The future is looking bright for Choice Hotels Europe and its franchisees as they embark upon their most ambitious refurbishment and development programme yet. The group, which operates four hotel brands; Comfort, Quality, Sleep Inn and Clarion throughout Europe, is investing more than £35 million ($61million) in a range of exciting projects that will develop and add value to all four brands.
The £35 million will be invested to improve the existing properties in line with customer expectations. Highlights include:
—Upgrading bedrooms and bathrooms
—Adding air conditioning to more bedrooms
—Remodelling public areas, creating more relaxed dining and lounge areas
Upgrading meetings facilities and introducing Meetings Focus to more hotels
Upgrading leisure and fitness facilities
Significant investment is also committed to developing and opening new Sleep Inn hotels.
Throughout 2006 our Comfort Hotels will adopt a new image and many of them will also be carrying out detailed refurbishment plans.
Case study: In London, the Comfort Inn Kensington is nearing the final phase of a total refurbishment programme. This year the public areas and meeting facilities will also be upgraded to complete the process.
There is considerable activity in the mid market Quality branded hotels. Projects include upgrading of bedrooms with WIFI internet access, many with air conditioning. Public areas including many bars and restaurants, will be remodelled to meet the needs of the modern business client.
Case study: The Quality Hotel St Albans is completing its multi million pound refurbishment programme with the addition of a luxurious new fitness club. No part of the hotel has been left untouched with meeting rooms, lounge, bar, restaurant and bedrooms all receiving a new look.
The Sleep Inn brand is raising the standard for the Premium limited service market in the UK. The Sleep Inn Derby opened in January 2006 following on from the success of Sleep Inn Tewkesbury; these two hotels are now the models on which the brand will be developed in the future.
Sleep Inn hotels can also be found in Darlington, Baldock, Peterborough and Cambridge. The Sleep Inn Shrewsbury will open in August of this year and Birmingham Star City in October. Plans include 60 Sleep Inn hotels within 5 years.
Choice Hotels Europe launched this modern conference and meetings product in 2005 after extensive research. The focus is on flexibility, simplicity, value and service.
In 2006 Meetings Focus facilities will open in the New Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden and Quality hotels in Brighton, Glasgow, Birmingham, Hull and Hatfield.
Chief Executive Officer, David Cook, commented, “All of our development plans are based on sound, customer focused research and this is enabling us to drive our reputation. With new funds to support our ambitious ideas I think we can go along way to keeping our customers and staff really happy.”