HOUSTON – The Sam Houston Hotel in downtown Houston and a major redevelopment of the Sahara hotel on The Strip in Las Vegas will be the first properties to carry the new Curio flag by Hilton Worldwide, the hotel company announced Monday.
Hilton described Curio thusly in a news release: “Curio – A Collection by Hilton (curiocollection.com) is a global collection of distinctive hotels that are woven into the fabric of their destinations. While each one is unique, they are united in their individuality. Curio guests are passionate travelers seeking local discovery and authentic experiences, while resting easier knowing the Hilton name is behind every stay.”
The historic Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, 1717 Prairie St., is controlled by American Liberty Hospitality, a Houston group led by Nick Massad. The first hotel in the Sam Houston building opened in 1924, across the street from the historic Christ Church Cathedral.
Hilton said Curio letters of intent have been signed for the following properties: SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, S.D.; The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, N.C.; and a soon to be named hotel development in downtown Portland, Ore.
“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 program,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide. “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.”
Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide, 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.”
SLS Las Vegas, owned and operated by SBE, is located on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip at the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Resort – a location steeped in Las Vegas history. The hotel and casino will open following a three-year, $415 million renovation, which includes the total redevelopment of three existing Sahara towers. Billed as a high-style collaboration between SBE Chief Executive Officer Sam Nazarian, renowned design icon Philippe Starck and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef José Andrés, the re-imagination of this 2.5 million square foot development will feature an all-encompassing, mixed-use resort and casino with more than 1,620 guest rooms and suites, 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a collection of SBE’s acclaimed dining and nightlife brands when it opens later this year in time for the September U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend.