All about the Holiday Inn

Heather Balsley, senior vice president of the Americas for the Holiday Inn brand family speaks with Amelia Levin about a new campaign to update the brand for the next generation of guests

Why did Holiday Inn decide to complete the $1bn global brand relaunch?

The Holiday Inn “Change Your View” campaign was launched as a way to reintroduce the brand to a new generation of guests who are not familiar with the Holiday Inn brand today and the changes made to the estate. Through improvements in the design and décor of our properties and this new campaign, we want our audience to understand we have changed and recognise there is more to the brand than what they may remember or have heard.

Was there a particular architect or design group involved?

The Holiday Inn brand worked with several architects and design groups to create an approved standard room design package to offer our franchisees as a result of the Holiday Inn global brand relaunch. The brand also supplied a list of approved vendors for franchisees to choose from in order to execute the alterations.

What were the changes to the room design as part of the new campaign?

Beginning with a total investment of approximately $32m in renovations at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North hotel, the global relaunch focused on improvements to arrival and welcome services and guestroom and guest bath comfort as well as on a redesigned the logo and signage. Changes also include modern design touches throughout the lobby and an efficient check-in experience. Improvements to the guestrooms include modern décor and amenities to make guests feel more at home. For example, the beds have a crisp white duvet and different pillow choices for maximum comfort. Improvements to the room include warm lighting, sleek furniture, flat screen HDTVs and artwork that reflects each individual hotel’s location.

How about the bathrooms?

In the bathroom, guests will find power showerheads and Bath & Body Works toiletries. Additionally, all over-tub showers now have curved shower rods and redesigned shower curtains that allow more room and light.

What were the changes to the restaurant/foodservice offerings? Is there a prototype for restaurant and retail food offerings at Holiday Inn going forward?

The Holiday Inn brand guest is social, so we know it’s important to have a restaurant and bar at every Holiday Inn hotel location, which is something we already offer. As part of the next phase for the brand, we recently introduced an active lobby concept in a few test hotels following the global brand relaunch. The redesigned lobbies feature a fresh, modern and open floor plan combining the restaurant, bar and lobby experience into one cohesive space offering flexible options for guests to eat, drink, relax and have fun. The concept includes a redesigned food and beverage menu in the restaurant/bar, and a grab & go café featuring a market open 24/7.

How will you roll that out?

Starting in 2014, the Holiday Inn brand will begin rolling out a modular approach to our active lobby concept. There will be several different levels of lobby and restaurant décor solutions to give hotels going through various stages of renovation the parts they need to make their lobby and restaurant space modern and contemporary and perform well against the competition.

Amelia Levin


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