Through guest and hotel owner insights, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG] today announced the next evolution of the prototype for its Holiday Inn Express® brand. Developed for the brand's portfolio of hotels in the U.S. and Canada, the updated prototype design is designed to further position the Holiday Inn Express brand as the "smart" choice for guests and owners.
This next generation prototype is expected to deliver even better on meeting guests' changing needs, and driving value for owners. Over the past 14 years, the Holiday Inn Express brand has become one of the largest and fastest-growing hotel brands in the industry. The newly-evolved prototype will build on this successful track record and accelerate growth in the key markets where our target guests travel.
"Our guests are at the heart of what we do, and the updates we've made to our already successful prototype design are deeply rooted in guest insight," said Jennifer Gribble, Director, Head of Americas Holiday Inn Express Brand, IHG. "The Holiday Inn Express® brand target guest travels for both business and leisure, values efficiency and simplicity, and wants a great 'base camp' when they travel, and the updated prototype includes purposeful design features to deliver on those needs."
The Holiday Inn Express brand worked with an owner advisory board, conducted focus groups with guests, and completed competitive analysis and research to develop the updates to its prototype design. It embodies an appealing combination of fresh, dynamic, and focused design features that enable an efficient and engaging stay, creating a distinctive style that is evident at every touch point of the Holiday Inn Express brand experience. The guest room provides a revitalized, contemporary space with comforts and features that allow guests to be productive during their stay and allow for a great night's sleep including:
• Functional and flexible work space allowing for maximum productivity
• Functional storage units providing horizontal luggage storage that allows guests to maximize their space
• Moveable seating allowing guests to use the space in ways that work best for them
• New décor for both the guest room and public area feature neutral colors and interesting textural combinations
The Great Room, a multi-purpose area in the lobby of the hotel, encompasses the Holiday Inn Express brand's Express Start™ breakfast bar, dining area and additional seating areas. The room provides an environment where guests can tailor their experience, whether interacting with an individual or group, working or taking a break. The Great Room provides the right mix of useful spaces and comfortable furnishings to accommodate a wide range of needs and functions simultaneously, including:
• An inviting and flexible space featuring a business center and 24/7 market
• Individual check-in pods in the front lobby of the hotel increases interaction between hotel staff and guests. In addition, staff members at check-in pods have a view of the entire great room, enabling responsive service when needed
• Stylish and welcoming areas conveying spacious, comfortable seating with a dedicated area for the Holiday Inn Express brand's Express Start™ breakfast bar
• Meeting space that is businesslike and uncluttered, utilizing both functional and natural light
"We worked very closely with a number of our key owners to develop the updated prototype design for Holiday Inn Express to ensure that it is efficient to build and operate and will deliver strong financial returns," said Joel Eisemann, Chief Development Officer, IHG. "Engaging with both our owners and our guests is a key part of our strategy as we evolve our brands."
To create greater efficiencies and optimize return on investment for new and existing Holiday Inn Express hotel owners, the updated prototype design will also provide owners with a full set of architecture, engineering and interior design construction documents for the first time, which will be available late Q2 2014. Additionally, some of the operating efficiencies for the evolved prototype include a modular design, durable materials and finishes with low/easy maintenance, flexible use of space in great room, and LED lighting to reduce energy costs. For both new construction and renovations, a complete design solution to drive consistency and guest satisfaction will be available.
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