Provenance Hotels

written by | Posted on March 29th, 2012

Lobby at the Hotel deLuxe in Portland

Everything about Provenance Hotels is, simply put, fun and quirky. From the reason for the company name to the hotel names themselves, the hip art collections and unique property themes, to its in-room “spiritual menus” and locations, Provenance Hotels is stylish, edgy, urban, and quite an “experience.”

“The hotel business is, essentially, theater,” says the hotel company’s president, Bashar Wali. “Almost anyone can provide a well-designed room. Our hotels resonate with travelers because we provide that intangible experience that people want to go home and talk about.”

In fact, there’s much to talk about when it comes to these divine hotels, starting with the word provenance, which says Wali, “refers to the chronology of the ownership or location of a historical object, typically a work of art. We took the name for our brand because we felt it really encapsulated the relationship between our hotels, their art collections and the destinations they represent.”

Those destinations, incidentally, are Portland, where the company launched with Hotel Lucia ($159 to $189) in 2001 and which is also home to Hotel deLuxe ($129 to $209); Tacoma, home to Hotel Murano ($129 to $209); Seattle, where Hotel Max resides ($139 to $279); and Nashville, Hotel Preston’s hometown ($95 to $129). In all, these five properties amount to 935 guestrooms. “We’ve earned a reputation for developing hotels with a deeply integrated art story and engaging design but really—from our most basic amenities to our personal touches—Provenance Hotels is all about a creation of an experience filled with wit, charm and gracious service,” says Wali.

Take Hotel deLuxe, for instance, created as a tribute to the Hollywood era of glamour and romance. It features a collection of Hollywood photographs dating from the 1930s-’50s, and each floor bears a distinct theme, from “The Maestro” (Hitchcock) to “The Rebels” (Orson Welles, Elia Kazan). “With each property, we develop a personality profile as if the hotel were a person,” says Wali. “We think about what kind of car they would drive, where they dine, what music moves them. The name Hotel deLuxe is inspired by Deluxe, the famed Hollywood color lab that helped filmmakers capture magic up on the silver screen. The names Max and Lucia are distillations of those hotels’ personalities. Hotel Max is young, hip and artistic. He knows all the bands in Seattle and is friends with the most talked about artists. Hotel Lucia is well-traveled and cosmopolitan. She has a job that puts her in touch with movers and shakers and she could live anywhere in the world but she chooses Portland because she loves the city’s unpretentious, artistic cool.”

Hotel Murano, meanwhile, is an ode to the Italian isle of Murano and as such showcases a collection of art made of glass in the 21st century, featuring 45 artists from 12 countries. Hotel Preston, too, offers up its own persona with eclectic art works in a colorful palate. Here, guests will delight in the fun little extras they can order up to their room, such as live goldfish, rubber duckies or lava lamps.

Although each of these properties—a rambunctious bunch of siblings, if we do say so ourselves—has its own personality, they have obviously been brought up quite well and are happy to oblige to any guest’s needs, wants or yearnings.

“Memorable customer experiences are our hallmark,” points out Wali. “The service guests receive at our hotels is always consistently ‘us.’ You’ll find our signature ‘You Got it, You Want It’ menus in all our rooms. Click one button on your guestroom phone—at Hotel deLuxe it’s the ‘Make It So’ button, at Hotel Lucia it’s the ‘Get It Now’ button—and we’ll bring you your choice of pillow options, iPods preloaded with music of the genre of your choice or, even, your choice from our ‘spiritual menu.’ These little touches are the things guests remember about us.” Those spiritual menus, by the way, allows guests to choose from a variety of religious tomes. “This is a fun twist on that old tradition,” the bedside Bible, says Wali. “But it is also a way to recognize the diversity of our guests.”

And Wali stresses that diversity is also key when it comes to the company’s target clientele. “We’ve sought to have a broad generational appeal by giving our properties the fun personalities and style that appeals to young, hip travelers while offering the level of comfort, amenities and sophistication required by more discerning, mature travelers. While pet friendly, our hotel’s aren’t particularly family-oriented.”

Incentives and commissionable rates vary per hotel, and agents are encouraged to contact the sales office if they would like to experience one of the hotels. “It is great to touch base with our sales teams at these hotels because, during need times, we will often be able to offer increased commissions,” says Wali.