Gallivant: to travel in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment. When searching about for a new name for the reimagined and rebranded boutique hotel in the heart of New York City—formerly the TRYP by Wyndham New York Times Square—that word struck a chord. This June, the 336-room hotel located at 234 W. 48th St. was unveiled as The Gallivant Times Square.
“Our major objective in the rebranding was to reposition the hotel based on what it really stands for: A property that is in the middle of all the action that inspires exploration and discovery for New York City travelers,” said Chris Hosmer, general manager of The Gallivant Times Square. “We wanted to establish a name that captured the essence of why people travel to New York, particularly this location, and a brand voice that spoke to this big-city exploration theme.”
And while the theme of travel is key to the new hotel’s identity, its New York City location—particularly its entrenchment in the Times Square area—was perhaps an even stronger inspiration. “Manhattan is the staple of the hotel’s identity,” said Fred De Sota, SVP, sales & marketing, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the management company of the hotel. “We understand that travelers to New York City are going to come, drop their bags and go out and explore the city. The Gallivant encourages them to do just that.”
“Times Square is the gateway for exploration in Midtown,” agreed Hosmer. “It is one of the most iconic landmarks in this city and we leveraged the hotel’s location right in the middle of it throughout the entire rebranding.”
Targeting the guest who wants to visit New York and see all that Manhattan has to offer, the hotel’s customer base consists of a high amount of international consumers from specific markets, including UK, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Italy and France, as well as domestic visitors ages 28-38, noted Hosmer.
But how does the hotel distinguish itself from the vast number of other boutique hotels in Manhattan? It’s all about its authenticity and its originality, said De Sota. “Our brand voice focuses on what’s real. Due to increased popularity in the boutique hotel sector, we understand how important it is to have an authentic brand.”
The brand has completely changed, as has the property’s overall look, noted Hosmer. When arriving at the hotel or when guests walk through the building, they will see all the elements that encourage adventure, including a new logo that showcases a branded compass, lobby signs that point out the directions of different countries and points of interest in the city, and in-room maps. Elevator wraps showcase sayings meant to inspire travel and exploration, including an original quote: “Travel is the key to a life well spent” and a phrase attributed to Mark Twain that neatly sums up the property’s theme: “Explore. Dream. Discover.”
“The Gallivant logo is symbolic of travel, highlighting a ‘G’ within a compass, which is installed in a gobo light outside the hotel, on employee name tags, guestroom key cards, in-room collateral and signage throughout the hotel,” said Hosmer.
A variety of guestroom styles enable the hotel to cater to all New York travelers, said De Soto, whether they are here for business or leisure, or a family of four or five on a weekend get-a-way. “The hotel has accommodations available that feature bunk beds, which are great for visiting groups just looking to stay and explore the city with friends, and even for families,” he pointed out. “There is also a penthouse suite with a rooftop balcony. Another unique feature is the in-room fitness equipment in some of the hotel’s guestrooms.”
The hotel offers an on-site concierge service to help guests plan an itinerary of local sites to visit. There is also a fitness center, 300 sq. ft. of boardroom-style meeting space and a business center with printing. Catering services and breakfast are available for purchase in the lobby each morning. As for other F&B options, De Soto said the hotel is situated between two restaurants: An’nam, for Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine, and Ding Korean Barbecue.
“In alignment with the logo and name changes, the voice has also changed,” said Hosmer. “The Gallivant’s brand voice is conversational, real and encouraging. We want people to feel comfortable asking the staff for advice on what to see, do or visit while in New York City.”
Upcoming initiatives to be rolled out that align with the brand include hotel stay/travel packages such as “girls’ getaways” or family vacation packages that take advantage of the city’s dining, theater, shopping and art offerings, said Hosmer.
“We understand we are working in a highly competitive market and were challenged to take the time to make sure The Gallivant stood out,” he said. “We want people to feel inspired by the energy of NYC and motivated to get out there and explore it.” HB