Empowering Independent Hotels, with Jennifer Barnwell

Episode 350

podcast photo thumbnail



Jennifer Barnwell is President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. Launched in November 2020, Curator provides lifestyle hotels the power to compete together while allowing its members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique.

Before moving over to Curator, Barnwell was Senior Vice President of Asset Management of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a leading real estate investment trust, which was formed and went public in late 2009. She oversaw hotels on the West Coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles and had a team of three Asset Managers reporting to her. Prior to joining Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Barnwell was Senior Vice President of Peninsula Real Estate LLC, a private real estate investment fund based in New York. While at Peninsula Real Estate LLC, she was involved in all aspects of the fund, including formation, acquisitions, and asset management. Previously, Barnwell was Vice President of Tishman Hotel & Realty LP, where she was involved in Tishman Hotel & Realty’s many activities, including acquisitions, management, asset management, development, and brokerage. Jennifer holds a B.S. from The School of Hotel Administration of Cornell University, graduating with Distinction.

Barnwell currently serves on the Board of the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA).

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jennifer Barnwell about the Curator Hotel and Resort Collection, a new idea that was launched in 2020 to serve independent hotels. We discuss how to amplify smaller brands and the creation of curated experiences that are bookable, memorable, and unique.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • How, by harnessing the power of scale and working together, hotels can compete more effectively and achieve better financial results
  • Why building collaborative programs requires education, commitment, and awareness
  • How collaboration allows independent hotels to negotiate better financial terms and access a wide range of offerings at a lower cost
  • The importance of open communication, transparency, and collaboration in running a successful collaborative program
  • How Curator helps promote the hotels in their collection with savvy digital marketing and showcasing unique experiences

Independent Hotels Getting Ahead

Through collaboration, independent hotels can pool their knowledge, experiences, and resources, allowing them to compete more effectively with larger chain hotels. Jennifer shares how this sense of togetherness helps to level the playing field and fosters a strong support system within the industry.

By embracing coopetition, independent hotels can find common ground and work towards collective growth, while still maintaining their unique qualities and identities. Through collaboration, they can also offer a huge range of offerings and amenities that cater to different preferences and interests to enhance the overall guest experience.

Authenticity and Honesty

Jennifer emphasizes the importance of open communication, transparency, and collaboration in building successful partnerships. Through collaboration, independent hotels can amplify their brands, attract more guests, and create a sense of place that sets them apart in the industry.

Unique Experiences

By collaborating with independent hotels, Curator can curate and showcase experiences that are truly one-of-a-kind to make their guests’ experiences even better. These experiences can range from local culinary adventures, immersive cultural activities, vibrant art exhibits, and outdoor adventures. They help provide guests with memorable and authentic moments that really can’t be replicated elsewhere, making sure that every stay within the Curator network is a fabulous experience.



I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more o​f. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!

Related Podcasts