The origins of a number of hotel chains date back to the early 20th century. Marriot Corporation began in 1927 with the Hot Shoppes. Howard Johnson, once the largest restaurant chain in the U.S. with over 1,000 restaurant dates back to 1925. In the 1950's both of these companies expanded their operations to originally include motor hotels and growing operations as luxury hotels and resorts.
In the 21st century, a number of restaurant and hi end luxury product companies are expanding into the hotel operation.
Las Vegas is the home of hotels which had their origins as restaurants. They include Planet Hollywood, Hooters and Hard Rock. The newest entrant to this market is Chef Nobu Matsuhisa with the opening of the Nobu Hotel. The hotel will feature 181 rooms and suites inside the Centurion Towers at Caesars Palace. The hotel which is scheduled to open this fall will feature a 12,775 square foot signature restaurant that will seat 327 diners.
The Qatari owner of London based Harrods Department Store is set to open luxury hotels in the Southeast Asian country Kuala Lumpur, New York, Paris and China. Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund, plans to diversify into hospitality.
Tonino Lamborghini, the son of Ferruccio Lamborghini and founder of a food and beverage company, and hospitality business ahs partner with Chinese real estate develop to create the Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel in Suzhou, China.
Starwood Capital Group is the owner of French crystal company Baccarat. Earlier this year, Starwood Capital announced the development of the 114 room Baccarat New York, scheduled to open in 2014. The new hotel is a partnership of Starwood capital and Tribeca Associates which will develop the hotel and luxury condominium residences at 20 West 53rd Street across the street from the Museum of Modern Art.
The Virgin Group is a $21 billion company founded by Sir Richard Branson in 1970. The company has created more than 300 branded companies worldwide with over 25 years in the travel sector is expanded into the hotel business. Last October, the company purchased a landmark office building in downtown Chicago and plan to convert it into 25 quest rooms. The 27 story tower is located at 203 N. Wabash is expected to open in the fall of 2013.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to open three to five hotels in the U.S. in the next five years in cities that include New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Washington, D.C.