Hotel brands: Who owns who in 2023
It wasn’t long ago that travelers had only a few hotel brands to choose from, and most hotels were independent. Today, there are more than 1,200 hotel brands worldwide, according to STR. And the shocking secret? Most of them are owned by the same handful of companies.
For hotel owners who may be considering affiliating with a hotel brand or switching out their existing brand, navigating the world of brands can be a confusing process. Here, we break things down for you. We profile six of the biggest hotel conglomerates in the world, explain how they evolved to the behemoths they are today, and provide an exhaustive list of their sub-brands.
Ultimately, you might decide that despite all the brand choices out there – or maybe because of them – you may be better off as an independent hotel.
The mass brand takeover
Over the past decades, massive consolidation in the travel industry has resulted in the rise of hotel megabrands like Marriott, Hilton, and Accor. Not only have these companies snapped up smaller brands and independent hotels, they have also created a dizzying array of new brands.
Operating multiple brands is a big competitive advantage for hotel groups because it allows them to appeal to a broad range of traveler types in a highly competitive distribution environment. “There is no such thing as too many brands,” said Tina Edmundson, Marriott’s Global Brand Officer (and now president of luxury) at the Skift Forum in Berlin.
Travelers may beg to differ, however. While brands provide an array of choices in property types and help shape expectations of the guest experience, distinguishing among them and deciding which hotel to book can be a time-consuming – and risky – undertaking. The reality is there aren’t a lot of meaningful differences across many of these brands.
Many hotel owners aren’t likely to agree with Edmunson’s remark, either. “The more brands any one hotel company has, the higher risk of an individual hotel owner’s business being hurt — not only from competitors’ brands but from cannibalization within the same brand family,” writes Skift.
What does consolidation mean for independent hotel owners?
The growth of megabrands has had a direct impact on independent hotels. In 1990, about two-thirds of hotels in the U.S. were independently owned and operated. Today, independents account for one-third of hotels.
Does this mean independent hotels are disappearing? Not at all. The reason for the decline is that while the overall number of hotels has snowballed, the growth of independent hotels has failed to keep pace.
“In short, while their presence has evolved, and even been shaken, over the years, independent hotels continue to be an important fixture in the American hotel landscape,” STR observes. And in fact, independent hotels have a much stronger presence in Europe and other regions of the world.
It’s important to note that most big hotel chains don’t own the majority of hotels in their portfolio, they have management or franchise agreements with them. Today, most large hotel companies follow an “asset light” strategy, leaving the ownership of buildings and real estate to families, investment firms, and individuals.
For hotel owners, the proliferation of hotel brands provides an opportunity to stand out from the crowd as an independent property. Not to mention the numerous other advantages of operating an independent hotel.
Big brands: Who owns who
For hotel owners who prefer the comfort of affiliating with a brand or working with a hotel management company, here’s a look at some of the biggest hotel brands in the world today, along with a list of their sub-brands.
However, note that these companies pick up and drop sub-brands so frequently that the numbers and affiliations can change in the blink of an eye.
# of properties: 8,500+
# of countries: 138
# of brands: 31
Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
How it started.
Founded in 1927 by J. Willard and Alice Marriott, Marriott International continues to operate under the leadership of the Marriott family today. The company began as a nine-seat A&W Root Beer stand in Washington, D.C., and expanded into the lodging business in the 1950s.
To add to its flagship Marriott brands, in 1995, the company acquired the iconic luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton. Since then, it has acquired or launched a host of other brands. This includes EDITION Hotels, a luxury lifestyle brand, in 2007, Autograph Collection, one of the first “soft brands,” in 2009, and AC Hotels, a collection of hotels in southern Europe, in 2011.
In 2016, Marriott fast-tracked its expansion by acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts, taking ownership of iconic brands like Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, St. Regis, and W Hotels. Three years later, it replaced the Marriott Rewards loyalty program with Marriott Bonvoy, combining all of its brand reward programs into a single program.
Marriott is the largest hotel company in the world by number of rooms, with a whopping 1.5 million rooms in its portfolio. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the company operates over 8,500 properties and 31 brands in 138 countries.
In 2022, its annual revenue was 20.77 billion USD, a 50% increase from 2021. The company continues to pursue an aggressive growth strategy.
- The Ritz-Carlton (108 hotels / 30 countries)
- St. Regis (60 hotels / 20 countries)
- JW Marriott (100 hotels / 35 countries)
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve (5 hotels / 5 countries)
- The Luxury Collection (110 hotels / 35 countries)
- W Hotels (60 hotels / 25 countries)
- Marriott Hotels (582 hotels / 75 countries)
- Sheraton (430 hotels / 75 countries)
- Marriott Vacation Club (60 hotels / 10 countries)
- Delta Hotels (125 hotels / 10 countries)
- Le Meridien (115 hotels / 35 countries)
- Westin (226 hotels / 45 countries)
- Renaissance Hotels (170 hotels / 36 countries)
- Gaylord Hotels (6 hotels / 1 country)
- Courtyard by Marriott (Courtyard Hotels) (1,200 hotels / 60 countries)
- Four Points (250 hotels / 50 countries)
- SpringHill Suites (500 hotels / 2 countries)
- Protea Hotels (70 hotels / 9 countries)
- Fairfield Inn & Suites (1,169 hotels / 19 countries)
- City Express (150 hotels / 4 countries)
- AC Hotels (150 hotels / 30 countries)
- Aloft Hotels (175 hotels / 25 countries)
- Moxy Hotels (60 hotels / 26 countries)
- Marriott Executive Apartments (35 hotels / 16 countries)
- Residence Inn (850 hotels / 22 countries)
- TownePlace Suites (400 hotels / 2 countries)
- element (65 hotels / 11 countries)
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International (2,000 hotels /75 countries)
- Autograph Collection Hotels (200 hotels / 50 countries)
- Design Hotels (120 hotels / 35 countries)
- Tribute Portfolio (62 hotels / 17 countries)
# of properties: 7,295
# of countries: 123
# of brands: 22
Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
How it started.
Hilton’s history goes as far back as 1919, when founder Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel in Cisco, Texas. A few years later, he bought the first hotel to bear his name, the Dallas Hilton, and declared his intention to make it the best hotel in Texas.
In 1946, Hilton Hotels Corporation was formed. A year later, the Roosevelt Hilton in New York City was the first hotel in the world to install televisions in guestrooms.
Over the coming decades, the company purchased various existing brands and launched a fleet of new brands, including buying the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York in 1949 and opening the first DoubleTree hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1969.
In 1963, Hilton opened its first hotels in Asia, the Hong Kong Hilton in China and the Tokyo Hilton in Japan. The 1980s saw the launch of Conrad Hotels, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns, and Homewood Suites, as well as the debut of the Hilton Honors guest loyalty program.
From its headquarters in McLean, Virginia, Hilton operates 7,295 properties, more than one million rooms, and 22 brands across 123 countries. Hilton brands are well known for providing special touches to the guest experience, like warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels and complimentary hot breakfast at Hampton by Hilton Hotels.
In 2022, Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ annual revenue was 8.77 billion USD, a 51.57% increase from 2021. At the end of 2022, the company had 416,400 rooms in its development pipeline and had surpassed 150 million Hilton Honors members.
- Waldorf Astoria (34 hotels / 17 countries)
- LXR Hotels & Resorts (11 hotels / 8 countries)
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts (47 hotels / 23 countries)
- Canopy by Hilton (39 hotels / 11 countries)
- Signia by Hilton (2 hotels / 1 country)
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts (601 hotels / 95 countries)
- Curio Collection by Hilton (143 hotels / 34 countries)
- DoubleTree by Hilton (664 hotels / 53 countries)
- Tapestry Collection by Hilton (110 hotels / 15 countries)
- Embassy Suites by Hilton (266 hotels / 7 countries)
- Tempo by Hilton (coming soon)
- Motto by Hilton (5 hotels / 3 countries)
- Hilton Garden Inn (982 hotels / 58 countries)
- Hampton by Hilton (2,911 hotels / 37 countries
- Tru by Hilton (242 hotels / 4 countries)
- Spark by Hilton (coming soon)
- Homewood Suites by Hilton (538 hotels / 4 countries)
- Home2 Suites by Hilton (608 hotels / 3 countries)
- Hilton Grand Vacations (83 hotels / 8 countries)
IHG Hotels & Resorts
# of properties: 6,227
# of countries: 100+ countries
# of brands: 19
Loyalty program: IHG Rewards
How it started.
The story of IHG Hotels & Resorts goes as far back as 1777, when founder William Bass opened a brewery in Burton-on-Trent, UK. In 1946, American Airways co-founder Juan Trippe founded the InterContinental brand, followed by the opening of the first InterContinental Hotel in Belem, Brazil, in 1949. But it was almost 50 years later that the InterContinental brand became part of the IHG family.
In 1952, the first Holiday Inn opened in Memphis, Tennessee, and by 1956, Holiday Inn was the world’s largest hotel brand, with 300,000 rooms. In 1983, the first Crowne Plaza opened in Rockville, Maryland. The company’s Priority Club Reward guest loyalty program was launched the same year.
In 1990, the Bass company completed the purchase of the Holiday Inn brand worldwide and launched Holiday Inn Express. In subsequent years, Bass launched Staybridge Suites and purchased the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand.
It was not until 2003 that the IHG brand was established as a standalone company. Soon after, the company purchased Candlewood Suites and launched the lifestyle brand Hotel Indigo. In the 2010s, the company launched EVEN Hotels, a wellness brand, and purchased Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, a boutique hotel brand, among numerous other brands.
From its headquarters in Windsor, England, IHG Hotels & Resorts operates 6,227 properties, more than 900,000 rooms, and 19 brands in over 100 countries. The company’s guest loyalty program rebranded IHG Rewards Club in 2013, reports over 100 million members.
In 2022, IHG’s annual revenue was 3.89 billion USD, a 33.88% increase from 2021. As of June 30, 2023, the company had 268,228 hotel rooms in its development pipeline.
- Six Senses (24 hotels / 19 countries)
- Regent (9 hotels / 5 countries)
- Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts (215 hotels / 100 countries)
- Vignette Collection (6 hotels / 5 countries)
- Kimpton Hotels (75 hotels / 14 countries)
- Hotel Indigo (130 hotels / 26 countries)
- voco hotels (46 hotels / 18 countries)
- HUALUXE (20 hotels / 1 country)
- EVEN (22 hotels / 1 country)
- Crowne Plaza (400 hotels /70 countries)
- Holiday Inn Express (3,000 hotels / 53 countries)
- Holiday Inn (1,200 hotels / 84 countries)
- Garner (coming soon)
- Avid (65 hotels / 3 countries)
- Atwell Suites (2 hotels / 1 country)
- Staybridge Suites (325 hotels / 14 countries)
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations (24 hotels / 1 country)
- Candlewood Suites (370 hotels / 3 countries)
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
# of properties: 9,000+
# of countries: 95
# of brands: 24
Loyalty program: Wyndham Rewards
How it started.
Like other megabrands, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts operates various brands, from economy and select service to upscale and lifestyle. Founded in 1982 in Dallas, Texas, the company operates out of its headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey today.
In 2008, Wyndham acquired the Microtel brand. The same year, it bought the extended-stay brand Hawthorn Suites from Hyatt. In 2010, the company acquired the TRYP brand from Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts in Spain.
In 2017, Wyndham launched its first soft brand, the Trademark Hotel Collection, with more than 50 upscale hotels in Europe and the U.S. The following year, the company purchased the La Quinta brand, a collection of 900 hotels, most of them located in North America.
Wyndham is reportedly the largest hotel franchisor in the world, with over 9,000 properties and 24 brands in 95 countries. The company is especially known for its economy brands, which include Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Super 8, and Ramada. On the upscale end, Wyndham also operates the Wyndham brand and Dolce Hotels and Resorts.
In 2022, Wyndham’s annual revenue was 1.49 billion USD, a 4.28% decline from 2021. As of June 30, 2023, the company’s global development pipeline comprised nearly 1,850 hotels and approximately 228,000 rooms, representing a 10% year-over-year increase. The Wyndham Rewards guest loyalty program boasts over 95 million members.
- Registry Collection Hotels (17 hotels / 5 countries)
- Wyndham Grand (75 hotels / 7 countries)
- Dolce Hotels and Resorts (19 hotels / 10 countries)
- Esplendor (9 hotels / 4 countries)
- Dazzler (14 hotels / 4 countries)
- Wyndham (177 hotels / 35 countries)
- Vienna House (39 hotels / 7 countries)
- TRYP (54 hotels / 18 countries)
- Trademark (232 hotels / 30 countries)
- Wyndham Alltra (4 hotels / 2 countries)
- Wyndham Garden (158 hotels / 29 countries)
- La Quinta (924 hotels / 10 countries)
- Wingate (206 hotels / 3 countries)
- Hawthorn Extended Stay (73 hotels / 7 countries)
- AmericInn (215 hotels / 1 country)
- Baymont (542 hotels / 3 countries)
- Ramada (917 hotels / 76 countries)
- Microtel (362 hotels / 6 countries)
- Days Inn (1,496 hotels / 21 countries )
- Super 8 (2,014 hotels / 8 countries)
- Howard Johnson (282 hotels / 14 countries)
- Travelodge (437 hotels / 2 countries)
# of properties: 5,487
# of countries: 110
# of brands: 40+
Loyalty program: Accor Live Limitless
How it started.
The Accor brand originated in 1967, when two friends, Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson, opened their first Novotel in Lille Lesquin, France. In 1974, the friends opened the first ibis property in Bordeaux. The company purchased the Mercure brand the following year.
In 1980, the company acquired the iconic luxury brand Sofitel and launched the Accor brand three years later. Subsequent decades saw rapid expansion worldwide, with the launch of the F1, All Seasons, Pullman, and McGallery brands, among others, and the acquisition of the Motel 6 brand.
In 2008, Accor launched the A|Club, its worldwide loyalty program. Throughout the 2010s, Accor continued its aggressive expansion strategy, purchasing a stake in the Mama Shelter brand, partnering with Banyan Tree, and acquiring three luxury brands – Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel –among other acquisitions.
Accor operates 5,487 properties, over 777,000 hotel rooms, and more than 40 hotel brands in 110 countries from its headquarters in Paris, France. The company’s loyalty program, rebranded Accor Live Limitless in 2019, boasts over 27 million members globally.
In 2022, the company reported 4.22 billion EUR in annual revenue, an 80% increase over 2021. At the beginning of 2023, Accor had 1,247 hotels and 216,000 rooms in its development pipeline.
- 21c Museum Hotels (99 hotels / 11 countries)
- 25hours Hotels (1,515 hotels / 77 countries)
- Adagio Aparthotel (129 hotels / 20 countries)
- Angsana (17 hotels / 12 countries)
- Art Series (7 hotels / 1 country)
- Banyan Tree (29 hotels / 11 countries)
- Breakfree (22 hotels / 2 countries)
- Delano (22 hotels / 22 countries)
- Emblems (coming soon)
- Fairmont (88 hotels / 31 countries)
- Grand Mercure (59 hotels / 12 countries)
- Greet (31 hotels / 3 countries)
- Handwritten (8 hotels / 5 countries)
- HotelF1 (134 hotels / 1 country)
- Hyde (33 hotels / 22 countries)
- Ibis (1,266 hotels / 70 countries)
- Ibis Budget (641 hotels / 25 countries)
- Ibis Styles (657 hotels / 55 countries)
- Jo & Joe (66 hotels / 44 countries)
- MGallery (121 hotels / 40 countries)
- Mama Shelter (1,717 hotels / 99 countries)
- Mantis (18 hotels / 11 countries)
- Mantra (77 hotels / 3 countries)
- Mercure (949 hotels / 63 countries)
- Mondrian (1,010 hotels / 77 countries)
- Morgans Originals (44 hotels / 33 countries)
- Mövenpick (122 hotels / 38 countries)
- Novotel (571 hotels / 79 countries)
- Orient Express (coming soon)
- Peppers (25 hotels / 3 countries)
- Pullman (154 hotels / 44 countries)
- Raffles (21 hotels / 15 countries)
- Rixos (33 hotels / 7 countries)
- SLS (1,010 hotels / 55 countries)
- SO/ (88 hotels / 77 countries)
- Sofitel (120 hotels / 49 countries)
- Swissôtel (32 hotels / 20 countries)
- Thalassa Sea & Spa (10 hotels / 3 countries)
- The Hoxton (1,414 hotels / 88 countries)
- The Sebel (35 hotels / 3 countries)
- Tribe (1,111 hotels / 77 countries)
Hyatt Hotel Corporation
# of properties: 1,150
# of countries: 70
# of brands: 23
Loyalty program: World of Hyatt
How it started.
The Hyatt brand dates back to 1957, when founder Jay Pritzker purchased the original Hyatt House motel near the Los Angeles International Airport. In 1967, the Hyatt Regency brand debuted in Atlanta, Georgia, followed two years later by the first international Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong. The company opened a central reservations office in Omaha, Nebraska in 1972.
In the following decades, the Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt brands were launched along with the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program. In the 2000s, the company introduced the Andaz, Hyatt House, and Unbound Collection brands, among others, and purchased Two Roads Hospitality, with its collection of brands including Thompson Hotels and JdV Hospitality.
Hyatt is also highly active in the all-inclusive segment as the owner of the Hyatt Ziva, Zilara, Secrets Resorts & Spas, and Dreams Resorts & Spas brands, among others.
Hyatt Hotel Corporation operates out of Chicago, Illinois, with 1,150 properties, over 350,000 hotel rooms, and 23 brands in 70 countries. The company’s loyalty program, rebranded as World of Hyatt in 2017, reported over 16 million members in 2019.
In 2022, Hyatt reported an annual revenue of 5.9 billion USD and an increase in RevPAR of 60.2% over 2021. At the time, the company had approximately 117,000 rooms in its development pipeline.
- Alila (18 hotels / 8 countries)
- Alua (35 hotels / 2 countries)
- Andaz (28 hotels / 17 countries)
- Breathless Resorts & Spas (5 hotels / 3 countries)
- Caption by Hyatt (1 hotel / 1 country)
- Hyatt Centric (57 hotels / 17 countries)
- Destination by Hyatt (58 hotels / 4 countries )
- Dreams Resorts & Spas (29 resorts / 8 countries)
- Grand Hyatt (62 hotels / 28 countries)
- JdV by Hyatt (58 hotels / 9 countries)
- Hyatt House (135 hotels / 8 countries)
- Hyatt Place (420 hotels / 36 countries)
- Miraval (3 hotels / 2 countries)
- Park Hyatt (45 hotels / 31 countries)
- Hyatt Regency (242 hotels / 56 countries)
- Secrets Resorts & Spas (16 hotels / 5 countries)
- Sunscape Resorts & Spas (5 hotels / 3 countries)
- Thompson Hotels (18 hotels / 3 countries)
- The Unbound Collection by Hyatt (39 hotels / 18 countries)
- Hyatt Vivid (coming soon)
- Hyatt Zilara / Hyatt Ziva (10 hotels / 3 countries)
- Zoetry (7 hotels / 6 countries)
This list demonstrates the significant reach that hotel brands have in the hospitality industry. While looking at this can feel daunting for independent hoteliers, there’s actually a significant opportunity to capitalize on the uniqueness of your independence. 43% of travelers crave new experiences — and look for properties that are doing things a little bit differently. So take this as an opportunity to see how you can push the boundaries of hospitality and provide out-of-the-box experiences to out-compete big brands.