IHG Launches New All-Suites Brand, Atwell Suites

United Kingdom, Denham. June 18, 2019

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) today revealed its new all-suites brand, Atwell Suites™, to thousands of IHG owners and operators at its Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. The new upper-midscale hotel brand will target an estimated $18 billion industry segment with strong guest and owner demand.

The Atwell Suites brand builds on IHG's heritage of pioneering new growth opportunities for hotel owners and operators that better serve travelers. Through this strategy, IHG has successfully cultivated a dynamic portfolio of unique midscale and upper-midscale brands across the mainstream category including Holiday Inn Express®, one of the industry's fastest-growing brands catering to shorter, smarter stays; avidTM hotels; and best-in-class extended stay brands Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, catering to stays of a week or more.

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented: "The Atwell Suites brand is tailor-made to meet the significant demand in the upper-midscale segment for a new all-suites brand. Our newest offer gives owners and guests something different to what's out there today - a stylish suite with the flex for guests to work, socialise or explore over a four-to-six-night stay. As we focus on accelerating our growth, the brand will further extend our leading position in the mainstream space."

As IHG developed its newest hotel brand, research highlighted that many guests are looking for a memorable experience as well as a differentiated, right-sized set of amenities and services falling between those offered by traditional extended stay and traditional select service hotels. This travel trend also meets the desire of IHG owners for a new concept to introduce in local markets.

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG, commented: "IHG continues to be an industry leader in purposeful and effective hotel brand innovation that anticipates the needs of the market, owners and guests - ultimately delivering long-term value and high guest satisfaction. The Atwell Suites brand is the latest example of how we identify a new growth opportunity from deep traveler insights and collaborate with our owners to develop a new brand customized to better serve guests. This highly anticipated new offering is a strong follow up to the successful rollout of avid hotels, the fastest brand launch in our history."

Guests at Atwell Suites properties are not simply booking a room, but seeking opportunities to discover new things, learn and grow as they travel - perhaps even extending their stay a few days to explore a destination. With this in mind, IHG designed a hotel for the "Opportunity Seeker," optimized for a longer stay of four to six nights, integrating flexibility throughout the property with spaces and programs that encourage social interaction and help foster a spirit of kinship among guests.

The Atwell Suites brand is a strong complement to IHG's established brands, with an average daily rate within the upper-midscale price point. The brand will be known for making guest stays more comfortable and memorable through thoughtfully designed and flexible spaces that enable easier transition between work and rest.

Initial features of the Atwell Suites brand include:

All-studio suites: Atwell Suites properties will offer all-studio suites which include distinct zones for living and sleeping; a kitchenette area with counter-height refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker and sink; a work area with a high-top desk solution; a pullout sofa; an oversized vanity in the bathroom; and a closet that can be easily accessed from both the guestroom and the bathroom.

Spaces to connect and collaborate: Guests will be able to easily move from their rooms to public spaces in order to relax, work, collaborate and create connections in whatever way works best for them. The Atwell Suites brand's design allows guests to create their own environment with more flexible meeting spaces - including a meeting room integrated into the lobby, outdoor space, huddle areas and public/private working spaces.

"Golden Hours" F&B: Atwell Suites properties will offer F&B options for when the sun is coming up and going down. All hotels will include a complimentary hot breakfast that will feature two to three signature hot items, alongside cold, grab-and-go options and premium coffee. Additionally, guests may enjoy a bar in the lobby at the end of the day that will serve small plates paired with a drink menu.

Leading technology: Atwell Suites properties will include IHG's industry-leading in-hotel Wi-Fi, IHG® Connect. The brand will also offer IHG® Studio, a seamless direct casting of entertainment from guests' smart phones and personal devices to 55" TVs in each room. Self check-in will be offered at tablets in close proximity to the front desk/bar area.

Atwell Suites properties will be efficient to build, operate and maintain - consistent with the company's commitment to ensuring a positive owner experience for all of its brands. IHG expects the Atwell Suites brand to be franchise-ready in the fall of 2019 with the first hotels beginning construction in 2020 and opening in 2021. Initial development will be focused in the U.S. market and the brand will be new-build led following a prototypical design.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.