IHG Hotels On-Going Crowne Plaza Brand Refresh

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IHG Hotels have long had issues with its two most well-known brands, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza that are often dodgy, especially in the Americas.

IHG select-service brands such as Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites and full-service ones like InterContinental and Kimpton have more consistency and quality.

You can access IHG Hotels here.

READ MORE: IHG Rewards Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

IHG Hotels has been aware of the dire situation surrounding many of Crowne Plazas flying the flag. Many have or are in the process of going through a transformation.

Here’s a press release that IHG released:

In collaboration with hotel owners around the world, IHG® Hotels & Resorts is accelerating the transformation of one of the industry’s largest and most well-known upscale brands – Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts. Whether they are among the first to stay with IHG at new marquee global properties like Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour or the Crowne Plaza Shanghai Hongqiao, or checking in to recently renovated properties like the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport  and Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, guests are experiencing the future of business travel – and loving it.

Ginger Taggart, Vice President, Global Crowne Plaza, commented:

“Crowne Plaza was one of the first brands to focus on the needs of modern business travelers in the early 1980s and, since then, we have continued to innovate and advance our design and service approach. During the last few years, we have worked closely with our owners to enhance this brand to meet the future of premium travel, including the desire of guests for overall balance and the ability to switch easily between work and leisure, as well as the evolution of meetings to include more virtual and hybrid options.”

Crowne Plaza’s elevated experience for today’s traveler centers around a “new modern” design style which satisfies the needs of professional productivity, personal restoration and inspiration. Key features include:

  • Plaza Workspace – Lobbies have been reimagined through Plaza Workspace with flexible spaces that support work and downtime; a central, stylish bar; different seating for working and socializing; embedded technology; and a private meeting space that is bookable by the hour.
  • WorkLife Rooms – Crowne Plaza’s perfectly balanced, and patented, WorkLife Room offers a combination of comfort, connectivity and flexibility with distinct zones that maximize space and lighting for work, relaxation and sleep.
  • Dare to Connect – A distinguished service experience, Dare to Connect is an intuitive, unscripted service style that sets Crowne Plaza apart in the industry. The program trains and empowers hotel teams to take a proactive approach to connect with guests, anticipating their needs and providing the best recommendations to help guests make the most of their free time.
  • Gather + Thrive – Crowne Plaza is focused on the future of meetings and events, setting the stage for creative collaborations and significant life moments, working from planning to execution to make sure everything runs smoothly so that meeting planners and attendees can be at their best. The Gather + Thrive program offers an end-to-end meetings and events experience including purposeful design, energizing food and beverage options, innovative meeting technology and great service.  Meetings are also backed by IHG’s Meet with Confidence program, including multivenue and hybrid meeting options developed with partners such as Encore (formerly PSAV); enhanced cleanliness, health and safety protocols for meetings; and flexible booking options.

Driving Results with Owners

IHG is committed to consistently delivering exceptional guest experiences and measures guest satisfaction across all brands through its signature guest HeartBeat survey program. The HeartBeat survey is methodically used by both IHG and hotel owners to constantly elevate guest satisfaction and hotel performance.

Applying these insights, more than a third of the Crowne Plaza hotels in the Americas have completed renovations and implemented brand enhancements such as Plaza Workspace since 2016, with nearly 7,000 guest rooms currently showcasing new modern or WorkLife designs.

Examples of the positive impact* of renovations include the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-King of Prussia, owned by The Buccini Pollin Group and managed by PM Hotel Group, which completed a comprehensive renovation of all 227 of its guest rooms, as well as public and meeting spaces, and the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee South, owned by Amana Hospitality and managed by Chesapeake Hospitality, which renovated all guest rooms, exterior and public spaces. At both properties, HeartBeat guest satisfaction scores and share of revenue increased substantially.

Chris Green, President & CEO, Chesapeake Hospitality, commented:

“We know that a strong product and well-designed hotel creates an immense impact and we are proud to showcase the differentiated, signature design hallmarks of the Crowne Plaza brand in partnership with IHG. While the physical hotel product is only one of the many factors that drive guest satisfaction and positive growth in share of revenue, it’s one of the most important and visible, and we’re pleased to have exceeded our fair share of revenue for 13 consecutive months after our full renovation.

Around the world, guests are celebrating similar experiences with Crowne Plaza and rewarding renovated hotels with significant increases in guest satisfaction scores. At one of the brand’s recently renovated flagship properties – the 291-room Crowne Plaza Hamburg – City Alster – guest feedback has been enthusiastic and centered around the stylish, modern and comfortable rooms, especially for long weekend stays. Guests also shared their excitement about the trendy, creative and comfortable meeting rooms.

Worldwide Growth of Crowne Plaza  
Crowne Plaza continues to grow around the world with nearly 430 Crowne Plaza hotels now open and 89 in the pipeline. In 2020, the brand opened 19 new hotels, including 10 properties in Greater China. In fact, the Crowne Plaza Shanghai Hongqiao marked the 100th property for the brand in the region.

Here’s a rather dreadful Crowne Plaza that I recently visited:

Conclusion

Chains need to be careful with their hotels. How many times are you willing to stay at a specific brand if your experiences are continuously bad?

Hilton’s Nassetta, the CEO, recently told that if just 3% to 4% of the hotels are not in compliance with the brand standards, the brand will fail due to customer abandonment.

I recently stayed at a Crowne Plaza in the Americas; that was exactly what I expected; a borderline dump. There are some fantastic Crowne Plazas in Asia. Still, it is tough to choose to stay at one after continuing bad experiences at many of them outside of the area.

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