February 24, 2014 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA – For travelers who have a passion for discovery, getting recommendations from a hotel for things to do off the beaten path can be a challenge. Hotel Indigo®, the brand that connects guests and the neighborhood, is the perfect fit for these explorers, who are typically not interested in the museum mentioned in every guidebook or the hottest exclusive restaurant. Instead, they want a meaningful connection with the neighborhood they’re visiting and the people who live there, which no other brand but Hotel Indigo provides.
The Hotel Indigo brand has turned the idea of the traditional concierge role into a full-scale experience throughout each hotel, and it starts with the team members, many of whom are locals themselves. Everyone who works at a Hotel Indigo hotel, from a bartender to a room attendant, can recommend hidden neighborhood gems that won’t be found in most guidebooks or recommended by many, if any, concierges at other hotels.
"Our guests want to experience something unique and different when they travel. For them, it’s not about doing what’s trendy or popular. They want to be with interesting people and make a meaningful connection to the neighborhood," said Mary Winslow, director, Americas Brand Management, Hotel Indigo. "Every person who works in a Hotel Indigo hotel is an expert on their local neighborhood. They learn what intrigues our guests and what they’re passionate about, and they make recommendations based on their personal knowledge. At our hotels, it’s everyone’s role to connect guests to the neighborhood."
The newest way that the Hotel Indigo brand is making this connection is through the Neighborhood Guide, an innovative touchscreen display that connects guests to each other, the local neighborhood and to Hotel Indigo locations around the world. The Neighborhood Guide, a proprietary offering found only at Hotel Indigo hotels, offers guests an overview of each hotel’s unique neighborhood story, a roundup of the local hotel team’s favorite attractions and restaurants and the technology to share what they’ve discovered through a fun photo sharing tool linked to Facebook. With 55 Hotel Indigo properties worldwide, guests can explore and discover the brand’s global community through an interactive map, prompting some to plan future travel as they discover new hotels and locales around the world.
Piloted in eight test markets in 2012, including Atlanta, San Diego and Chicago, the Neighborhood Guide was immediately well-received by guests, generating more than a quarter of a million guest interactions and the sharing of more than 12,000 pictures.
"The Neighborhood Guide serves as a visual way for our hotel team to engage with guests and to bring our neighborhood story to life in a way that inspires curious travelers to get out and explore," said Barbara Kulwiec, general manager at the Hotel Indigo Asheville hotel in North Carolina. "People can’t get enough of the platform’s photo feature. Some even include their pets in the pictures! It’s wonderful to see how excited guests are about the Neighborhood Guide, and it gives our lobby space a fun, social element."
The Neighborhood Guide information is also available on the Hotel Indigo mobile website, enabling travelers to explore any Hotel Indigo neighborhood they’re visiting, even if they don’t step foot in a hotel.
"You don’t have to be a guest in one of our hotels to discover our neighborhoods," added Winslow. "Anyone can access our recommendations directly from the palm of their hand."
The Neighborhood Guides are now available in all Hotel Indigo properties across the Americas**, and will eventually be in all Hotel Indigo properties worldwide.
Go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc98uA-Pd2M for a demo video of the Neighborhood Guide.
**The Neighborhood Guide will roll out to hotels in Latin America and Mexico in spring 2014.
The Hotel Indigo® brand is a global boutique hotel brand that delivers a refreshing and inviting guest experience that is truly reflective of the local community. From the locally-inspired murals to the renewal program where the music, scent, and menu items change throughout the year, each Hotel Indigo hotel delivers a vibrant, engaging and genuine boutique experience that gives guests the confidence to step out and explore the local neighborhood. Each Hotel Indigo property is unique and designed to reflect the local culture, character and geography of the surrounding area while brand hallmarks ensure consistent and reliable service from location to location. No two hotels are the same. There are55 Hotel Indigo hotels open around the globe. With a quality global pipeline of 51 hotels, the Hotel Indigo estate is set to double in size to 100 properties within the next three to five years.
The Hotel Indigo brand participates in IHG’s guest loyalty program, IHG Rewards® Club, the industry’s first and largest guest loyalty program with over 76 million members worldwide. Membership is free and guests can enroll at ihgrewardsclub.com, by downloading the IHG® app, or by inquiring at any of IHG’s more than 4,600 hotels worldwide. The scale and diversity of the IHG family of brands means that our hotels can meet our guests’ needs whatever the occasion.
For more information or to make a reservation, visit http://www.hotelindigo.com. Find us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hotelindigo or Facebook www.Facebook.com/hotelindigo.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with over 77 million members worldwide. The program was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 687,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate 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.
Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.
SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
Hotel Indigo® Brand
Hill + Knowlton Strategies