New Style Holiday Inn Hotels begin Global Launch

The first European Holiday Inn hotels are preparing to open as part of InterContinental Hotels Group US$1 billion global relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family.

11 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – plus 19 in the United States and six across Asia Pacific – have been chosen to road-test the changes to the world’s biggest hotel brand, which includes new bedding, new shower experience and, for the first time, a signature scent and sound package. The first two to open in Europe, both in the UK, are the Holiday Inn London Heathrow and the Holiday Inn Farnborough.

These will be followed by hotels in Germany, Italy, France, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), China, Thailand and Australia. Following customer feedback and extensive staff training over the next few months, the hotels will be fully relaunched by July. Of the 19 hotels road-testing the changes in the US, 16 are already open, including hotels in New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

The first hotels will showcase the new brand hallmarks and signage in order to gather owner and guest feedback, prior to the full global roll-out, scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.

All Holiday Inn hotels will be required to implement the relaunch programme to create a more contemporary brand image, increase quality and drive consistency. The relaunch will incorporate new service standards, redesigned entrance and reception areas as well as refreshed guestrooms. The new brand signage will be installed at hotels only once they have implemented the relaunch programme.

All 4,000 Holiday Inn hotels are expected to have implemented the relaunch programme by the end of 2010.

By better delivering on guest needs and expectations, IHG expects the relaunch programme to allow Holiday Inn hotels to generate significantly higher revenue per available room (RevPAR), and secure an enhanced return on investment for their owners. Together with IHG, owners and franchisees will invest up to US$1 billion over a three year period to carry out the brand relaunch to meet the required service and quality levels. IHG will invest US$60 million as part of this to support the launch.

Kirk Kinsell, President IHG EMEA, said, “After all the meticulous planning and detailed dialogue with owners, it was a fantastic moment when the old Holiday Inn signage came down at both the London Heathrow and Farnborough Holiday Inns – and the new signage went up.

“This is a pivotal point in a mammoth journey for the world’s largest hotel brand; throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa alone we have more than 500 hotels, with more than 120 in development. The size of this task cannot be underestimated; nor the skills and expertise of everyone involved.

“Stepping into one of the new reception areas, seeing, hearing and smelling the new brand is a powerful experience; one which heralds the beginning of a new era for the world’s most iconic hotel brand.”

Established in 1952, Holiday Inn is one of the world’s most recognised hotel brands with more than 410,000 rooms (3,189 hotels) open and a development pipeline of more than 127,000 rooms (1,077 hotels).

Elements of the relaunch programme include:

– New logo and signage: The iconic Holiday Inn logo is changing, with a new typeface, more vibrant green colour and a more contemporary design. The redesigned logo will also be incorporated into design elements throughout hotel lobbies and guest rooms.

– New arrival experience: This will include: new landscaping features including simple, stylish plant pots and outdoor seating; de-cluttered reception areas with contemporary desk-top lamps and clean, stylish signature back walls. Two of the key features of the welcome experience will be signature scents and music play list in reception areas.

– Refreshed guest room: A greater sense of comfort and ease will be created by an updated and de-cluttered bedroom and bathroom. Features will include signature bed throws and pillow wraps detailing choices from a pillow menu to allow guests to select pillows to best suit their preferences. Bathrooms will feature enhanced amenities including a signature shower curtain with curved rod giving more light and space in the shower, plus an elegant toiletry caddy.

– New service promise: As part of the relaunch, the brand will initiate a new service culture to enhance staff behaviour and skills to best serve guests, with an emphasis on treating them as real people and consistently delivering the genuine service for which Holiday Inn is known.

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