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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

SBE Introduces Project HQ: A Smart Lifestyle Hotel Brand

SBE building

SBE and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts have revealed plans for their innovative "smart lifestyle" brand, Project HQ, set to open its first U.S. location in Detroit, followed by a second in Montreux, Switzerland, as reported by Hotel Dive and Noelle Mateer at the NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference in New York City.

Project HQ is committed to establishing ten hotels across the Sun Belt and the Caribbean in partnership with hospitality investment firm LionGrove. SBE has also introduced a $50 million key money and silver equity fund to support the brand's expansion. SBE Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian emphasized that Project HQ aims to attract the growing number of Millennial, Gen Z, and Latino travelers.

Project HQ aspires to redefine the lifestyle hotel market by catering to modern travelers' desires for memorable experiences and connectivity. SBE's spokesperson described the brand as a more accessible option for travelers typically priced out of the lifestyle hotel sector. A significant portion, 80%, of Project HQ's locations will be conversion properties.

The brand has drawn support from notable investors, including entertainer Marc Anthony’s company Magnus, enhancing its appeal among Millennials, Gen Z, and Latin communities. Nazarian highlighted that these groups are eager for communal celebrations and memorable experiences, which Project HQ aims to provide.

The first U.S. location, the 174-room HQ Detroit Hotel & Spa, will offer personalized services, combining innovative design with diverse dining options. The hotel will feature a specialty restaurant from SBE’s Disruptive Restaurant Group, a cafe, and quick-service delivery through SBE’s Everybody Eats platform. Detroit was chosen for its dynamic transformation into a major tourist destination, attracting visitors with its vibrant cultural scene, major events, and entertainment districts.

The HQ Montreux Hotel & Spa in Switzerland, scheduled to open in 2025, will include 155 guest rooms and 42 residences, a spa and fitness center, a lobby cocktail bar, two restaurants, and a coffee shop.

Since SBE's launch in 2002, the company claims to have pioneered "lifestyle luxury." In partnership with Wyndham’s Registry Collection, Project HQ was first announced in January. Wyndham President and CEO Geoff Ballotti reported significant interest from property owners eager to join the smart lifestyle category. SBE aims to open 50 Project HQ hotels by 2030.

Ballotti stated that the initial projects in Montreux and Detroit will benefit from SBE’s expertise in lifestyle experiences and Wyndham’s extensive scale and resources, offering a unique market solution. Additionally, SBE announced leadership changes to drive growth, including appointing Todd Ruff as chief growth officer for SBE Hotels. Ruff joined SBE in May from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where he served as group director of residence.


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