News for the Hospitality Executive
Aug. 22, 2012 - It’s a new stay®. That’s the mantra from Courtyard by Marriott, the world’s 12th-largest lodging brand, with 900 hotels in 35 countries. In the US, where the brand faced increasing competition in the business hotel category, Courtyard by Marriott started looking at ways to revitalize the guest experience and sustain customer satisfaction ratings.
When your parent company is ranked by Fortune magazine as the Most Admired Company in the Lodging Industry worldwide for the 12th consecutive year, you can’t rest on the status quo. Courtyard by Marriott had pioneered the concept of the business traveler’s hotel, but it needed to take action to maintain that leadership, especially as business travelers grew savvier and more discerning about their experiences and options.
The result of considerable research, analysis, prototyping and focus group testing was a total overhaul of the lobby space, including food and beverage areas – a companywide initiative that headlines the Courtyard by Marriott website:
It’s where checking in meets staying your way… where partly cloudy meets dinner plans… where collaboration meets relaxation… where great style meets a great night’s sleep… meeting space meets eating space… work out meets rock out… catching up meets kicking back… the boardroom presentation meets boarding pass. It’s where space to work meets room to relax.
The new lobby combines fun, style and functionality in a way that reflects the brand promise. For example, there are flexible “media pods” that can be used as office spaces or social spaces, depending on how guests arrange the furniture. The imposing check-in desk has been replaced by welcome podiums that enable more direct and personable interactions. Guests can get quick access to weather, traffic conditions, local restaurant recommendations and flight information on a large, touch-screen display. They can print airline boarding cards on dedicated print stations and get healthy, modern food at a redesigned café that offers a lively atmosphere for cocktails in the evening.
The design has been so successful that franchisees are renovating their hotels faster than expected. Within the first two years, 300 of more than 600 US locations had already been updated.
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