IHG remodels Holiday Inn Express for tech-savvy travellers

03 March 2015 by
IHG remodels Holiday Inn Express for tech-savvy travellers

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has introduced what it describes as the next generation for its Holiday Inn Express brand.

Launching the updated brand at the International Hotel Investment Conference at the Intercontinental Berlin, IHG said it would target the "smart traveller" with enhanced technology such as Smart TVs in bedrooms, mobile check in and a redesigned food and beverage offer.

Three restyled rooms have been launched in Greenwich, South London, where the concept will be tested, before the first fully redesigned Holiday Inn Express will open in Portsmouth later this year.

IHG director brand management Europe Natalia Perez told The Caterer: "We're targeting the smart traveller. They are concerned with value for money and an efficient experience. They normally stay for one or two nights and are looking for a great night's sleep, a friendly smile, and an appropriate place to do some work."

The redesigned rooms include Smart TVs that allow guests to stream their own media, a comfortable chair and manoeuvrable table to replace the traditional bulky desk, and a larger bed with a padded noise-reducing headboard.

"Everything in the room and lobby has form and function," Perez added. "Nothing is there for the sake of being there. It's about delivering an efficient experience and delivering everything a guest needs and nothing they don't."

Each hotel will include an Express café and bar, which will offer small dishes throughout the day.

Perez added: "The ambience will change throughout the day. So at breakfast the bar will be closed so guests don't see the alcohol from the night before. Afterwards the breakfast buffet will be invisible and the bar will open up. We'll adapt it for different day parts."

Mike Greenup, vice president, brand management, Holiday Inn Brand Family, Europe, IHG, said that the aim was for at least one in every four of its European hotels to feature the new guest experience within the next three years.

He added: "A hotel room is no longer just a place to sleep and our approach to technology and service starts with understanding our guests and their needs across the entire guest journey. This investment in guest insight and innovation is enabling us to stay ahead of the game."

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