Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Curtis Crimmins

The BLLA Events Team sits down with Curtis Crimmins, CEO of Roomza, as he prepares to participate in the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference on...

The BLLA Events Team sits down with Curtis Crimmins, CEO of Roomza, as he prepares to participate in the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference on June 7-8.

BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry?

CC: I’m a lifelong hotelier who got my first taste of the business by following my mom to work while she was a hotel housekeeper. Though these visits sparked my love of hotels, the reason my mom brought me to work has darker roots, it was to keep me safe from her abusive partner. 

These formative experiences led me to not only become a leader in the hotel industry but also an innovator, looking to solve problems for the families of service workers like mine. After working my way up starting as a front desk clerk, then concierge, sales manager, general manager, and finally as chief of staff at OYO building their brand in the US, I was inspired to start Roomza, a new tech-driven hotel brand, along with co-founder Samantha Spring.

BLLA: What is the mission statement of your company?

CC: Roomza’s mission is to make life better for the people who work in hotels and for the people who stay in them.

BLLA: What does boutique mean to you?

CC: To me, boutique means the things that don’t scale in hospitality. It’s a conversation, a piece of art, a destination off the beaten path. A bed made just so. With concern, care, and most importantly – love. It is a feeling of arrival, and of having arrived. It is something special.

Tonight, millions of guests, of all walks of life and in every corner of the world, will go to sleep surrounded by warmth, welcoming, and with a sense that they are where they belong. Their basecamp while they explore the world, with a friendly “hello” and cup of tea waiting at the end of the day.

The people who make up our community know it well, the inextinguishable light and passion for service that drives us all. Nowhere is this brighter than in the thoughtfully designed restaurants, arrival spaces, and back offices of our boutique hotels that span the globe. It is a privilege to be a part of this “something special” and to get to share it with our fellow humans.

BLLA: What are the top three trends that you see in the boutique hotel investment space?

CC: On the real estate side, I think we’ll see more adaptive reuse applications, especially in well-positioned former office assets in the top 25 destinations. 

Consumers are demanding personalization and I believe the boutique hotel community is best poised to respond. Boutique hotels should be at the forefront of hospitality innovation. Perhaps I’m biased, but I think new brands and concepts will drive this renaissance, giving voice to a new generation of travelers.

Lastly, for well-capitalized outfits, I think there could be a significant acquisition opportunity of former branded assets. It would be interesting to see these converted into boutique/independent versus doing a PIP into another brand. For the money, I believe owners are waking up to the fact that the returns can be better when you control your own destiny.

BLLA: Why do you believe boutique hotels are a good investment?

CC: Boutique hotels represent the best our business has to offer, what people think of when they think, “hotel.” I invest in boutique hotels because I believe personalization is the loyalty currency of the future in hospitality. 

Where the big box brands and chains focus on “sameness,” the boutique community focuses on the person and creating a stay built for them and how they live and travel. I think that’s the right answer.

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