Still on Holiday Inn, it’s interesting to see the changes they’re making to their hotel lobby. Of all the public area, the lobby is the most visible, and also the one area most impacted by changing consumer behavior. In the era of internet social media where we are constantly connected and connecting with others – be it social or for business – the lobby has taken on a new meaning. That of a Communal Area – one big open space that at once communicates values that are democratic, transparent, open, egalitarian. A space with no boundaries or distinction between waiting area, dining, and mingling, where the lobby, restaurant/dining area, lounge, and business center functions are fused. Marriott Hotels, in their major rebranding efforts announced recently, aptly calls this The Great Room.
Here’s Holiday Inn‘s take on it.
This is their behind-the-scenes video demonstrating how Holiday Inn built and tested out their Open Lobby Concept using foam core boards at a warehouse in Boston!
And this is how The Open Lobby Concept looks like when applied in real life at Holiday Inn London Brentford Lock.
The Holiday Inn open lobby concept is a revolutionary approach and in-hotel experience for guests, which has transformed the traditional hotel lobby format by combining the front desk, lobby, restaurant, bar, lounge area and business centre into one open, cohesive space, while refreshing the design to give it a more contemporary feel. The concept has been established by understanding how people use space at home in order to give guests options whether they’re looking to eat, relax, work, or have fun in one integrated space.
The Holiday Inn open lobby concept complements findings from a new travel insights report1 by IHG which reveals the emergence of a new breed of business travellers who are not constrained by traditional office working routines and don’t necessarily work the typical 9-5 hours. They prefer creative coffee-house-style environments where they can be inspired by meeting other travellers while they work on their own laptops and smart phones. The open lobby concept meets these needs as guests are increasingly looking to work and hold quick, informal meetings. The new concept also offers a brand new restaurant and bar for local residents to enjoy great food and the relaxed atmosphere.
The open lobby concept at the Holiday Inn — Brentford Lock sees a new approach to the traditional business centre by giving guests access to an E-Bar with Apple iMac computers, free Wi-Fi and power outlets available in every area. Guests can also order from the all-day dining menu or have a drink in the bar with friends and colleagues. In addition to the ample informal meeting space and comfortable and flexible seating options, the 24/7 To Go Café, proudly serving Starbucks coffee has been designed to give guests the flexibility to eat in, eat out or enjoy take-away items in their rooms.
Tom Rowntree, Vice President Brand Management & Quality Europe at IHG said: “The Holiday Inn open lobby concept is a new offering which combines the various guest experiences in a refreshing way. It is a casual, unpretentious space designed to make everyone feel welcome whether travelling alone or with a group, with kids or with colleagues and as relaxing and having fun are key to the Holiday Inn brand, with its gaming and relaxation areas, the open lobby concept stands out compared to more business-focused hotels. It also allows guests to do all the work they need to do, but without ever looking or feeling like a business hotel.”
The open lobby concept at Holiday Inn London — Brentford Lock is the first in Europe after a transformation in November 2012 and follows the successful trial of eight Holiday Inn hotels in the US. The 134 room hotel is located close to Heathrow and Central London right on the Grand Union Canal lock. The hotel is also equipped with four fully air conditioned meeting rooms catering from eight boardroom style to 700 theatre style.