eSuites hotel brand unveiled

Officials have offered the first
look at a new hotel brand that fuses lifestyle design and amenities with
high-tech infrastructure and services, one designed specifically to address
the unique lodging preferences of the next generation of travelers. Called eSuites Hotels(TM), the upscale boutique concept was created by Jerry
Ellenburg, an outsider to the hotel industry who conceived the brand out of
his own frustration of not finding a hotel that met his needs.
  The first four hotels are expected to break ground in Tampa and
Jacksonville, Fla., Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Phoenix, Ariz. The company
will target markets that have no fewer than 5,000 rooms within the
immediate area, with the new hotel accounting for approximately 4 percent
of the room count.
  The company already is negotiating for additional sites for a second
development round with a goal of building up to 300 hotels. eSuites Hotels
has no plans to franchise the brand in its initial stages.
  eSuites Hotels will develop upscale, boutique hotels with an average
daily room rate between $140 and $160. “Because of our superior product and
service, we intend to attract guests from both the limited and full-serve
segments,” Ellenburg, chairman of eSuites, said. “In both cases, we’ll
offer a much better product at a far more attractive price.”

  “I began this process seven years ago, originally wanting to franchise
and build hotels,” Ellenburg noted. “I looked at virtually every concept,
including the most recently introduced brands, and couldn’t find a concept
that encompassed all the elements that today’s hotel guest wanted. My
original sticking point was technology. The more I looked at existing
hotels, the more frustrated I got. I couldn’t find a concept that offered
cutting-edge technology; high quality dining; a great bar atmosphere to
enjoy hand-crafted wines and beers; a fitness center that had sufficient
size and equipment, as well as personal training options; a personal luxury
car for transportation, rather than a van; leading edge, but timeless
interior and exterior design; service levels that made me feel special
without smothering me; and a price that gave me great value for a high
quality lodging experience. Most hotels offered only certain of those
items, but none came close to offering them all in one package, and
certainly not at the price-points that we will utilize.
  “eSuites Hotels began as a hobby, something to do while wiling away my
time waiting in airports,” he said. “I would work up a wish list on the
back of a cocktail napkin. After a while, I had a whole book of napkins,
and then it hit me. If I felt this way about hotels, what about the next
generation of hotel guests, who are more tech-savvy and tired of the same
hotel offerings? Working out the specifics soon became a passion. It took
seven years to fine-tune the final vision, but it was worth every minute.”
  The final step toward achieving the vision occurred in May when the
company completed a $127 million financing to build the first four hotels.
To carry out the vision, Ellenburg sought out industry veteran Sam
Winterbottom, former senior executive with Starwood and with Carlson
Hotels, to be president and chief executive officer, and Bryan Langton,
former chairman, president and CEO of Holiday Inns, Inc. Worldwide, as
vice-chairman. “After 30 years of business travel, I believe I know what
the public wants in a hotel, but I’m smart enough to realize that I don’t
have the expertise to run one,” Ellenburg added. “I sought out the best in
the industry and was fortunate to attract two of its most respected
  Every aspect of the hotel has been designed with a fresh,
outside-the-industry view that was backed by solid market research. “We
tested our ideas extensively before we committed this kind of capital,”
Ellenburg noted.
  All four of the properties will be eight-story, 224-suite prototype
configurations made from tunnel-form concrete construction, resulting in
all-concrete walls and floors, which in turn will provide maximum
sound-proofing. Each eSuites Hotel will contain 11 high-tech conference
rooms and a state-of-the-art business center featuring both PC’s and Mac’s,
along with scanner-copiers, printers and faxes, enabling the guests to
conduct business as if they were in their own offices.
  Three types of suites will be offered, with a typical 468-square-foot
guest space that features two rooms, nine-foot ceilings, a
chiropractic-quality bed, and a second bed in the living room/office area
for multiple occupancy. A large custom-built workstation with built-in
network ports, analog modem jacks and multiple power outlets will
comfortably accommodate computers and peripherals. Additionally, the
workstation will include a desktop computer which will synch up to
Blackberrys, iPods and other portable equipment. The spacious bathroom will
feature a three- by six-foot walk-in shower, a glass-top vanity with
abundant storage, and extensive lighting.
  The sportSuite will offer a professional quality exercise cycle or
elliptical trainer. The spaSuite features a whirlpool-style tub/spa inside
the master bathroom. All rooms will have an Inn-room(TM) theater with two
high definition televisions and a surround-sound system with full iPod