First Holiday Inn Express in Canada's capital opens near airport

February 13, 2009 // Franchising.com // Ottawa, Ontario - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, announced today that Ottawa's first Holiday Inn Express® hotel has opened near the Ottawa International Airport. The new-build property is the tenth Holiday Inn Express hotel in Canada to showcase the brand's new sign, which is the seal of approval that this hotel exemplifies the standards of the $1 billion Holiday Inn brand relaunch program.

The 91-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites Ottawa Airport is ideally located within minutes from the Ottawa International Airport, golf courses and restaurants, shopping and corporate offices such as IBM. Guests will be within a short driving distance of Ottawa's downtown core and businesses such as Canada Post, Bank of Canada and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and several government offices. Nearby tourist attractions include Moneys Bay Beach, South Keys Shopping Centre, the Rideau Carleton Race Track & Slots and Nepean Sportsplex, making the Holiday Inn Express hotel a convenient option for both business and leisure travellers alike.

First announced in 2007, the Holiday Inn brand relaunch program was established to create a more contemporary brand image as part of the drive to increase quality and consistency across the global portfolio. The program focuses on arrival and welcome services, guestroom, and guest bath comfort. The global estate of more than 3,200 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties is expected to be relaunched by the end of 2010.

Elements of the relaunch for Holiday Inn Express include:

Redesigned Brand Signage

An evolution of the iconic script logo, energizing the signature color green and eliminating the current shield shape for a more refreshed and contemporary look.

Warm Welcome

A new signature arrival - including new lighting, landscaping and design features - that creates an energized and branded sense of welcome that is universally recognizable. Customized music and scent selections also engage guests in a complete sensory experience, and a decluttered front desk to promote a more efficient and interactive check-in process.

New Service Promise

A best-in-class service culture - "Stay Real" - to further ensure the team develops the behaviors and skills to best serve guests so they feel like individuals and not numbers. Genuine people delivering real service. Leading the charge will be a newly created position at each hotel - the Guest Experience Champion.

Guests at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Ottawa Airport will experience a comfortable and smart environment with innovative preferred guest upgrades to ensure a productive stay while travelling for business or leisure. The hotel's newly enhanced complimentary Express Start® breakfast bar will feature a full selection of breakfast items including a rotation of egg and meat selections, biscuits, yogurts, fruit and the brand's proprietary cinnamon roll and Smart Roast® coffee. The SimplySmartTM shower incorporates a proprietary Stay SmartTM Kohler showerhead, signature shower curtain with curved rod, upgraded 100 percent cotton terry towels and a custom line of cinnamon-scented bath products. Guests will also enjoy the SimplySmartTM bedding collection where they will find new crisp fresh bedding which features an attractive decorative throw, a medium-weight duvet blanket and soft 200 thread-count sheets.

"Holiday Inn Express hotels are designed to be the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travellers," said John Merkin, senior vice president, Brand Management, Holiday Inn Brands, The Americas. "With more than 1,800 properties worldwide and more than 700 properties in the pipeline, the Holiday Inn Express portfolio continues to expand in markets like Ottawa, providing our guests with an enhanced stay experience at a great value. We welcome this hotel into the Holiday Inn family with the brand new sign and everything it represents."

Standard Holiday Inn Express hotel guest rooms feature comfortable queen or king-sized beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine featuring complimentary Smart Roast 100% Arabica coffee. Business travellers will find large desks, ergonomic chairs, free high-speed internet access, free local and toll free phone calls and phones with private voicemail. The new Ottawa property offers a variety of additional amenities including 32" LCD TVs in all guestrooms, a 24 hour business centre, an indoor heated pool, more than 750 square feet of meeting space and a state-of-the-art fitness centre with an LCD flat panel TV. The hotel also offers 19 King Business Class Suites and one Deluxe Jacuzzi Suite, providing a relaxing and pampering oasis with a king bed, living room, fireplace, Jacuzzi and work desk with padded chair. Guests can also take advantage of Park and Fly specials while staying at the hotel.

"Holiday Inn Express hotels are fresh, clean and convenient for travellers," said Asoka Wikramanayake, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express and Suites Ottawa Airport. "We invested $12 million to build this property with the goal of providing a relaxed atmosphere with all the latest in comfort while offering the tools our guests need to ensure a productive stay, and we're pleased with the end result."

Holiday Inn Express hotels participate 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 www.priorityclub.com, 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.

The Holiday Inn Express hotel and Suites Ottawa Airport is owned by Sonny Sohal and managed by 1704951 Ontario Ltd. under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group and is located at 2881 Gibford Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. Telephone: 613.247.9400.

About Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travellers. Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travellers. Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start® Breakfast Bar, free high-speed internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only). There are currently more than 1,800 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe.

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 recognized 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 program, 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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