By Chris C., September 2 2015

Tribute Portfolio, the new ‘independent’ brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts makes its European debut this week with the addition of the Great Northern Hotel in London’s King’s Cross.

The brand primarily targets Starwood Preferred Guest members who enjoy staying in unique and non-chain properties but who don’t want to relinquish their usual SPG perks such as free room upgrades, Internet access and welcome gifts.

Located just 25 metres – not minutes – from the Eurostar terminus at St. Pancras, you’ll have your passport stamped as you enter the UK and will be relaxing in your hotel room before you’ve even had a chance to check your email.

First opened in 1854 but since extensively refurbished, guests can choose between Cubitt rooms with high ceilings and large twin sash windows, or Couchette rooms that serve as an interpretation of a traditional railway carriage car sleeper.

You’ll also find Wainscot rooms on the top floor of the hotel, offering high mansard-style ceilings and are lined with Black American Walnut Wainscot panelling.

When it comes time to dine, ascend the hotel’s original grand staircase to Plum + Spilt Milk for a selection of simple British dishes, or visit The GNH Bar – opening directly into King's Cross Station with etched mirror ceilings, an organically-shaped pewter and marble bar and two grand crystal chandeliers.

As you’d expect, members of Starwood Preferred Guest can both earn and redeem Starpoints at the Great Northern Hotel.

Also read: Thai Airways boosts London flights, shortens transit times

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 241

It is interesting to see Starwood go in this direction with ‘Tribute Portfolio’. It appears to be more about licencing and extending their internal capabilities, (digital marketing and reputational management/loyalty and rewards programs), like a management contract without the contract. Accor recently did a similar thing, offering its digital marketing services to other hotels.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against the chains. It just seems odd that they appear to no longer want their major competitive advantage of being a chain. I suppose the chain hotels may be evolving into a similar area that café’s are in. That is, it only works if you are a special two or three location hidden gem of a property.

Just my view, in so many words.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 113

I guess that is somewhat true, but Starwood is still focusing on its other brands too, currently strengthening its core Sheraton brand as an example. With Tribute Portfolio being added it allows SPG members to access even more exciting and unique hotels with SPG benefits, it would be a win win situation for both the Hotels and cutomers alike. This concept broadens Starwoods' hotel offering making it more attractive as a hotel group. Tribute Portfolio could be likened to 'The Luxury Collection' properties but a little less 'luxury'.

But by no means is Starwood abandoning the tradition hotel chain concept, its just tapping into a broader market segment.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 117

Another fantastic step in the rebuild of KX-St.P precint. Such a wonderfully simple building I've admired for many years, good to see it have a new lease of life.

As for being a chain but not a chain, seems to conflict with the current preference for "authenticity of experience".

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Starwood