Hotel Online  Special Report



Hampton Studies Guest Touchpoints; Results in New
Product Standards and Technology to be Rolled Out
Immediately in the 1,250-hotel Hampton System


60-Plus New Features, Services to be Added
to All Hampton Hotels 2004-2005 

MEMPHIS, Tenn., January 28, 2004 — In the single largest and fastest transformation ever undertaken by a hotel brand to dramatically enhance the guest experience at each of its hotels, Hampton, a leading mid-priced hotel brand, today unveiled more than 60 new products and service standards in a program called “Make It Hampton.” 

With new products and services ranging from a new hot breakfast, new bedding, bath products, redesigned interiors and enhanced in-room technology, more than $80 million will be invested in the “Make It Hampton” program by Hampton and Hampton hotel owners over the next several months.  Completion of the majority of improvements is expected by year-end 2004, with additional elements completed in 2005.  Across the 1,250-hotel Hampton system, which includes Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, the brand will implement a combined 4.7 million-plus individual changes and improvements in new products and services to further differentiate its “focused service” experience.

Unveiled today at its annual owners’ conference, the new products and services that comprise “Make It Hampton” will bring to customers a signature experience to further enhance the customer appeal and popularity of the Hampton brand.

The program, already underway at 120 hotels, will see changes throughout each hotel systematically implemented at a rate of approximately 120 hotels per month.   Changes will take place in four areas defined by Hampton as the

  1. Welcome, 
  2. Breakfast, 
  3. Guest Room and Bathroom First Impression, 
  4. and in the brand’s renowned 100% Satisfaction Guarantee program.
“When we created Hampton Inn 20 years ago, it revolutionized the hotel industry, creating a ‘bundled package’ hotel concept where the price of a good night’s rest also included in-room amenities, free local calls and a complimentary breakfast,” said Phil Cordell, senior vice-president, Hampton brand management.  “Among other groundbreaking ideas, we introduced the industry’s first 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  Hampton’s consistency and products popularized the hotel-without-a-restaurant concept, and today it’s time we differentiate our brand in the industry, once again.”

Cordell, who started with the company as the brand’s second hotel general manager, said management recognized that after two decades it was time to “turbo-charge” Hampton.  Two years ago, Hampton brand management began working with owners, GMs, team members and especially customers to better understand and define the “Hampton experience.”  Every “touchpoint” (an area that influences guest perception and experience) from the lobby to walking into a guest room was intently studied.  The result is the development of new product standards and technology to be rolled out immediately at Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels.  Some of the changes in the four defined areas are as follows:

Owning the Welcome — To ensure that all hotel guests feel a differentiated “welcome” and personality at Hampton hotels from their arrival to departure, specific areas will undergo changes in the entrance, lobby and front desk portion of each hotel.  Highlights include beautifying Hampton hotel entranceways with new outdoor planter gardens that discreetly hide the trash and ashtray containers, “red carpet” welcome mats leading into the hotel, door and van wraps that signify the Hampton personality, new artwork in the vestibule and lobby, and a Hampton signature compilation of music played throughout public-space areas, celebrating travel.   Another new addition in public space areas to be at all Hampton hotels by year-end 2004 is the availability of high-speed wireless Internet access, available complimentary to guests in the lobby and in at least one meeting room.  Hotels will display new wall colors and décor of black and white photography indicative of local-area scenes -- even on the key cards and employee nametags – providing an emotional connection with travel and place.

Guest Room and Bathroom — Guests will know they are in a Hampton hotel room immediately upon walking into their room, where the temperature will be comfortably set and a light is already on.  A most noticeable difference in the guest room will be the new bedding – thicker comforters, high-quality softer sheets, new mattresses and more pillows arranged on top of a raised bed.   More than 217,000 beds will be “lifted” and undergo this full transition over the next two years.  New high headboards will begin appearing in the newly built Hampton hotels as soon as this year.  On all Hampton beds will be a “lap desk,” that guests can comfortably use to move around while they work and access wireless high-speed Internet.   Wireless or wired high-speed Internet access will be complimentary in all guest rooms by the end of 2004.  Also this year, Hampton will introduce its signature alarm clock radio, engineered by the brand to provide easy-to-find music stations AND universal easy-to-follow instructions for setting the alarm. 

Bathrooms include new high-quality plush towels and wash cloths, a signature “Hampton” curved shower curtain and rod providing much more space and light in the shower, a new line of Hampton signature Purity Basics™ bath products, a nightlight, and an open-under-the counter vanity that will appear in all remodeled and new Hampton hotels beginning this year. 

On The House Hot Breakfast — Hampton is totally revamping its breakfast offerings, adding eight new “hot menu” items that take into account a variety of tastes and low-carb diets.  From eggs and sausage to salsa wraps, pancakes and biscuits, hotels can change their hot menu item daily.  Beyond the new modern, white and polished silver display ware, Hampton aims to give breakfast – one of the top three areas impacting hotel satisfaction– a personal touch of fun and color.  Items are arranged in zones, from a “cold” milk zone to “fresh” fruit zone, utilizing “romance cards” to describe the products and enhance the experience.  Even the new decanters that hold the brand’s new signature coffee will feature fun images that guide guests to their “leaded” or “unleaded” morning fuel. 

The Hampton On The Go Breakfast Bags are another new innovative concept for the hurried traveler in the morning, and will be available on kiosks at the front desk, complimentary, Monday through Friday.  Each bag contains fruit, a Kellogg’s® cereal bar, an Otis Spunkmeyer® muffin and bottled water.  Beta testing of the On The Go Breakfast Bags over the last four months has proven the new concept to be very popular with guests.  By the end of 2004, Hampton expects to be handing out more than 60,000 On The Go Breakfast Bags each week.

100% Hampton – Our Guarantee — The groundbreaking Hampton 100% Satisfaction Guarantee has been made clearer and simpler to read and will now be more noticeable in areas throughout the hotel.  The guarantee remains unconditional and does not negotiate discounts – complete satisfaction is the goal, or that night’s stay is free.

Etched in a silver plate to be placed on every front desk counter, printed on every key card jacket, and placed on every folio, the 100% Hampton Guarantee states:

“Friendly service, clean rooms, comfortable surroundings, every time. If you’re not satisfied, we don’t expect you to pay. That’s our commitment & your guarantee.  That’s 100% Hampton.”™

Standing behind the guarantee are more than 38,000 Hampton employees, who with their general manager and owner, will undergo a new training program in the next few months.  The program is fun and interactive, using DVD technology, role playing and learning maps to help communicate messages and ideas.  Overall, the new training program reiterates the importance of the Guarantee in the Hampton experience and culture at every guest opportunity. It teaches new methods of creating a more personal service experience that connects emotionally and positively with customers. 

New Hampton Hotel Prototype Is Unveiled

Hampton also unveiled its new prototype room that contains the “Make It Hampton” program elements and more.  Those Hampton hotels, both Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites, which are approved by end of Q1 2004, will incorporate “Make It Hampton” elements as well as new prototype floor plans.  The first of the new Hampton Inn prototype hotels are expected to open in late 2005. 

In the new prototype, hallways will be a foot wider than the standard five-foot wide hallways of most hotels – a unique element allowing for easier passage and handling of luggage.  Hampton guest rooms also will be redesigned, and will be of a different than typical size.  For example, a king room will be a wider 14 X 24 feet and the actual bedroom area more square, rather than the customary, rectangular guest room area (12 x 26 feet typically).  The bed will be placed against the bathroom wall, and the TV/chest of drawers will be in the far corner, with a soft lighting effect behind the furniture. 

In the bathroom, the new open-under-the-counter vanity will be standard, with the addition of shelving behind the vanity for the in-room coffee pot, towels and more personal storage space.   Finally, the bathroom will have a large walk-in shower in most king rooms, rather than tubs – a product idea that has proved quite popular in the “small town” Hampton Inn hotel prototype, introduced last year.

“We believe owners and developers will experience the benefits of the ‘Make It Hampton’ program very quickly, just based on the feedback and results obtained from our Beta test hotels,” said Tom Keltner, president of brand performance and franchise development group for Hilton Hotels Corporation.  “We’re not just creating a prototype that introduces new products, but have a strong process to bring our older properties into the new Hampton standards –  all of our hotels.  As the economy pulls out of recession, the Hampton brand will be extremely well positioned to meet demands of the new and savvier travelers of the future and the needs of hotel developers.” 

Exhaustive research and Beta testing of new products and services over the last several months led to the many changes announced by Hampton today, but Hampton management says they will continue to test additional ideas that its hotels could implement as a part of this strategy over the next two years. 

“We started with a blank piece of paper when we created the brand, and used the same philosophy to not only re-invent Hampton, but the experience at Hampton.  This is not about just a new mattress or a new breakfast menu.  We believe ‘Make It Hampton’ will change the way people think about ‘limited-service’ and Hampton Inn,” added Cordell. 

Hampton®, which includes Hampton Inn® and Hampton Inn & Suites® hotels, is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. Hilton Hotels Corporation develops, owns, manages or franchises more than 2,100 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. Its portfolio includes many of the world’s best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton®, Conrad®, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations Club® and Homewood Suites by Hilton®.

Melissa O’Brien 
Hampton Brand Communications
(901) 374-6462
Also See: $6 Million in Free Rooms Provided by Hampton Inn's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee in Past Decade; Program Has Become An Industry Standard / Oct 1999
Church Family Trust Opens the Hampton Inn Cedar City; First 'Small Town' Prototype for Brand / April 2003

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