The Freehand hotel chain, which opened its first property in Miami in 2012, is essentially following the same path, offering trendy upstairs design rooms, the professionalism of a high-end hotel group working behind the scenes and one of the best in town. swimming pool atmosphere outside. Their ace up the sleeve was a ridiculously good cocktail program, one of the best in Miami when it opened (and considered by some to be the best in the world in recent years, but I’m not going to weigh in on that) that they brought as they spread to Chicago and Los Angeles. Where Generator gets travelers down from their rooms to congregate over music and events, Freehand uses its bar to attract people from all over town, including locals, making the crowd itself an advantage to s ‘record. A bed in the newest location, in the old Commercial Exchange building in downtown Los Angeles costs around $44 per night.
Have there always been cool hostels? Yes of course. But chainification has changed things, adding a layer of professionalism that makes budget travel infinitely less stressful. Try one place and you know what to expect from others; your network ranges from “I know a place in Berlin” to “I have a place I trust, like a dozen major hubs”. It’s like Courtyard Marriott for people who don’t need ironing boards.
Basically, the two groups split their rooms between shareable bunk bed options and legit hotel rooms with their own bathrooms and all. Some places, both at Freehand and Generator, even have fancy suites for mid to high players who like to pretend their twenties aren’t over. The idea, I guess, is to keep customers coming back even as they move up the income brackets, providing levels of options that meet increasingly higher standards. I imagine a number of 30-somethings might also use these places in reverse: splurge in a real room before considering a bunk bed. If they’re like me, they’ll stay in the real room, but it’s cool to know the cheaper option is there if it’s all going south.