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Holiday Inn Express® unveils its ‘Next generation’ guest experience for Europe

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today unveils its ‘next generation’ guest experience for its Holiday Inn Express® brand in Europe. Based wholly on guest insight, Holiday Inn Express’s next generation guest experience is being developed with industry-leading experts to meet the changing needs of today’s ‘Smart Traveller’.

n order to stay ahead of guests’ expectations, the hotel lobby, dining area and guest rooms are being redesigned, the brand’s service delivery completely revamped, a new food and beverage concept tested. Focusing on offering the most innovative and efficient technological solutions at every stage, the latest smart technology is also being piloted.

Some of the key features of the next generation guest experience will be:
• The Guest room:
• Rooms are fitted with Smart TVs that enable guests to stream their own media from a personal device or log in to apps such as Netflix using the hotel’s Wi-Fi that’s included in the room price.
• The room also features a flexible work/rest corner where the traditional desk has been removed and replaced with a comfortable chair and table which can be moved around the room which has multiple usb ports to charge devices.
• A larger, cosier, bed with a padded noise-reducing headboard taking inspiration from a business class aeroplane seat takes centre stage. The bed is dressed with four pillows providing guests with two choices of pillows (two soft and two firm).
• Mobile check in: IHG Rewards Club members are able to check in through the IHG App or online prior to arrival. When they arrive at the hotel, guests are always shown their room location and its proximity to the stairs, elevators and emergency exits via tablet screens. Where possible, the guest is offered a choice of room.
• The Express Café & Bar: Is an integrated lobby and food and beverage experience in Holiday Inn Express. The modern continental style café/ bar is an inviting ‘pit-stop’ for guests offering simple, honest food done brilliantly. Guests can choose to eat the localised Express Start™ breakfast in the Express Café & Bar or have it ‘to go’ by grabbing a take away bag. The Express Café & Bar offers all day food options which better fit guests’ need for fast and tasty food, on the go.

The ‘Smart Traveller’ is looking for a short stay hotel experience that is efficient and uncomplicated. They appreciate functional and thoughtful design but also see friendly and welcoming service as an important part of their stay. Working with IDEO (a global design and innovation consultancy), and Forpeople (an environments design agency), the Holiday Inn Express ‘next generation’ guest experience balances home comforts with smart design features to provide guests with an even better place to sleep, work and relax when they are on the move.

Mike Greenup, Vice President, Brand Management, Holiday Inn Brand Family, Europe, IHG said: “A hotel room is no longer just a place to sleep and our approach to technology and service starts with understanding our guests and their needs across the entire guest journey. This investment in guest insight and innovation is enabling us to stay ahead of the game.”

Chris Grantham, Brand Experience Portfolio Director for IDEO London said: “From the outset we were excited by IHG’s ambition to create a hotel experience that was entirely based on guest insight. We put the Smart Traveller at the centre of the innovation process to learn about their digital, space service and food preferences - ultimately developing a signature ‘smart’ travel experience that is distinctive and valuable to travellers.”

Michael Tropper, Creative Director at Forpeople said: "We're delighted to be collaborating with IHG and IDEO on this project, bringing guest insight for smart travel to life. We drew from our experience working in the airline, furniture and technology industries and applied some really fresh out of the box thinking to form a contemporary hotel design. The reveal of this exciting new guest experience is the culmination of an intense and thorough process of design and refinement.”

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