How do you turn a hotel chain into a lifestyle brand? The answer for InterContinental Hotels Group, which operates more than 3500 hotels, was to hire retail design firm, Back Lot Productions Inc. (Atlanta), and use branding and visual merchandising concepts to launch a new hotel experience called Hotel Indigo.
"Hotel Indigo is a lifestyle brand that is totally focused on the customer," says Kirk Kinsell, senior vp, Americas franchising and business development, InterContinental Hotels Group. "Therefore, we had to stop thinking like traditional hospitality."
That paradigm shift is apparent the minute guests walk into the hotel lobby, where an open layout, custom furniture designs and evolving decor replace traditional hotel elements. Designers took their biggest departure inside the guest rooms where wall-to-wall carpeting, standard bathtub units and beige color palettes give way to hardwood-style flooring, glass showers, tones of blue and oversized photo wall murals of fruits, flowers and beach glass, printed by PP/G Inc. (Hawthorne, Calif.).
Like retail visual merchandisers, Hotel Indigo will change out the artwork, murals, area rugs, slip covers, paint schemes and directional signage on a seasonal basis to create a renewed environment.
"As a lifestyle brand, Hotel Indigo caters to travelers seeking unique experiences, not static environments," said Jim Anhut, senior vp, brand development for the Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group. "Everything from the changing murals to the seasonal restaurant menu allows travelers to experience Hotel Indigo in a new way, time and time again."
Client: InterContinental Hotels Group, Windsor, U.K.
Design: Back Lot Productions Inc., Atlanta
Bart Mills, principal
Tracey Barker, principal
Architect: Leo A Daly Architects, Atlanta
Outside Design Consultants: FA Hunter and Associates, Atlanta (space planning and interior consultation)
General Contractor: Winter Construction, Atlanta
Fabrics: Valley Forge, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Scalamandre, Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
Duralee, Bay Shore, N.Y.
Kravet, Bethpage, N.Y.
Robert Allen, Mansfield, Mass.
Ralph Lauren, Purchase, N.Y.
Morbern, Cornwall, Ont.
Fixtures: Kindy Wood Mfg., Fort Smith, Ark.
Flooring: Classen Flooring Products, Kennesaw, Ga.
Furniture: Marquis, Thomasville, N.C.
Chairmasters, Bronx, N.Y.
JFL, Rancho Dominguez, Calif.
Thomasville, Thomasville, N.C.
Lane Venture, Conover, N.C.
Shelby Williams, Morristown, Tenn.
Flexsteel, Starkville, Miss.
Emu, Bridgeport, Conn.
Charter, El Monte, Calif.
Hon, Muscatine, Iowa
Lexington, Greensboro, N.C.
Lighting: A19, Ontario, Calif.
Nulco, Pawtucket, R.I.
Ashley Lighting, Truman, Ark.
Mario Lighting, Roanoke, Va.
Nulco, Pawtucket, R.I.
Kichler Lighting, Cleveland
Scott Lighting, Concord, Calif.
Pacific Coast, Chatsworth, Calif.
Signage/Graphics: PP/G, Production Photo Graphics, Hawthorne, Calif.
Environmental Graphics, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Wallcoverings and Materials: PP/G, Production Photo Graphics, Hawthorne, Calif.
Walfab, North Miami, Fla.
Fans: Fanimation, Zionsville, Ind.
Photography: Woodie Williams, Atlanta