Holiday Inn London Heathrow M4 JCT 4 completes upgrade

The Holiday Inn hotel at Heathrow M4 Junction 4 has completed a major upgrade and refurbishment.

Claiming an innovative redesign, the hotel has an Academy Conference and Training Centre, a custom-built professional meeting/training venue with dedicated staff to support events. Guests are offered free Wifi, enabling them to catch up with emails, read the latest news online or talk to family and friends at home, while there are quiet workstations for executives.

General manager, Lissy Thornquist, said: ‘We are a very big hotel in a great location and therefore welcome a lot of business travellers from around the world. Through continued focus on our meetings and events product, including listening to and understanding our different customer’s needs, we have been able to create a service that cannot be found elsewhere.’

She added: ‘The meetings industry has changed dramatically over the last few years, with delegates wanting to feel less restricted and more creative. Developments in technology mean that meeting styles have changed, and people are always switched on. We are continually aiming to improve our standards and stay one step ahead to ensure we are constantly meeting our guest needs, and we don’t plan to stop here as there is further investment scheduled this year to develop our bedroom product.’

The 617-bedroom hotel offers a range of food and beverage outlets and a choice of Standard and Executive bedrooms with state-of-the-art breakaway spaces. Executive bedrooms are claimed to be comfortable with a modern look and facilities designed to meet the needs of guests with busy schedules. For sports enthusiasts, table football and a wide choice of board games are available, or guests can try the Spirit Workout, a gym experience with entertainment.

The hotel is host to the Rotisserie Restaurant, serving the Great British Breakfast, Deli lunch, and Rotisserie menu in the evenings. Sampans Oriental restaurant offers Thai/Chinese/Malaysian cuisine cooked by authentic chefs, while Callaghans Irish Bar offers ice cold Guinness on draught and a bar menu.

Holiday Inn Introduces Windows 8 App

The Holiday Inn brand of hotels, owned by UK based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has released a travel application for the newly launched Windows 8 operating platform-based range of PCs and tablet devices.

The new app will allow the brand’s customers to search and book accommodation at any Holiday Inn hotel globally.

Michael Menis, the vice president, web and interactive marketing, for the company, said, ‘Holiday Inn has transformed the hospitality industry with its innovative and modern approach to guest services, and has a rich heritage of firsts in the industry, so it was a natural fit for our first app for Windows 8 to be rolled out with this industry-leading brand.

Developing an easy-to-use e-commerce app furthers our commitment to identifying and leveraging emerging technology to drive satisfaction for our guests, while optimising revenue delivery for our hotels.’

John Richards, senior director of Windows App Marketing for Microsoft Corp, said, ‘Microsoft app developers have always provided rich functionality and value for our shared customers, and Windows 8 gives them the platform to deliver. The re-imagining of Windows keeps our app developers ahead of the competition and gives our shared customers flexibility and choice.’

In 2011, the brand offered its Priority Club Rewards app for Windows Phone, and is currently offering apps for its hotel brands for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire.

The Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands have around 51 properties in the UK, and around six of them in or around the city of London. The brands claim that in many ways they have been pioneers in the industry, introducing new hotel experiences to guests, including TVs, in-room telephones, air conditioning, complimentary parking and a full service restaurant on the premises, for the first time in the industry. The Holiday Inn brand also remains one of the first to offer complimentary accommodation and food for children, when accompanied by paying adults.

Holiday Inn Announces Increased Occupancy for Olympics 2012 Period

UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced a boost in the sales of its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands in the UK due, to the 2012 Olympic games.

IHG has reported that its brand images for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express have increased with business travellers, owing to its role as the official hospitality partner for the games. As part of its Olympic programme, Holiday Inn is also the brand operating the athletes’ village, which is located close to the main stadium in Stratford, London.

The occupancy rates for the brands’ 51 properties in and around London have been at around 90 percent for the games period to date.

The company chief executive, Richard Solomons, said, ‘It’s a great opportunity to showcase both brands on a global scale and the campaigns in the run-up to the Games have driven great results.

In the UK, we have seen an 11 percent increase in consideration for the brand among business travellers.

Those guests who have seen our campaign are also 50 percent more likely to stay with us again than they were before.

We would expect 80 percent occupancy during August so the Olympics has clearly had a beneficial effect. We have new Holiday Inn and Staybridge hotels right by the Olympic park.

We have delivered good results in the first half with revpar growth from all regions through gains in both occupancy and rate.

Our brands continue to perform well and we have achieved solid underlying margin growth, resulting in increased profits and strong cash flows.’

Olympic Torch Receives Warm Welcome at Holiday Inn Sheffield

A large welcoming committee at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield, UK, greeted the Olympic Torch at a reception hosted by the hotel.

The Holiday Inn brand is the official hotel services provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a supporting partner for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

The UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Olympic sponsors, local celebrities, and members of the UK Sports Federations were in attendance at the reception.

Nick Clegg said, ‘It was an honour to be part of welcoming the Olympic flame to our city.

Monday’s events fired the starting gun for Sheffield’s Olympic celebrations, but the city’s hard work started a long time ago. By the time the opening ceremony begins, one in seven team GB athletes will have trained in Sheffield including Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley, who is tipped for a medal win. And of course we all have high hopes for Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis.

But this isn’t just about watching a great sporting spectacle on TV. Here in Sheffield over 160 sports, education and community projects have been inspired by the Olympics – the Sheffield Academy of Young Leaders in Sport is recruiting young people to lead sports events in schools and Sheftival 2012 will see the best of our city’s music, radio and sport completely take over Don Valley for the first weekend in August.’

The hotel general manager, Steven Vandevelde, said, ‘We were thrilled that our hotel was elected to host the Official Torch Relay party, particularly as it coincides with the hotels 150th birthday. It is wonderful that Sheffield, the UK City of Sport, was so honoured and we are absolutely delighted that our guests and our team had the opportunity to see the Olympic Flame, as it journeys across the UK, carried by the 8,000 inspirational people.’


New Holiday Inn Express Opens in Brazil

Holiday Inn, a brand of hotels that is part of British-based InterContinental Hotels Group, has opened its new Holiday Inn Express Maceio Ponta Verde, located in the Ponta Verde beach area of Maceio, Brazil.

The 160-room hotel is decorated with artwork and folk-art themed crafts made by local artisans, which are blended with the cultural heritage of the area in a contemporary and elegant style.

The property features amenities, including free high-speed wireless Internet connectivity; four meeting rooms, totalling 1,614 square feet of event space; an outdoor pool; a fitness centre; and a business centre.

Alvaro Diago, the chief operations officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘We are delighted to continue to grow the Holiday Inn Express brand in the North-eastern part of Brazil by opening a hotel in a city like Maceio, well-known year-round for its powdery, white-sand beaches, emerald green waters, fabulous water sports and laid-back charm.

We are devoted to continued expansion in the Brazilian market, while maintaining our pledge to offer guests the highest quality services.’

Ricardo Lopez, the vice president of sales and marketing for Latin America and the Caribbean, InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘This new property exemplifies IHG’s goal of finding the right opportunities to introduce the Holiday Inn Express brand in destinations with a strong demand for high-quality yet affordable hotels.

Holiday Inn Express is designed to offer a comfortable, uncomplicated, fresh and modern experience at a great value for both leisure and business travellers. We are confident this hotel and the brand’s strong value proposition will provide an excellent opportunity to continue to build guest loyalty and reach new customers.’

Holiday Inn Gears Up To Play Host for 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games

The Holiday Inn brand, a part of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, is currently in the process of preparing to play host for the London 2012 Games. The brand is the official hotel provider for the mega sporting event, and the flurry of activity at its Burton UK headquarters has reached fever pitch.

Employees from Holiday Inn are currently setting up the Olympic village, to host around 16,000 athletes and officials during the 2012 Games; in addition to 6,200 sporting personalities, and officials for the Paralympic Games. The staff will be offering housekeeping and hospitality services to the Olympic village. Accommodation will be provided in eleven residential blocks, each one housing around 1,100 residents.

Chris Hale, the Holiday Inn head of London 2012, said in an interview, ‘These will be the most important few weeks in an athlete’s life. As the official hotel provider to London 2012, we are determined to ensure that all athletes receive world class service during their stay in the Olympic and Paralympic Village, so they can focus fully on their preparation for the Games.’

The hotel group will also be sponsoring the 70-day UK wide tour of the Olympic Torch, and providing accommodation to the athletes covering the country as part of the Torch Relay Team. In addition, Holiday Inn is supporting around 50 British athletes by offering 1,500 complimentary room nights during their training until the end of 2012.

Olympic athletes ‘brought to life’ in budget hotel

Holiday Inn launch the first ‘augmented reality hotel’

Holiday Inn bosses are hoping to excite guests over the summers Olympics, with various visuals including Nick Dempsey ‘windsurfing’ with a bed sheet in your hotel room. 

The budget hotel chain have used the latest cutting-edge technology to create the worlds first ‘augmented reality hotel’. This allows virtual versions of Britain’s top athletes to be brought to life. 

Yesterday guests at the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum were able to see athletes in virtual action with the use of either their smartphone or tablet. Athletes appear around the hotel including locations such as the reception, corridors and bedrooms. 

For the athletes to appear on the screen, guests must point their devices at specific sites around the hotel. 

In the lobby BMX World Champion Shanaze Reader can be seen performing tricks, whereas the world’s number one Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley can be seen hitting table tennis balls behind reception. 

Jumping in the corridor is the UK’s long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson, meanwhile in the hotel’s bedrooms Nick Dempsey – the leading windsurfer – surfs with the bed sheet. 

Not only will guests be able to experience the stars in virtual motion, they will also be able to have their photo taken with all four of the athlete ‘auras’ in the hotel. 

Nick Dempsey said: “Being able to pick up your phone and see athletes appear as if they were right in front of you in unbelievable and a great way to get people excited about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games”. 

The virtual stars can be seen in the hotel for the next two weeks.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh