Hotel Indigo Opens in Albany, N.Y.

Conversion property marks second Hotel Indigo in New York

December 09, 2008 // Franchising.com // Atlanta - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announces that the Hotel Indigo Albany-Latham has opened. The hotel, located in the heart of the Wolf Road business district, is New York's second Hotel Indigo.

Minutes from Albany International Airport, the Hotel Indigo Albany-Latham provides convenient access to downtown Albany, the capital of New York. Several corporate offices are within close proximity, including GE, Albany Molecular Research and Bechtel. Nearby attractions include the New York State Museum, Times Union Center, Joe Bruno Stadium, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and upscale retail and restaurants. No visit is complete without a trip to Saratoga Springs, just minutes from the hotel.

"We're pleased to bring the second Hotel Indigo to the state of New York, and we're committed to growing this exciting brand," said Jim Anhut, senior vice president, Franchise Development, the Americas, IHG. "In addition to our solid portfolio here in the Americas, we've just opened our first property in Europe, and we've got a strong pipeline ahead of us."

The 107-room hotel underwent a $4 million total renovation before becoming the Hotel Indigo. Taking inspiration from the rich natural beauty of the upstate New York landscape, certified interior designer Valerie DeLaCruz of DeLaCruz Enterprises LLC used a palette of deep blues, shades of apple green, chocolate, warm golds and cherry woods to create a dramatic departure from the hotel's original décor. Injecting fun surprises such as a custom glass mosaic of the nautilus shell in the elevator lobby floor, a fireplace clothed in natural textured slate and contemporary stainless accents, DeLaCruz was also conscious of the owner's effort to use sustainable and eco-friendly materials. The result is a fun, eclectic mix of textures, oversized nature elements and a warm inviting atmosphere for guests.

The Hotel Indigo features signature design elements including oversized lobby chairs, which create a personal work or dining space within the public areas of the hotel; cozy, airy and inviting guestrooms with plush bedding, hardwood-style flooring and spa-inspired showers; and a "Phi"tness Studio with cardio equipment and free weights. The hotel also offers the Blu Stone Bistro, an on-site casual gourmet restaurant; a 24-hour business center; nearly 1,200 square feet of meeting space for business functions or special events; and wireless high-speed Internet access throughout the hotel.

Created by owners Joe Scaring and Kenny Raymond, Blu Stone Bistro is immersed in seasonal menus from Chef Oscar Ventierta. Ventierta's recipes are dripping with influences from American fusion cooking that is both contemporary and eclectic while simply and honestly prepared. A 40' bar awaits, complete with its own menu, as well as two separate dining rooms accommodating up to 125 people. The restaurant will open in January of next year.

Boutique hotels, known for their intimate, luxurious environments in addition to personalized accommodations and services, have gained increasing popularity throughout North America. Hotel Indigo is known as the industry's first branded boutique hotel, artfully combining the conveniences and consistencies of a brand hotel with the design cache and service personality of a boutique at an attractive price. The soul of the brand's retail-inspired concept is renewal - thoughtful changes that are made throughout the year to keep the hotel fresh, similar to the way retailers change their window displays. The renewal concept provides even the most frequent guest a unique experience with every stay. The hotel features renewable elements such as vivid nature-inspired murals, area rugs, plush duvets and slip covers that will change periodically. Public spaces will be transformed seasonally through changing artwork, music, flora and murals.

The five-story property is owned and managed by Shaker Hills Hospitality, under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group.

"We are both pleased and thrilled to be part of the Hotel Indigo brand," said Joe Scaring, managing owner. "This truly is a new concept in hospitality, one that revitalizes our guests every time they return, through thoughtful amenities and warm designs that announce Hotel Indigo's core concept of renewal. When you add Starbucks and the Blu Stone Bistro, both tucked inside, you have found a complete hospitality experience."

The Hotel Indigo brand is quickly expanding throughout North America, with 21 locations open and more than 60 under development, either in the pipeline or in final negotiation. The first Hotel Indigo opened in Atlanta in October 2004, followed by Hotel Indigo Chicago Gold Coast; Chicago Schaumburg North; Houston at the Galleria; Hotel Indigo Dallas; Ottawa Downtown City Centre, Canada; Hotel Indigo Scottsdale, Ariz.; Hotel Indigo Sarasota, Fla; Hotel Indigo Buffalo-Amherst, N.Y.; Hotel Indigo Nashville West End; Hotel Indigo Mérida Hacienda Misné, Mexico; Hotel Indigo Boston-Newton Riverside; Hotel Indigo Columbus Downtown, Ind.; Hotel Indigo Fishers-Indy's Uptown; Hotel Indigo Chicago-Vernon Hills; Hotel Indigo Ontario Rancho Cucamonga; Hotel Indigo Skyview Rahway, N.J.; Hotel Indigo Basking Ridge, N.J.; Hotel Indigo Miami Dadeland; Hotel Indigo Albany-Latham, N.Y.; and Hotel Indigo London-Paddington. Future sites of Hotel Indigo hotels include Miami, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; San Antonio, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and New York, N.Y.

Hotel Indigo participates in IHG's guest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards. The industry's first and largest guest loyalty program has 40 million members. Priority Club Rewards membership is free and guests can enroll by logging on at priorityclub.com, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of this hotel or any of IHG's more than 4,100 hotels worldwide.

About Hotel Indigo

The newest member of the IHG family, Hotel Indigo is the industry's first branded boutique hotel experience. It is uniquely designed to appeal to guests who desire affordable luxury, personal service and an alternative to traditional hotels without sacrificing any of the businesses amenities they have come to expect. Renewal is the soul of Hotel Indigo's retail-inspired design concept - thoughtful changes that are made throughout the year to keep the hotel fresh. Guestrooms feature signature murals, area rugs, fluffy duvets and slipcovers that will change periodically, while public spaces will be transformed seasonally through changing aromas, music, artwork, murals and directional signage. From relaxed café dining to high-style rooms - Hotel Indigo creates an intriguing, warm and inviting environment for guests.

Notes to Editors:

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,100 hotels and more than 600,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 40 million members worldwide.

IHG has more than 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 200,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

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