New Holiday Inn guestrooms take homey look
02 OCTOBER 2015 8:18 AM
IHG officials outlined new design standards for Holiday Inn-branded hotels aimed to capture both business and leisure travelers.
SAN FRANCISCO—InterContinental Hotels Group executives are hopeful they’ve struck the right balance to draw both business and leisure travelers with newly unveiled guestrooms for Holiday Inn.
IHG officials announced the new guestroom design termed H4 for happiness, hospitality, home and Holiday Inn at the 2015 IHG Americas Owners Conference.
The new initiative is designed to make rooms feel more like home and allow travelers to transform the space based on their needs, said Eric Lent, VP Americas for the Holiday Inn brand.
“Working together, we created more than just a great hotel room,” Lent said. “We created a great Holiday Inn guestroom: a room with flexibility to meet the different needs of different owners, and flexibility to meet the needs of both business and leisure travelers.”
Some of the rooms’ new features include a “welcome nook” designed to emulate guests’ experience of walking into their own home. It is a space for guests to drop their belongings, plug in their phones and hang their coats. The rooms also have five dedicated “points of power” so guests can easily charge devices.
The new designs embrace the concept of convertible furniture, allowing guests to adapt more to their individual needs. The newly offered “King Bed with Comfort Hideaway” room type will feature a trundle bed, which can be pulled out and used as two twin beds, or could be stored and used as a sofa. There are also moveable desks in the rooms.
Elie Maalouf, CEO of the Americas for IHG, said the company expects the redesign to have a sizable effect on the brand.
“It looks transformative,” Maalouf said. “It feels different, more like your residence than a hotel room.”
Heather Balsley, IHG’s senior VP for Americas brands, said the company has been working closely with the IHG Owners Association for a little over a year, and came up with H4 with the help of a panel of more than 10 Holiday Inn owners. She said the process of implementing the designs will have to adapt with owner feedback.
“We view today’s launch as the start of the learning phase for this,” Balsley said.
IHG officials laid out a timeline for adopting the new design standards. A group of four or five pilot hotels, three of which are owned by members of the owners panel that helped establish H4, will feature the new designs in the first quarter of 2016. They will then become required for all new builds and renovations in the second half of that year.
This is the second time in as many years that IHG has unveiled a widescale redesign effort for one of its brands. A similar effort, referred to as Formula Blue, was announced for Holiday Inn Express in 2014. That design plan is now required for all new builds and renovations.
Jennifer Gribble, VP Americas for the Holiday Inn Express brand, said 50 hotels offer a hybrid of Formula Blue, using key features in their existing design. A total of 15 now have full Formula Blue designs, another 60 will be operating by the end of 2015 and 350 more are expected in 2016.
IHG officials also announced new casegood options for owners adopting Formula Blue.