Hotel Online Special Report

 Hilton Re-launches Homewood Suites 
with New Prototype
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif - Jan. 20, 2000 -- Hilton Hotels Corp. (NYSE:HLT) today announced plans to re-launch its upscale, extended-stay hotel product Homewood Suites, starting with a new name for the brand: Homewood Suites by Hilton.With the addition of the Hilton name, the brand also announced its new prototype design, which will have a more efficient, home-like interior and can be built at a lower cost-per-key than previous design plans.

All newly constructed Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels will feature this revamped, more cost-efficient design. The new design will combine the upscale, modern interior features previously planned for the Hilton Residential Suites with the home-like interior floor plans and exterior design elements of the current Homewood Suites product.
While the first Homewood Suites by Hilton properties with the new prototype design will break ground in 2000, all existing Homewood Suites signage will be re-flagged with the new Homewood Suites by Hilton logo this year.

By the end of 2003, the company expects to have more than 100 of the new prototype Homewood Suites by Hilton properties in design or under development. This will double the brand’s current system size and provide an advantage for customers and owners over the aging competitive extended-stay products currently in the marketplace.
The majority of the new properties will be franchised hotels, initially targeting selected suburban and urban areas throughout the United States. To help encourage unit growth, the company has created appealing development incentive packages to attract investors. The brand currently has 86 properties throughout the United States, with an additional 12 under construction.

“With the strength of the Hilton brand name, the well established reputation of the 86 hotels currently open and our recognized expertise in franchise development, no company is better positioned than Hilton to redefine the extended-stay hotel segment with a better-quality, higher-value product,” said Tom Keltner, executive vice president and president, franchise hotel group for Hilton Hotels Corp.

“We anticipate that numerous qualified franchisees will be interested in developing Homewood Suites by Hilton properties based on the Hilton name and the fact that it is now a lower cost-per-key to build. Homewood Suites already has a proven performance of achieving price value premiums and customer satisfaction levels well above the competition—among the industry’s highest, in fact.”

The new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel design focuses on three key areas: technology and in-suite work places; entertainment options in the guest suite and Lodge area; and interior design.

Included with the spacious one- and two-bedroom configurations, the new prototype features spacious studio suites, which provide the same amenities as the full one- and two-bedroom suites but without the separated living and bedroom area. Each suite will offer in-suite workspaces with large desks and ergonomic chairs separate from the dining area; a fully equipped kitchen area; two telephones with two lines, voicemail and dataports; and an entertainment center that includes a television with a premium cable channel, videocassette player and/or on-demand movies.

Future renovations and expansions to existing Homewood Suites hotels will be selectively reviewed for inclusion of these new in-room amenities. Properties will range in size from approximately 110 to 150 guest suites—all accessed through interior corridors.

Guests will enter each Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel through a well designed Lodge area, which will include a 24-hour agent-assisted front desk reception, dining room area, comfortable living room with fireplace and soft seating area, and a 24-hour on-site convenience store and guest laundry. Guests also can enjoy the swimming pool, sports court and exercise facility available at every property.

“From an architectural standpoint, we have taken great care to preserve the feel and character that has helped our brand become so successful with consumers, while improving the design with updated products once planned for the Hilton Residential Suites,” said Jim Holthouser, senior vice president of brand management, Homewood Suites by Hilton.

Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels also will offer their signature daily complimentary breakfast buffet and weekday evening manager’s reception with complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Guests also can take advantage of the brand’s grocery shopping service by providing the hotel with their personal grocery lists during their stay and having those items picked up, delivered to their suite and added to their bill at cost.

Each two-room suite at a Homewood Suites hotel has a tastefully decorated living area and bedroom. You will find two televisions, spacious closets, a ceiling fan, an iron and ironing board and two telephones with data ports. The fully equipped kitchen features a well-lit dining table that easily doubles as a workspace. 

All Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels will be supported by the full power of Hilton’s worldwide marketing programs, worldwide sales force and customer delivery systems, including cross-selling through its centralized reservation services. The brand also will continue its strong 100% Satisfaction Guarantee program, which states that if guests are not completely satisfied, their night’s stay is free.

“More than one-third of industry room nights are generated each year on extended-stay trips, yet extended-stay hotels represent only 3.4 percent of total industry supply,” said Holthouser. “As a result of the supply versus demand gap, the upscale extended-stay market remains a highly opportunistic investment. Our reasons behind these changes make terrific sense when looking at our plans to aggressively grow this brand in 2000, through new expansion and same-store sales.”

“The addition of the Hilton name alone will aid awareness, generate trial and achieve additional ADR lift for our hotels,” said Sam J. Friedman, one of the largest owners and operators of Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels. Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels also will further broaden Hilton’s customer base, expand distribution in key markets, and solidify guest loyalty across all segments for the company.

Homewood Suites is a part of Hilton Hotels Corp., recognized internationally as a pre-eminent hospitality company. The company develops, owns, manages or franchises 1,700 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. Its portfolio includes many of the world’s best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Harrison Conference Centers, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Red Lion.

Hilton Hotels Corporation Communications
Kendra Walker, 310/205-4545
Melissa O’Brien, 901/374-6462
Also See: Hilton Acquires Promus for $4 Billion / Sept 1999 
Recent Hotel Development Milestones for Promus / June 1999

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