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Hotel Toiletries / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel Bathrooms / InterContinental Hotel Group / → All Tags
There’s just something about those little (and sometimes big!) bottles of shampoo, shower gels and lotions that we adore and can take back home without feeling guilty. Lately, some hotels are getting even fancier with their offerings (no more boring Aveda!) by partnering with interesting boutique brands.
The latest to tickle our fancy is InterContinental Hotels' new Agraria line. It’s actually one of the oldest and largest American luxury home fragrance company, which makes us smile that the company appreciates a boutique classic. The products made their way into rooms this month and will be in all 169 properties by January 2013.
Lemon verbena, Agraria’s number one scent, has been chosen for the hotels. The brand, which was born in San Francisco in the ‘70s, uses natural ingredients, plus its packaging uses recycled paper and is 100% biodegradable.
Bonus: If you’re a InterContinental VIP guest, you’ll get a special “Sweet Dreams” Agraria evening turndown service with a gift of either homemade lemon verbena cookies to a take-home lemon verbena TasselAire, unique perfumed tassels that can be used as room fresheners.
Even Hotels / Hotel Fitness / Christian Hempell / InterContinental Hotels / InterContinental Hotel Group / Hotel News / → All Tags
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.
The other day the hotel world was abuzz with news of InterContinental Hotel Group's newest hotel brand, Even Hotels, designed for the "healthy-minded mainstream traveler."
We got the chance to speak with IHG's Christian Hempell, vice president of new business development and delivery, and he gave us a ton more insight into what Even is about and what it will be offering to guests.
We'll have the full story on that tomorrow but we wanted you to know upfront that Even Hotels will have even offer guests free WiFi. Woot. And we're guessing you can probably access the free internet while you're on the treadmill too since Even is all about healthy living.
As for the hotel guests who aren't crazy about working out while traveling (or at all), Hempell said there are options for everyone. And if you were worried the food at Even Hotel would be wheatgrass juice and alfafa sprouts, Hempell let us know there will be burgers and wine available downstairs, just healthier kinds.
Stayed tuned for our full interview with Hempell on Even Hotels, coming tomorrow!
Even Hotels / IHG Hotels / InterContinental Hotel Group / Hotel Fitness / Hotel News / Hotel Industry News / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
The mid-market brand is aimed at "travelers who want guest rooms with space to exercise and amenities such as hypoallergenic linens and healthier food options." Even Hotels will feature in-room fitness equipment, workout tips from the staff, LED dimmers in the guest room, natural lighting, coat racks that double as pull-up bars and oddly enough, anti-bacterial wipes. We guess even those with OCD can stay at Even Hotels.
The Wall Street Journal has even (heh) more scoop on the fitness-oriented hotel room amenities like exercise mats and benches at the foot of the bed that double as workout benches. The fitness centers on-site at the hotel will be right next to the lobby and will be three to four times bigger than most hotel fitness centers. The cafe menu will also feature health-conscious options on their menu.
It sounds good but boy, you REALLY have to be dedicated to your workout routine to stay in a hotel that is pretty much all about working out. Can you imagine staying here on your "cheat day"? You will probably want to check-out fast. And forget about walking into the lobby with a Mickey D's bag in your hand.
The Forbidden City, Beijing
A new year and a new hotel brand is coming to the masses! Well, the masses of one particular country, that is. InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is working on rolling out a new hotel brand but this one will only be found in China.
News reports today say IHG will launch the upscale brand in the country within the next six months and will eventually expand the brand across Asia Pacific. And it apparently doesn't matter that IHG already has 160 hotels in China with 140 more in the works (like the Hotel Indigo Hong Kong.) Instead, IHG is placing their bets on the idea that the Chinese want a domestically-grown brand to call their own. (Even though, technically, the IHG corporate HQ is based in London.)
Holiday Inn Social Hubs / Holiday Inns / Sneak Peek / Hotel News / Photogallery / InterContinental Hotel Group / → All Tags
Last October, Holiday Inn announced their new Social Hub concept for all their lobbies which they followed up on in April with some renderings of the spaces as well as a food taste test. (See all the yummy goodness contributor JetsetCD got to taste right here.)
Currently, the Social Hub can only be found at The Holiday Inn Gwinnett City in Atlanta but yesterday at the InterContinental Hotel Group's Annual Investors and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, we got to see what the HUB (capitalized like that) will look like in person.
Crowne Plaza Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Industry News / InterContinental Hotel Group / → All Tags
Crowne Plaza Birmingham, UK
Have you stayed in a Crowne Plaza Hotel lately? Yeah, neither have we. But this bit of news from InterContinental Hotel Group's Annual Investors & Leadership Conference today has us thinking a CP could be in our very near future.
IHG has announced that Crowne Plaza is will undergo a three-phase repositioning strategy, starting with a new brand identity and a modern look and feel for its U.S. properties (Crowne Plaza is way savvier abroad.)
This first phase, also known as the "Freshen Up", will also expand the brand's Sleep Advantage program which offers guests rooms in designated Quiet Zones and lots of pillows to get comfy with. As we type, Crowne Plazas are already getting freshened up and the makeover should last through 2012.
A few months ago, we posed the question--Have you ever booked a hotel room using a mobile app? And not many of you answered, save for an old "friend" from China, Spammy. We even tried to get Travelocity to cough up their mobile booking numbers but no dice.
But today, with the announcement of InterContinental Hotel Group's iPhone apps for each of its seven hotel brands, we learn that IHG is making $10 million in monthly booking revenue from mobile bookings alone (previously, IHG just had a Priority Club Rewards app for both Android and iPhone.) IHG also reports that 65 percent of consumers who download IHG’s mobile apps become guests the same night or within 24 hours.
So to answer our question--yes, you are booking reservations through mobile apps.
Photo Gallery / Holiday Inns / Holiday Inn Social Hubs / Holiday Inn 2.0 / InterContinental Hotel Group / IHG Hotels / Hotel WiFi / → All Tags
The days of Holiday Inns with generic lobbies, business centers packed with fax machines and only regular or decaf coffee with breakfast are almost over. Get ready for Holiday Inns with cappuccino machines, an "e-desk," and a lobby that's more like a living area complete with gaming zone; it's called the "Social Hub," another humongous advance by Holiday Inn after their $1 billion rebranding.
There's a lot of information and details to discuss with regard to the new "Social Hub," but what you really need to know is that you'll be able to experience all of the new stuff as early as June, when the Atlanta area's Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center launches it for real. A second, yet-to-be named property will also get a social hub later this year but the roll-out plan for the rest of Holiday Inns worldwide is still being fleshed out.
So what's exactly in a "Social Hub" aside from good eats? Let's see...
iPad Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Amenities / InterContinental Hotels / InterContinental Hotel Group / Hotel News / → All Tags
It's iPad 2 day, in case you haven't figured this out already by passing mammoth lines at Apple stores on your way to work. Today is the day that the iPad 2 is available to purchase in store or order for home delivery online, and one of the first biters is a big one. InterContinental Hotels has bought up enough iPad 2s to outfit the concierges with them at 10 of their hotels, as soon as those babies arrive in the mail.
InterContinental is the first global brand to embrace the iPad 2, and the lucky concierges are at: InterContinental New York Barclay, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, InterContinental London Park Lane, InterContinental Hong Kong, InterContinental San Francisco, InterContinental Houston, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, InterContinental Shanghai Expo, ANA InterContinental Tokyo and the InterContinental Bali Resort. These properties will use the hot gadgets to dispense destination advice and "insider" travel tips, but the addition of cameras to the iPad 2 add a whole new option.
How FaceTime comes into the equation...
Hotel News / Viva Vegas / InterContinental Hotel Group / IHG Hotels / Loyalty Program News / → All Tags
· Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo, has entered into a 10-year agreement with IHG.
· The Venetian and Palazzo will be bookable on IHG websites and guests can earn/use points through IHG's Priority Club Rewards.
· Hotel industry reporter Adam Kirby reports there will be a special check-in for Priority Club members, but otherwise on-property signage will be minimal.
There's no word on the date that this partnership goes into effect but LV Sands chairman, Sheldon Adelson, said it would be in the "very near future."
We'll keep you updated on exactly when you can start to use the Priority Club perks here but for now, we're rather excited about this partnership as the real clincher here is the ability to utilize the Priority Club.
If you head to the IHG Google Earth page you can download their file and pop it into Google Earth and suddenly the globe is populated with IHG brand hotels.
Well, not entirely populated--you can easily see the concentration of hotels across North America and Western Europe--but you get the idea. Little green Hs pop up for Holiday Inns and the rest of their logos scatter in between them, until of course you zoom in and start seeing hotels at street level. It's all linked in to their booking system and is technologically pretty clever, we think.
But. (Always a but). Their idea is that you'll actually look for a hotel by Google Earth-ing your way around. We love seeing the logos pop up all over the place but we're not sure if we'd use this as a hotel research method. Maybe once we'd found a hotel in the right city we could check it out here to see what's nearby ... or maybe we're just not geeky enough. Yet.