SILVER SPRING, Md., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The classic Comfort brand family of hotels, the same that has provided American travelers with pleasant accommodations for 30 years, is about to get a whole new look and feel. Announced last week at Choice Hotels International's (NYSE: CHH) annual convention in Boston, the company's Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands have both unveiled an entirely new design aimed at making the modern guest's experience even better.
Originally established in 1981, Comfort Inn is one of the best known hotel brands in the United States. Comfort Inn was introduced to the traveling public at that time in response to a growing consumer demand for more segmentation within the lodging industry. As the first to offer a selection of brands, each with different amenities and varying room rates, Choice Hotels emerged as an industry leader and innovator in its introduction of the Comfort Inn brand. The Comfort Suites brand was later introduced to travelers to again better fill a segment that was growing in demand. There are currently 2,621 open and operating hotels under the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brand flag worldwide.
With personalized amenities, a warm color palette, and familiar yet refreshing design elements, the new look of Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites enables each guest to create the stay experience that they need in order to be refreshed for whatever tomorrow may hold, whether it's another day out on the road or an important business meeting.
"As the most well recognized brand family from Choice Hotels, we knew that keeping the warm and welcoming feel of the Comfort brands while also refreshing them for the modern traveler was paramount," said Christina Williamson, senior director of brand planning and management for the Comfort brand family. "Our aim in offering these new designs was to give guests the environment that truly felt like a home away from home, a hotel that they can make truly their own."
The Comfort brand family's new aesthetic is much more luxurious than typically associated with mid-priced brands. It bucks the trend toward boutique in favor of traditional warmth delivered with a modern flair. The new Comfort brand experience will begin the minute a guest arrives on site with each hotel exterior featuring a signature entry with warm and inviting lighting. Lobbies will welcome guests with dark wood-style flooring and flexible seating, featuring plush sofas and lounge chairs in cozy groupings for working, meeting or socializing. The new Welcome Wall behind the reception desk will cast a warm glow, comprised of a reception desk and stone backdrop with soft integrated lighting, recalling the hearth, the traditional gathering place in the heart of the home, further illustrated by the inclusion of a lobby fireplace.
The Comfort Suites brand specifically will help to make technology even more accessible to its guests with an interactive touch screen as well as business center and free Wi-Fi in the lobby. Comfort Suites hotels will also feature added features like a breathtaking two-story lobby, convenient market place, and redesigned fitness center.
The residential ambiance continues in the guestrooms, cast in soothing neutral hues with jewel-tone accent colors and finishes. Guests will relax on sectional sofas and cushy lounge chairs with ottomans. There will be spa-like baths, flat-screen TVs, and plenty of soft and cozy fabrics, as well as custom-crafted artwork that reflects each brand's logo.
Comfort Suites guestrooms will be large and especially plush, offering oversized showers, signature sectional sleeper sofas and ottomans as well as in-room refrigerators and microwaves. Beds will have crisp white triple sheeting and richly colored custom bed scarves, drawing guests in for a peaceful night's sleep. Grand headboards will integrate wall sconces, outlets for recharging mobile devices, and individually controlled LED reading lights for ultra relaxation and control.
"This design anticipates the needs of the modern traveler, putting lighting control and their own devices within arm's reach," added Williamson.
"The new design for the Comfort brand family is based on earthen colors which evoke peace and warmth with refreshing jewel-tone accent colors to provide inspiration," added Brenda Wulff, director of product design and innovation for Choice Hotels. "What's more, the design is great for business, as consumers indicated a significant increase in intent to stay based on the new look and feel for the brands."
Starting with a wide array of design options provided by leading design firm Gensler, the selection of the future design theme for Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites was ultimately chosen through an intensive six-month research process involving multiple consumer focus groups, more than 1,500 online consumer surveys, one-on-one interviews with potential developers and current franchisee input and participation at each step in the process.
Consumers will begin to see elements of the new design at a number of hotels early next year with new bedding packages. Travelers will see the new design in its entirety in new hotels, starting in late 2012. For more information on Comfort Inn or Comfort Suites, visit ChoiceHotels.com.
Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,100 hotels, representing more than 490,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of March 31, 2011, more than 500 hotels were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 40,000 rooms, and approximately 100 hotels, representing approximately 8,400 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collectionare proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.
© 2011 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.