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Generator is a U.K.-based hostel company with 13 properties in Europe and one in development in the U.S. Known for its focus on design, fast-growing Generator is taking its new breed of hostels global. "Hip" and "swish" aren't terms one would usually associate with a hostel, traditionally on the lowest end of the lodging spectrum. But Generator elevates the hosteling model by combining dorm-style accommodations with cutting-edge design, chic public bars and lounges, on-site events (DJs, beer tastings, etc.), and even private rooms for travelers with a bit more money to spend. The company's vision comes from Josh Wyatt, a partner at the real-estate investment fund Patron Capital who spotted the neglected hostel market nearly a decade ago. He bought Generator in 2007, and later teamed up with DesignAgency and creative director Anwar Mekhayech to relaunch the brand with its signature design-driven rooms and social spaces. Following the buzzy 2015 opening of Generator Paris, which brought the company's total number of beds to 8,600, Generator is attracting fans well beyond the traditional hosteling demographic, along with new competitors. And it will soon bring the model to the U.S., with a property in Miami in 2017, and one in Utah in the pipeline.

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

Creative director Anwar Mekhayech, whose eclectic-sexy interior design gives the brand its heat and increasing buzz

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

Fending off smaller U.S. competitors (such as Freehand, which already has outposts in Chicago and Miami) while expanding into a country without a tradition of backpacking and hosteling.

What to look out for:

Generator's Stockholm and Amsterdam properties are set to open in 2016; Miami and Powder Mountain, Utah, will follow. Keep an eye out for more resort properties in the future, on beaches and in European wine destinations.

Social media handles:

Twitter: @GeneratorHostel


London, UK