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Holiday Inn Express Replacing the Traditional Hotel Bedspread at 1,400
North American Properties; Expects the SimplySmart™ Triple Sheeted
Bedding Implementation to be Completed by September 2006
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ATLANTA (October 14, 2005) – Holiday Inn Express hit the showers last March for a SimplySmart™ bathroom upgrade; and now not resting on its success the brand is planning an upgrade of its standard bedding package with the SimplySmart™ bedding collection. The program is a $53 million investment and will be rolled out to the more than 1,400 North American properties beginning in April 2006 with full implementation expected by September 2006.

The essence of SimplySmart bedding is the removal of the bedspread that is typically found in hotel bedding.   In its place, guests will find an attractive decorative top sheet, a medium-weight duvet blanket and soft 200 thread-count sheets. The duvet blanket will be sandwiched between two top sheets for added plushness.  Making up beds in this manner – known as triple-sheeting – makes bed spreads obsolete all the while creating a softer feeling, more inviting bed. 

“Research revealed that bed coverings present a terrific opportunity to positively influence guests’ perceptions of hotel cleanliness, and overall guest satisfaction” said Verchele Mills, vice president, brand management, Holiday Inn Express. 

“Holiday Inn Express has always been known for its fresh, clean and modern properties. The new bedding program now embraces these attributes in the guestroom as well as erases the negative stigma sometimes attached to hotel bedspreads.”

In addition, because having the right type of pillow can mean the difference between a good night’s rest and a night of tossing and turning, the cozy, new sheets are complemented by four pillows, available in two comfort levels: “Soft” and “Firm.”

The SimplySmart bedding collection is the third in a series of systemwide brand innovations from Holiday Inn Express designed to create meaningful and guest preferred upgrades to the stay experience.  The first was the Express Start® breakfast bar, which redefined the meaning of “free” breakfast bar in 2003. Express Start, a redesigned, café-style breakfast bar features a proprietary cinnamon roll and Smart Roast® coffee as well as other morning favorites.  In 2004, Holiday Inn Express launched the wildly successful SimplySmart shower that included the rollout of approximately 120,000 new showerheads and over a million towels. The $20 million-plus program includes a proprietary Stay Smart™ Kohler showerhead; upgraded 100 percent cotton terry towels; and a new line of bath products.   Together, all of these initiatives create a comfortable and smart environment for Holiday Inn Express guests to ensure a productive stay while traveling for business or leisure.

About Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn Express is the modern hotel for value-oriented travelers. Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers. Guests Stay Smart at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free Express Start™ breakfast bar, Smart Roast® In-room coffee, Smart Connect™™ Telecommunications which includes free high-speed internet access, free local phone calls and 1-800 call access and the ability to earn Priority Club Rewards points that can be redeemed for great merchandise, airline miles or free stays in more than 3,300 hotels. There are currently nearly 1,500 Holiday Inn Express locations around the globe. For more information about Holiday Inn Express or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit www.hiexpress.com. 

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms.  InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 3,500 hotels and over 537,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. 

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Contact:

Natasha Gullett 
  Holiday Inn Express
  natasha.gullett@ichotelsgroup.com
(770) 604-5597

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Also See: New Beds, Clocks, Amenities and Guest Room Enhancements Underway Throughout All 2,300 Branded Hotels within the Hilton Family / July 2005
Marriott Hotel Owners and Franchisees Investing $190 million in New Bedding; Claims New Bedding to be Cleanest and Freshest of Any Major Hotel Chain / January 2005

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