced Hilton to abandon plans to launch its Denizen brand.

Starwood Hotels took legal action alleging Hilton had used stolen documents to develop Denizen after hiring two of its former employees who had previously worked on its W Hotels brand.

The two companies eventually settled out of court and Hilton was banned from entering the boutique hotel market for two years.

Hilton Worlwide’s executive VP for global brands Jim Holthouser, said: “Curio expands our portfolio to a total of eleven exceptional brands and creates additional opportunities to serve our existing customers even better, attract new customers and grow our pipeline.

“With Curio, we can help owners leverage our scale, scope and expertise while keeping intact each hotel’s individual character.”

Christopher J Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, said: “Our customers and owners have expressed strong interest in a brand from us that includes hotels that can retain their unique identity but also deliver the many benefits of our system, including our Hilton HHonors guest loyalty programme.

“That desire, combined with the current size of the independent hotel market and demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world, made for the right timing for this launch. Curio is an exciting new brand for us — one of two unique concepts we’ll introduce this year.”

Hilton.com

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