SOURCE: Freepoint Hotel

Freepoint Hotel

March 29, 2017 08:30 ET

Freepoint Hotel & RadioPublic Launch Partnership to Make Podcasts the Next Great Hotel Amenity

First-of-its-kind partnership, powered by podcast listening and discovery app RadioPublic, delivers curated podcast playlists designed to complement the guest experience, from exploring the city to working out, winding down and more

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - March 29, 2017) - This April, Freepoint Hotel will open as the newest lifestyle hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, designed to celebrate the vibrant intellectual and innovative spirit that has become synonymous with the Cambridge community.

That innovative mentality extends far beyond traditional hotel amenities. Today, Freepoint has announced a first-of-its-kind guest experience, partnering with RadioPublic, a new mobile app and listening platform for on-demand radio and podcasts, to provide curated listening recommendations to guests, available at the touch of a button.

At the core of the experience are podcast playlists -- handpicked collections of episodes selected with the Freepoint guest experience in mind. Venturing out to tour the city? Try the "Boston like a Local" playlist, featuring episodes touching on the latest in regional sports, culture and history. Getting ready for dinner? Freepoint Executive Chef Matthew Gaudet has curated a playlist of food and drink-centric episodes, including selections from Bon Appetit magazine's podcast alongside locally-produced episodes of "GastroPod" and "Milk Street Radio," hosted by America's Test Kitchen's Chris Kimball.

Playlists will be accessible for guests via the touch of a button. After receiving a link to their smartphones upon check in, guests can access the playlists at any time throughout their stay by downloading the RadioPublic app and browsing the Freepoint Hotel channel. iDevices will be mounted around the lobby, a la digital art, allowing guests to grab headphones, a seat, and listen to the wide world of podcasts. Hotel guests who want to experience the Freepoint Channel before downloading can check out additional devices from the front desk to browse and listen at their leisure from anywhere within the hotel.

"We are excited to be among the first to find synergy between the world of hospitality and the nearly 67 million monthly podcast listeners in the United States alone," said David McCaslin, Executive Vice President of HHM, the hotel's management company. "Tapping into the podcast revolution truly illustrates the ethos of the Freepoint brand which is rooted in innovation, technology and discovery. RadioPublic's ability to create custom playlists and curated listening experiences mirrors our efforts to create unique, authentic and memorable moments for guests, both within and outside of the sonic space."

The curated playlists represent RadioPublic's larger mission to improve podcast discovery, particularly for first-time listeners. The company was founded in 2016 as a Public Benefit Corporation, and was launched in partnership with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX). It has secured funding from investors including Project11, Homebrew, Matter Ventures and the New York Times.

"Podcasts are a great way for curious people to experience the world," said Jake Shapiro, CEO of RadioPublic. "The Freepoint Channel on RadioPublic is a wonderful travel companion - inspirational, educational and totally entertaining."

Freepoint's dedicated podcast DJ will keep these playlists continuously updated with fresh episodes, ensuring return guests will be able to log into an entirely new experience with each visit. Freepoint guests or fans can also choose to follow the Freepoint channel and keep up-to-date on playlist curation and life in Greater Boston from anywhere in the world.

Freepoint Channel Playlists currently include:

  • Listen Like a Local -- features shows created by locals about locals -- all things Boston from sports to politics to history.
  • Work it Out -- features shows to listen to while working out at the hotel's gym or going for a run around Cambridge -- includes an episode about the Boston marathon and an interview with the author of The One Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit that's Smarter, Faster, Shorter.
  • What's Cooking -- curated by esteemed Executive Chef Matthew Gaudet, named a Best New Chef 2013 by Food & Wine magazine -- this playlist features food and drink-centric episodes.
  • Wind it Down -- features shows to listen to before bed -- episodes include Sounds of Berklee: Tia Fuller, a professor and musician who plays pieces from her third album and a podcast delving into bedtime topics like "How Lucid Dreams Work?"
  • Road Warrior/Culture Vulture/Small Bytes -- these signature RadioPublic playlists will also be featured on the channel. Road Warrior is geared to the business traveler; Culture Vulture for those hungry for the arts; and Small Bytes features 1-2 minute podcasts perfect for guests on the go!

In summer 2017, the Freepoint channel will feature some hyper local content when the destination of West Cambridge, to which Freepoint calls home, is the subject of an episode of the Peabody award nominated podcast, Memory Palace. Created by Nate DiMeo, Memory Palace is a storytelling podcast and public radio segment about the past. This dedicated episode will dive into the history of the neighborhood allowing guests the opportunity to learn and discover more about the destination and community outside the hotel's walls. Additionally, Freepoint will be the topic of discussion in dashChat©, the podcast of award winning interior design and brand consulting firm Dash Design, who spearheaded the interior design of the property. The 30-minute quarterly interview series is hosted by David Ashen, principal and founder of dash design, and serves as a platform to talk about topics of interest with noted brand development, design experts and other industry thought leaders.

Guest experiences outside of the sonic space will include a monthly event series by the name of TalkingPoint: Conversations with Podcasters at Freepoint Hotel. These events will feature local or guest podcast hosts and producers visiting the hotel for mixers, Q&A's and meet & greets with guests and local listeners alike. Each conversation will allow podcasters to share insight into their podcasts, content and future topics, while giving guests and locals the opportunity to mix and mingle with each other.

Located in the heart of the Fresh Pond neighborhood, Freepoint breathes new life into the space formerly inhabited by the Best Western Plus Hotel Tria, following a multi-million dollar transformation. The hotel was acquired by Philadelphia-based hotel management company HHM in February of 2016 and with the renovation joins the Independent Collection, HHM's growing portfolio of lifestyle hotels inspired by their authentic neighborhoods.

Every detail of Freepoint Hotel is thoughtfully conceived; designed to articulate ideas and inspire further conversation. Freepoint represents the beginning of a journey where innovation and hospitality harmonize together to deliver the next great boutique hotel experience. The new hotel represents the fabric of Cambridge by interpreting brilliant elements from the worlds of innovation, art, style, design, technology and cuisine into a fresh and compelling hospitality experience.

Freepoint Hotel is located at 220 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge's Fresh Pond neighborhood, ideally located just minutes away from the Alewife MBTA station, Harvard Square, Kendall Square and many more of the city's best attractions.

About Independent Collection Hotels:

The IC is a growing collection of cultivated and intimate lifestyle hotels located in unique residential neighborhoods of gateway cities across the US. Founded in New York in Tribeca, and then Brooklyn, it has grown to Boston's West End, Midtown Village in Philadelphia, Washington's Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle, down to Miami's South Beach, and west to Santa Barbara across the last five years. This distinctive hotel concept is renowned for its simple sophistication, authentic connection to local communities and personalized service. Independent Collection hotels are created for the independently minded traveler and invite guests to experience the true spirit of the city.

About HHM:

HHM, formerly known as Hersha Hospitality Management, operates nearly 130 hotels across the United States. It provides turnkey hotel management, asset management and receivership for properties with leading 4 brand affiliations through Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. HHM also operates 28 independent hotels ranging from The Rittenhouse Hotel, a AAA Five Diamond property in Philadelphia, to the Larkspur Landing hotels, all-suite extended stay properties in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Its highly experienced team is accustomed to serving as a fiduciary to publicly traded companies, joint ventures, institutional real estate owners and private investors. Additional information on HHM can be found at hhmhospitality.com.

About RadioPublic:

RadioPublic is a mobile listening platform for on-demand radio and podcasts founded in partnership with PRX -- the distributor of This American Life, The Moth, and the Radiotopia podcast network. RadioPublic creates a new listening experience, featuring content discovery, exclusive offers, and improved fan engagement. A Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), RadioPublic shares public media's educational, artistic, and journalistic mission. RadioPublic's investors include Project11, The New York Times, Graham Holdings Company, UP2398, Knight Foundation Enterprise Fund, Matter Ventures, American Public Media, McClatchy and Homebrew. RadioPublic is entering the fast growing market for on-demand audio, podcasts, and spoken word content. Over the past two years, monthly podcast listening has grown by 40 percent to over 67 million listeners in the U.S.

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