Holiday Inn Express is looking to extend its run as the powerhouse engine of InterContinental Hotel Group with the introduction of a brand new prototype for the venerable brand.
But changing the core visual essence of a brand after 14 years can be dangerous, albeit necessary stuff. So to balance the needs of travelers, Holiday Inn Express property owners and of course the mother brand, all groups worked in concert to develop what they thought would meet the needs of next generation travelers.
And the result is a hotel property that is significantly updated to play into the latest trends as well as some bits of inspiration they feel will appeal to their core customer, all at a price to build at about the same price as the existing prototype.
For a complete behind the scenes understanding of the changes to the brand, listen to the podcast featuring Joel Eisemann, Chief Development Officer, Americas with IHG and Jennifer Gribble, Director, Head of Americas Holiday Inn Express Brand, IHG.
We continue to revolve around the changes in what guests need and ways to ensure great return for owners. This is an uncomplicated and smart design that [eliminates] wasting time, energy and money on things the guest feels is extraneous to the hotel experience,” said Heather Balsley, SVP, Americas Holiday Inn Brand Family Brand Management at InterContinental Hotels Group. “For owners this is a true turnkey new build experience. We spent a lot of time understanding the guests’ needs and working with owners to make sure it offers a lot of return.”
The new construction plans will be available during the second quarter this year and all Holiday inn Express hotels will be adapting the new look and feel of the brand in coming years, so existing hotels may debut the new look before the first new construction version property opens.
Holiday Inn Express owner Punit Sha, President & Chief Operating Officer, Liberty Group was an integral part of creating the new visual appeal. “We collaborated hand in hand with IHG in a spirit if partnership,” he said noting that owners were looking prioritize the real estate on the ground floor into the new design that creates multifunctional space and bringing the business center into the public areas. Another item he and other owners requested and received were creating an area that can seat big groups for breakfast but can also be sold as a meeting room during other day parts.
IHG materials position the brand as “embodying 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.”
Features of the new prototype include:
• 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