The hotel industry has responded to the rise of Airbnb and the modern travelers’ desire for shared experiences, flexibility and community.
One of the latest introductions is Found, a co-living lifestyle hotel, which recently opened in San Francisco. According to Lodging magazine, Found “appeals to today’s modern travelers and digital nomads who live life with a free-spirited attitude.”
Found has set their sights on prime urban locations – cities with strong arts and culture. They are currently in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington DC and will launch in San Diego, Santa Monica, and Miami.
Found combines all the appealing elements of a hotel and a hostel. They offer private and shared or dorm-styled rooms along with standard hotel amenities such as a restaurant, bar, concierge and hostel offerings such as a communal kitchen and social activities on- and off-property.
Hotels with similar concepts of private and shared rooms have emerged such as Freehand Hotels and Generator, which announced the purchase of Freehand Hotels for $400 million in October 2019.
Even traditional hotel brands are making a play in the shared room space — Motto by Hilton, Studio Commons from Element Hotel, a Marriott brand, and Room8 from Super 8 By Wyndham. These hotels are all going after urban millennial travelers, which is also Airbnb’s target market.
Hotels like Found have found a niche straddling between a hostel and a traditional hotel. With a business model that offers affordability and a communal feel popularized by hostels, this category of hybrid hotel/hostels is essentially an upgraded hostel. This upgrade is largely including all the millennial “wants” — great design aesthetic, top food and beverage offerings and a vibrant social atmosphere.
The Found San Francisco property was previously a hostel – San Francisco International Hostel. Hawkins Way Capital, a Los Angeles real estate investment company, acquired the property in 2014 for $5.6 million and spent another $7 million to remodel the property, according to Bisnow.
Hawkins Way Capital is betting on hospitality that is attractive to millennials. They have been aggressively investing in the alternative accommodation and co-living spaces through their Found brands, which include Found Hotels, Found Study, its student housing development and Found Residences, its co-living development.
photo credit: found hotels