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A Sneak Peek Inside IHG's New Healthy Hotel Brand, Even Hotels

March 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM | by | ()

We teased you a little bit yesterday with some scoop on the new, health-oriented Even Hotels from InterContinental Hotel Group (namely that there will be free WiFi in the rooms and burgers and wine downstairs). So today, let's dig a little deeper. You can do it, just five more! Push! Think of the end result! Don't give up! You can do it! Er, sorry, we got a little carried away with the fitness theme here.

Our biggest question for IHG's Christian Hempell, vice president of new brand development, was can a regular traveler feel comfortable at an Even Hotel? You know, not one of the 17 million healthy-minded main stream travelers that IHG estimates are out there?

Hempell admitted that "the brand is not for everyone. It's for folks who like healthier travel." Yet, he said that doesn't mean the Even brand is "health-obsessed." Instead, Even will be offering different options for people so they choose their own specific formula for a healthy balance. For some, Hempell said, that might mean working out so that they can enjoy a burger and wine downstairs (albeit healthier versions of such revered hotel comfort foods)

For others, it could just mean eating right and at Even, guests will have access to healthier foods and snacks. Even will even offer more vegetarian and vegan fare in their restaurants.

But regardless of how you choose to stay balanced, up in the guestrooms at an Even Hotel you can find pretty much all the tools you need to stay in shape from the in-room exercise equipment like hand weights, yoga mats and weight benches to the peppy slogans in the bathroom and over the headboard that talk about the importance of good sleep and a good soak.

Guestrooms will also take on a very modern look with all-white decor, sparse furniture (other than the workout equipment), some interesting wall art and mounted flat-screen TVs. In these shots above, it actually looks like a buffer version of Holiday Inn, no?

Aside from the perk of having free WiFi, Hempell said there will be easy access to power so that guests don't have to stretch to find the outlets. (Hmmm...but couldn't stretching be part of the in-room workout?)

As for the staff at Even, we were worried that the place would be full of peppy, motivational personal trainer-like types but Hempell said that the employees most likely won't have a personal trainer or gym fitness background but rather, they will share with guests their own story on healthy balance as a way to keep guests motivated and on track.

Lastly, we wanted to know about the name Even. How did they come up with that? Hempell said it was a lot of fun brainstorming for the name but most importantly, Even "ticked all the boxes." It's simple and catchy and there's a lot of wordplay that can be done. Also, this being a business and all, they can register it around the world.

But the concept of Even might be best represented by its logo which Hempell told us represents the four pillars of a holistic, healthy life-style--eating right, exercising, working and resting. And as you can see, the pillars in the logo aren't quite evenly lined up which Hempell said was by design to represent how it is a challenge to stay balanced all the time.

So now that we've got you fired up to stay and work out at an Even Hotel, you're probably wondering what it's gonna cost. Hempell kept saying Even would be at a "premium above Holiday Inn" but was reluctant to use specific rates because they will vary from city to city.

But we're guessing if your paying $100 a night for Holiday Inn, you might pay closer to $200 a night for Even, especially since Even will be opening in major markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and DC.

We've still got a ways to wait for an Even Hotel to open. IHG said the first location would be announced soon with an opening date of early 2013. So that gives us about a year to actually start working on a workout plan.

What do you think of Even Hotels? Let us know in comments below!

Archived Comments:

Not a Comfy Chair in Sight!

I'm all for healthy living, but this hotel looks like it was designed by the cleaners rather than the guests. Perhaps I say how they would like it to be for easy cleaning.

Everything looks straight lined and square - it might inspire motivation in some, but after a good workout, then I would like to see a comfortable chair.

Am I just being old fashioned?