Choice’s Comfort brands overhaul design, strive for more upscale look

SILVER SPRING, MAYRLAND Choice Hotels International’s Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands have unveiled an entirely new design concept to modernize the legacy brand’s look and feel.

With personalized amenities, a warm color palette and familiar-yet-refreshing design elements, the new look of Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites is more upscale than before, but not in a boutique hotels sort of way, instead aiming for traditional warmth delivered with modern flair.

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.

New design elements include a signature entry with warm and inviting lighting; lobbies with dark wood-style flooring and flexible seating, featuring plush sofas and lounge chairs in cozy groupings; a new welcome wall behind the reception desk that will cast a warm glow, comprised of a reception desk and stone backdrop with soft integrated lighting; and a lobby fireplace.

“As the most well recognized brand family from Choice Hotels, we knew that keeping the warm and welcoming feel of the Comfort brands while also refreshing them for the modern traveler was paramount,” says Christina Williamson, senior director of brand planning and management for the Comfort brand family. “Our aim in offering these new designs was to give guests the environment that truly felt like a home away from home, a hotel that they can make truly their own.”

The Comfort Suites brand will focus on technology enhancements, mimicking rival Courtyard by Marriott with an interactive touchscreen, as well as business center and free WiFi in the lobby. Other enhancements specific to Comfort Suites public areas include two-story lobbies, a marketplace and a redesigned fitness center.

The residential ambiance continues in the guestrooms, cast in 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.

New Comfort Suites guestrooms will be large and plush, offering oversized showers, signature sectional sleeper sofas and ottomans, as well as refrigerators and microwaves. Grand headboards will integrate wall sconces, outlets for recharging mobile devices, and LED reading lights. “This design anticipates the needs of the modern traveler, putting lighting control and their own devices within arm’s reach,” Williamson says.

Starting with a wide array of design options provided by leading 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 franchisees’ input.

There are currently 2,621 hotels operating under the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brand flags worldwide.

Comfort Suites lobby redesign
Comfort Suites lobby redesign