First Holiday Inn Opens in the Dominican Republic

The Holiday Inn Santo Domingo will set the standard for other Holiday Inn properties in the Caribbean

September 28, 2009 // Franchising.com // MIAMI - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announced the opening of the new Holiday Inn Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. This is the first Holiday Inn located in Santo Domingo and also the first Holiday Inn in the Caribbean to incorporate the brand's new hallmarks which, is the seal of approval that this hotel exemplifies the standards of the $1 billion Holiday Inn brand relaunch program. The 7-story, 141-room hotel will open under a management agreement with Inexpress Dominicana, S.A., a sister company of Inverplata S.A., which owns the InterContinental V Centenario Santo Domingo, and as the second IHG property in Santo Domingo.

The Holiday Inn Santo Domingo is located on Avenida Abraham Lincoln, one of the city's main avenues, also home to embassies and government agencies, as well as headquarters for many multinational companies. It is situated within close proximity to the Universidad Pontificia, Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, and a myriad of shopping centers, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Today Santo Domingo is considered to be one of the largest economic and commercial hubs in the entire Caribbean, bustling with young entrepreneurs, plenty of opportunities and several new developments all within a strong and financially viable market. It is an enchanting city that melds a contemporary metropolis with an antique European charm and tropical Latin flavors. Considered to be the first European city in the Western Hemisphere, a large part of its old world inheritance has been preserved in a region near the Ozama River called the "Colonial City," in which UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site in 1990.

"We are excited to introduce the Holiday Inn brand to one of the most thriving cities in the Caribbean," says Alvaro Diago, COO, IHG, Latin America and Caribbean. "Additionally, we are thrilled to bring the new standards and hallmarks of the Holiday Inn brand to the Holiday Inn Santo Domingo as we know guests to the hotel will be extremely satisfied with the relaunch changes they experience."

Amenities at the Holiday Inn Santo Domingo include a business center, outdoor rooftop swimming pool, spa, 24-hour fitness center, six meeting rooms, "Aromas" restaurant, "Level 2" bar/lounge, as well as plenty of guest parking and free Wi-Fi and high speed Internet in all rooms and public areas.

"We are extremely proud to open this property with IHG, one of the most internationally venerated hotel companies in the world," says Pierre Nahas of Inexpress Dominicana, S.A. "In addition, the Holiday Inn brand has world-wide recognition among business and leisure travelers alike who have come to trust the brand's service and standards. Now with the new Holiday Inn hallmarks, we are certain we will have much success."

First announced in 2007, the Holiday Inn global brand relaunch 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 3,300 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn properties is expected to be relaunched by the end of 2010, and more than 1200 hotels have been relaunched to date.

Elements of the relaunch for Holiday Inn 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.

Refreshed Guest Room

New bedding that redefines the look and feel of each guest room with fresh, white triple- sheeting and pillows that come in two comfort levels: "soft" and "firm." An enhanced bathroom that features an improved showerhead offering superior pressure, as well as a signature shower curtain with curved rod and new amenities to deliver a consistent bath experience that feels fresh and contemporary.

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.

Holiday Inn Santo Domingo participates in IHG's guest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards. With 44 million members worldwide, Priority Club Rewards is the industry's first and largest guest loyalty program. Guests can enroll for free 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 4,300 hotels worldwide.

IHG has more than 180 hotels in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and has been serving Latin America for over 60 years. IHG is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, and has hotels situated in nearly every key market throughout the Latin American territory.

About Holiday Inn

With nearly 1,400 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world. In fact, Holiday Inn was one of the first international hotel brands to establish a presence in China in 1984. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts provides the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable atmosphere where all people can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants and room service, swimming pools, fitness centers and comfortable lounges. The casual atmosphere and amenities such as meeting and on-site business facilities, KidSuites rooms, Kids Eat and Stay Free programs, and the ability to earn Priority Club Rewards points that can be redeemed for great merchandise, airline miles or free room nights, demonstrate the long-standing commitment of Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts to serving travelers and have helped to establish the brand as "America's Favorite Hotel."

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 4,300 hotels and almost 630,000 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 44 million members worldwide.

IHG has nearly 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 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.

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