This year, Homewood Suites is launching an initiative called “Take Flight”—a program designed to retrofit existing outdated properties and bring them up to modern-day standards. The rollout is meant to be an affordable way for owners of older assets to keep their offerings fresh and current.
Take Flight focuses on the functionality and ambience of shared spaces and in-suite enhancements to increase productivity and comfort for the way guests live and work today. The retrofit design provides a new look to the lobby/lodge with modular seating and inviting nooks for solo work or group meet-ups and collaborations. Outdoor kitchens will also be added to the properties. And suite upgrades include new all-white bedding, upgraded closets, and the addition of a user-friendly media center.The new design has already been implemented in Homewood’s Memphis-Poplar hotel, and five other properties have begun to implement the enhancements as well.
Each hotel will be affected differently by the program, explains Bill Duncan, global head of brand management for Homewood Suites. “Owners of more mature properties may decide to undergo a full, top-to-bottom renovation that will include the Lodge, Front Porch, recreational areas, and in-suite upgrades,” he says. “Owners of newer properties may only need to add the outdoor kitchen, a new brand standard.”
All new Take Flight brand standards for the communal areas must be incorporated by 2018, says Duncan, and the new standard for the suites will be completed by 2020. Hotels opening in the latter part of 2013 and forward will feature the new elements. In addition, hotels undergoing renovations as a change of ownership/license will incorporate the Take Flight standards in a 12 to 15 month timeframe.
“It’s important that we innovate the brand to address guests’ needs and expectations,” says Duncan. “This platform is customizable to meet the needs of Homewood Suites hotel owners and the level of enhancements needed at any particular property.”