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Embassy Suites to Open 62 Hotels in Next Three Years; Development
Pipeline Fueled Design Option III Prototype and Flying Spoons
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MEMPHIS, Tenn.- August 20, 2008 - Embassy Suites Hotels®, currently with 192 hotels, is experiencing its strongest development pipeline in the brand’s 24-year history. Currently 62 franchised hotels are scheduled to open in the next three years, many of which will be the highly anticipated Design Option III prototype. 

The Design Option III prototype allows developers to build an Embassy Suites on less land, with more efficient use of space and lower construction costs. The first Design Option III hotel, the Embassy Suites Jackson-Ridgeland, is scheduled to open in November 2008, and will mark the brand’s entrance into the state of Mississippi. 

“We could not be happier about the state of our growth,” beamed Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. “We went from five approvals a year in 2005, to 22 in 2006, up to 30 in 2007, and this year we expect to do more than 30, largely in part to the new prototype. Embassy Suites has always been a category-of-one, and in the last 20 years has proved to be consistent in all phases of the business cycle. We are well on our way to exceeding our goal of 300 hotels open, under construction or in the pipeline by 2010.” 
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Exterior rendering of the new Embassy Suites Hotels Design Option III prototype
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Achieving Flexibility with Diversity in Development Pipeline 

Embassy Suites Hotels is fueling development, through a combination of new builds, conversions, adaptive reuse, and mixed use properties. While focusing on downtown and urban locations domestically, Embassy Suites is also expanding its growth in Latin America. In the next three years, the brand is expected to see unprecedented growth internationally, with the scheduled openings of properties in Valencia, Venezuela; San Jose, Costa Rica; Tijuana, Mexico; and Panama City, Panama. Urban, downtown locations in primary markets include Denver, CO; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN; Houston, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Miami, FL. Airport locations will also be a major focus, in both secondary and tertiary markets, including: Columbus, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Tucson, AZ; and Indianapolis, IN. Aiding this growth is an immense broadening of the developer base, with approximately two-thirds of the 60 properties in the pipeline being first-time Embassy Suites owners. 

Brand Innovations Driving Pipeline Growth 

Propelling the growth behind Design Option III is the brand’s innovative restaurant concept, Flying Spoons. Part European-style café and part American coffeehouse, this concept in hotel food & beverage expands upon the “fast casual” concept made popular by Panera Bread and other bakery-cafes and creates a new segment deemed “Hip Casual.” Embassy Suites is accommodating the changing needs of guests by providing a range of convenient, fresh dishes and beverages to fit a variety of schedules: from eating on the go to eating smaller, more frequent meals. 

“We know that our primary guest base has traditionally been boomers, but that is beginning to change as Gen X, Y and Millenials come into their own and identify with the Embassy Suites culture and value proposition,” remarked Holthouser. “With Flying Spoons, we are giving our guests the choice to eat when and how they want to, while giving developers a competitive F&B option, with a Flying Spoons estimated at 30 percent less to develop than a traditional restaurant. Nearly one-fifth of our current pipeline has opted to include a Flying Spoons.” 

Upgrades to Existing Hotels Enhancing Brand Quality 

Now with Embassy BusinessLink™ Business Centers installed in all 192 properties, Embassy Suites is poised to deliver an even more consistent experience to business and leisure travelers, which account for 60 percent and 40 percent of the brand’s business, respectively. Powered by Uniguest® and PrinterOn®, the original rollout of Embassy BusinessLink Business Centers began in 2005 and is now complete. PreCor Fitness Centers, which began installation in 2006 in all full-service Hilton Family hotel brands, are now in more than 50 percent of all Embassy Suites properties. 

Additionally, the second phase of the Embassy EssentialsTM Bedding Collection is rolling out to 81,000 beds in the brand’s portfolio, in conjunction with Robert Allen Contract, who is designing, producing and testing the new top of the bed program. It consists of a duvet cover in modern graphic motifs and a solid bed skirt in suede effects. As decorative accents, a coordinating throw and pillow are offered. The bedding is available in a range of six complementary color schemes: Polar Silver, Beige, Lagoon, Topaz, Seaglass and Sienna. 
Additionally, the second phase of the “Embassy Suites Essentials Bedding Collection” is rolling out to 81,000 beds in the brand’s portfolio, in conjunction with Robert Allen Contract, who is designing, producing and testing the new top of the bed program. It consists of a duvet cover in modern graphic motifs and a solid bed skirt in suede effects. As decorative accents, a coordinating throw and pillow are offered. The bedding is available in a range of six complementary color schemes: Polar Silver, Beige, Lagoon, Topaz, Seaglass and Sienna. 

“Our brand is positioned as a top industry performer, with highest margins in full service, in excellent condition from a quality standpoint, and growing at unparalleled speed,” concluded Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. 
 

Design Option III is More Cost Effective for Hotel Developers, 
Yet Delivers True-to-Form Upper Upscale Product
With a scalable key count, a flexible layout and a lower building cost, the new prototype gives developers more market choice in which to build an Embassy Suites Hotel - from urban and coastal markets, to more corporate and convention center markets.

"The creation of Design Option III was a way for us to offer another option for hotel developers -- lowering the cost to build -- while providing our guests with an exciting new design layout and still maintaining the innovations business and leisure travelers have come to expect from the Embassy Suites brand," said David Greydanus, senior vice president, brand management for Embassy Suites Hotels. "Specifically, Design Option III meets the needs of developers looking to build in secondary and tertiary markets, and those who desire high RevPar Index premiums, high guest satisfaction and strong performance of Embassy Suites Hotels. With less land, lower construction cost, enhanced public area and meeting space and better business services - it's a model that can expand the brand into new markets, with less investment by the developer."

Cost Efficiencies for Developers

With an atrium environment at the entrance and guest suite towers that flank the building, Design Option III does not lose any of the luxury and quality paramount to the Embassy Suites brand. The new option can be built on a 2.86-acre site that is scalable to individual developer's and market needs. Design Option III is approximately $10K per key less than Design Option II.

Enhanced Public Space Designed with the Guest in Mind

One of the focal points of every Embassy Suites Hotel is the open-air atrium with natural greenery and flowing water. The Design Option III atrium is located at the hotel's entrance and features a barrel vault ceiling, as well as Embassy Suites' signature water feature with lush, interior landscaping. Other enhanced features include:

  • Marketplace Food & Beverage Concept: an innovative, efficient approach to food and beverage, the marketplace concept offers experiential dining, flexible service/extended hours, reduced staff and the ability to incorporate traditional gift shop elements in a nontraditional way.
  • EmbassyDirect(TM) Registration Kiosks will be a key component in Design Option III, allowing guests the option and convenience of checking themselves into the hotel.
  • Enlarged state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Increased business center services and space
  • Increased meeting space
  • Welcoming and friendly registration area featuring registration pods, rather than a traditional high-barrier front desk
A More Residential Suite

While there is a slight decrease in square footage from previous suite designs (462 square feet for king suites; 498 square feet for double suites), Design Option III features a side-by-side suite design, with a more residential feel. The door to the suite opens to an entry, filling the room with more natural light. Other features of the new suite design include:

  • Signature, spacious desk with ergonomic chair
  • Mobile furnishings so guests can create their own unique living space
  • Flat screen television
  • Walk-in shower option
"The open environment of the public space, coupled with the efficiencies of the guest suite, appeals to the needs of today's traveler, whether business or leisure," Greydanus added. "We wanted to offer our guests a fresh, more efficient all-suite experience, while still maintaining the pillars of the Embassy Suites brand - complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, evening manager's reception(a), true two-room suites and an atrium." 

About Embassy Suites Hotels 
Founded in 1984, Embassy Suites Hotels defines the upscale, all-suite segment and today has 192 hotels, with an additional 60 in the pipeline. With spacious two-room suites, engaging team members and an inviting atrium environment, guests are allowed to put their feet up and feel right at home. To learn more, visit www.embassysuites.com. 

Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries and territories, including 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®. 

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Contact:

Embassy Suites Brand Communications
Dawn Ray, 901-374-5954
Dawn.Ray@hilton.com
http://www.hiltonworldwide.com

Ruder Finn, Inc.
Alicia Rainbolt, 212-593-5863
rainbolta@ruderfinn.com 
 

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Also See: Following Three Years of Studying Guests' Eating Habits, Embassy Suites Brand Creates a Bakery-cafe Restaurant Concept; Flying Spoons Offers Hotel Developers Flexibility and Cost Efficiencies Not Found with a Traditional Hotel Restaurant / January 2008
Innkeepers USA Opens the Embassy Suites Valencia; California Property Features Brand's New Prototype Design / November 2007
Hilton Hotels Corporation Names Jim Holthouser SVP of Embassy Suites Hotels, Rebecca Wyatt SVP of Homewood Suites by Hilton / February 2006
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