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 in May at Choice Hotels International’s 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. 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.
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.
“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 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.