Embassy Suites Hotels(R) Unveils First Design Option Iii Prototype Hotel and Flying Spoons Restaurant

Landmark Opening in Mississippi's Capital City Becomes First Embassy Suites in State; Marks Celebration of Three Historic Brand Debuts

January 07, 2009 // Franchising.com // Memphis, TENN, – Embassy Suites Hotels today announced the highly anticipated opening of the brand's first Design Option III property, the 145-suite Embassy Suites Jackson - North/Ridgeland – the brand's first in Mississippi. Located in Ridgeland, Miss., an upscale community north of Jackson, the property also boasts the brand's first Flying Spoons, an innovative new restaurant concept that will only be available at Embassy Suites Hotels. The opening marks the brand's 198th hotel.

The contemporary upscale property was developed and is managed by Knoxville, Tenn.-based Kana Hotel Group, and is owned by Ridgeland Hotel Partners, LLC. The hotel employs approximately 50 team members from the Jackson area.

"With the inaugural Design Option III property opening as the first Embassy Suites in the Mississippi, and featuring the first Flying Spoons restaurant, we are finishing a remarkable year with three huge milestones for the brand," beamed Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. "Ridgeland is a growing area in central Mississippi, has been in need for some time for upscale lodging options for business and leisure travelers."

The Embassy Suites Jackson-North Ridgeland epitomizes the characteristics of the Design Option III prototype, a departure from the traditional, larger Embassy Suites. The hotel boasts the brand's signature atrium, except that the atrium is located on the front of the hotel, with the rooms-tower attached. The 3 ½-story atrium features check-in pods, rather than a traditional front desk, ample natural light, a water fall and a 1,000 gallon koi fish pond. The hotel's suites designs have a more residential feel and feature a side-by-side suite layout (versus the more traditional shotgun, front-to-back suites), which allows daylight into both the living room and bedroom. Other unique features of this layout include a spacious desk with an ergonomic chair and mobile furnishings so guests can create their own unique living space.

Embassy Suites launched the Design Option III prototype to the hotel industry at The Americas Lodging and Investment Summit (ALIS) conference in January 2006. The prototype offers developers the same benefits of a traditional Embassy Suites Hotel, including two-room suites, complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, manager's reception and signature atrium with a water element. However, the Design Option III prototype affords developers lower building costs, on less land, and with a scalable key count and flexible layout. Currently, roughly 75 percent of the brand's development pipeline is Design Option III hotels.

"Since the introduction of the new Design Option III prototype, Embassy Suites has seen a significant pipeline surge, going from under ten approvals a year to more than 30 approvals a year in 2007 and 2008, continued Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. Guests of the hotel will be the first to experience the hip casual food offerings of Flying Spoons. Part European-style café and part American coffeehouse, the restaurant features lighter fare such as fresh soups, salads and gourmet sandwiches, as well as more sophisticated dinner options like salmon, scallops and lobster enchiladas. The menu will also feature a rotating selection of pastries and desserts, along with specialty coffee drinks, teas and boutique soft drinks.

Flying Spoons will offer convenient hours of operation for guests – the restaurant is scheduled to be open from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m.

Located at 200 Township Place, off Interstate 55 just north of Steed Road, the Embassy Suites Hotel Jackson – North/Ridgeland is situated in The Township at Colony Park, an upscale, mixed-use development founded on the concepts of New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Design. The Township at Colony Park is a Kerioth Corporation Development and offers hotel guests an array of retail, fitness and restaurant options.

The City of Jackson is a hub for industry development in Mississippi, and the Embassy Suites Jackson -North/Ridgeland is a perfect option for business travelers, located close to IBM, Nissan, Merrill Lynch and the Mississippi Farm Bureau. Leisure travelers will appreciate the proximity of the hotel to the Mississippi Hall of Fame, Historic Downtown of Canton, Vicksburg and Military Park and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

"We are excited to open the first Embassy Suites in Mississippi and to be the first development company to open the cost-effective and design-driven Design Option III prototype and Flying Spoons exclusive to Embassy Suites," commented Alpesh Patel, president and CEO of Kana Hotel Group. Positioned in an upscale lifestyle center with numerous restaurants, a shopping center, spa and other amenities within walking distance makes the new Embassy Suites Jackson - North/Ridgeland appealing to business and leisure travelers alike. The property also boasts four meeting rooms with more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space, giving it a competitive advantage over other local hotels, which feature less meeting space.

The property features one or two-room suites – both offering a separate living area with a sofa bed and desk, private bedroom and bath, two 32-inch high definition LCD TVs, wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, refrigerator, microwave oven, and wetbar, and as with all Embassy Suites properties, offers complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, nightly Manager's Reception*, and an open-air atrium with a signature water feature. Additionally, the hotel offers guests the following on-site amenities: BusinessLink Business Center, indoor pool, and whirlpool and a Precor® fitness center.

About Embassy Suites Hotels

Founded in 1984, Embassy Suites Hotels defines the upscale, all-suite segment and today has 198 hotels, with an additional 70 in the pipeline. With spacious two-room suites, engaging team members and an inviting atrium environment, guests are allowed to put their feet up and feel right at home.

Embassy Suites Hotels is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, a leading global hospitality company with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries and territories, including 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®.

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