One of the most prestigious cities in the world is home to the 300th Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotel which opened its doors today in London in the prominent Kensington neighborhood. This 82-room hotel marks a significant milestone of the rapidly expanding international mid-tier lodging chain which is part of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Carlson Hospitality Worldwide.
Paul Kirwin, president of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, takes great pride in the brand and its growth internationally. “Our first hotel opened in Burnsville, Minn., and was a brand new concept that Carlson started from the ground up. We have opened 225 hotels over the past five years and it has been very exciting to see our growth accelerate around the world while continuing to satisfy our partners and guests,” said Kirwin. “We set a record of 54 hotel openings in 2001 and have reached our 10th consecutive year of receiving a 98 percent guest satisfaction rating, one of the highest in the industry. These accomplishments come from being very consistent with the quality of our hotels and the dedication and commitment we have to continuing to expand successfully.”
In addition to Kensington, Country Inns & Suites has one another hotel in London in the Bloomsbury area and has plans for four more properties to be developed in central London over the next four years.
Currently, the brand has a total of 30 hotels internationally with the remaining 270 in the United States. Aside from locations in England and the U.S., other countries that have Country Inns & Suites hotels include Germany, Austria, India, Australia, Panama, Indonesia and Canada. Currently, Country Inns & Suites has hotel developments underway in France, Mexico, and Denmark, as well as North America. The brand plans to have a total of 500 properties worldwide by the end of 2005.
Over the past several years, the brand`s enhanced focus has been to grow by investment and marked that strategy late last year with the groundbreaking of a company-owned hotel at Newark International airport in Elizabeth, N.J. “Newark represents a high-profile location that will allow us to showcase our product to a sizeable new audience,” added Kirwin. Also, the brand will open a company-owned hotel later this year in another impressive locale at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
Country Inns & Suites locations feature traditional architecture and sophisticated residential interior design with hardwood flooring and decorative ceiling borders. Each hotel welcomes guests with traditional furnishings that blend rich woods and elegant floral-patterned fabrics. The rooms offer many amenities often found at higher-priced hotels such as complimentary breakfast, in-room coffee maker, in-room iron and ironing board, and weekday morning newspaper. Country Inns & Suites is known for its consistently high quality accommodations and personal, warm hospitality.
As a way to thank guests for their loyalty to the brand, Country Inns & Suites launched an in-house library program at its North American hotels called Book It And Return which lends free books to guests based on the assurance they will return the book on their next visit. For every book returned to a Country Inns & Suites hotel, the company will make a $5.00 donation to Laubach Literacy, the world`s oldest and largest nonprofit educational literacy organization. New titles are introduced to the hotels` libraries each quarter.