June 02, 2009 // Franchising.com // Atlanta - IHG's upscale extended-stay hotel brand, Staybridge Suites is taking an innovative design approach for their portfolio of 150+ hotels and 160+ hotels in their global pipeline. Graduate students from one of the top five interior design programs in the nation recently completed a ten-week course completely dedicated to creating Staybridge Suites' next generation of standardized room décor packages.
It was the very first time Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) interior design students have provided full design services to a corporate entity as part of their coursework.
"The students really put a lot of thought into this project," said Robert Radomski, vice president, Global Brand Management, Extended-Stay Brands, IHG. "As part of the coursework, they were asked to develop concepts that would define the brand and reinforce what we're already doing really well."
One of the first assignments for the quarter included a stay at a Staybridge Suites hotel to gain an understanding of the brand.
"They focused on the end user by observing and speaking with several audiences so they could truly capture the Staybridge Suites culture," said Professor Sam Cribbs of SCAD. "Students not only defined the end-user as the guest, but also as the employee and the hotel owner."
Coursework began in early January of this year and in mid-March, the 16 students presented four final concepts based on what a Staybridge Suites hotel could look like today and how it could be sustained for the future.
IHG's Plan Review Department together with the Staybridge Suites brand team are finalizing design schemes and preparing to build out a model room, expected for completion later this year.
"I was lucky enough to observe the ideas students put on the table," said Christian Sargent, president, Diamond Lodging. "Their ideas were professional, dynamic and out-of-the-box yet closely aligned with the Staybridge Suites culture."
Staybridge Suites® is an innovative all-suite hotel brand designed to meet the needs of extended-stay guests. It is ideal for travelers seeking a residential-style hotel that is perfect for business, relocation and vacations. Amenities include: three suite types (deluxe studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom/2 bath) with fully equipped kitchens, highly functional work areas, speaker phone with voicemail and direct dial access and free high-speed internet access. Staybridge Suites offers free "Wireless Anywhere", complimentary daily deluxe breakfast buffet and evening Sundowner reception three days a week, and 24-hour business services featuring complimentary PC work stations and free Internet access.
The Staybridge Suites brand continues to grow rapidly with more than 150 hotels open across the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. There are 163 Staybridge Suites in the pipeline, including 11 outside of the Americas.
With more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university in the United States, the Savannah College of Art and Design is uniquely qualified to prepare talented students for professional, creative careers. SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution that offers a choice of degree programs in 42 majors, plus 52 minors. Students can pursue their degrees at campuses in Savannah and Atlanta, Ga., in Lacoste, France, and online through SCAD-eLearning. The career preparation of each student is nurtured and cultivated by more than 600 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and valuable professional experience. Named one of the nation's "Most Interesting Schools" and one of "25 cutting-edge schools with an eye toward the future" by Kaplan-Newsweek, SCAD confers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Architecture, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts and Master of Urban Design degrees.
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 4,200 hotels and more than 620,000 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 43 million members worldwide.
IHG has nearly 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create around 140,000 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.