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Exclusive: Holiday Inn ‘Open Lobby’ look bound for Australasia

Holiday Inn Wembley is one of over 100 hotels currently offering the Open Lobby.

Seven upcoming Holiday Inn openings in Victoria, NSW and New Zealand over the next four years will feature the brand’s ‘Open Lobby’, marking the concept’s debut in Australasia, HM can reveal.

The new approach to lobby design sees a blending of the front desk, restaurant, bar, lounge area and business centre into one highly-flexible space. At the same time, an update of the overall design will see a more modern look adapted to suit consumer needs and each individual hotel’s character and surroundings, while providing a positive customer experience throughout.

Open Lobby was first announced in 2012 and so far has been rolled out exclusively within Europe, with nearly 140 locations across the continent now firmly installed. Earlier this year, IHG celebrated the 100th European location to be fitted with the Open Lobby design.

Open Lobby is part lounge, part bar, part restaurant, part business centre and more.

The concept came following significant research from IHG, with design teams poring over consumer data and research which looked at how people use space at home and how this can be combined and delivered in one engaging, functional and productive space. Since its debut, Open Lobby has resulted in an uptick in guest feedback and improved revenue at F&B venues.

“Open Lobby was created to ensure that we drive much more consistency in the guest experience and build loyalty across Europe,” said IHG Managing Director, Europe, Karin Sheppard.

“It is exciting to hear how much guests love the new space and see the quantifiable results for our Owners.”

Central elements to the Open Lobby style in Europe are all-day dining, open and ready to serve on-demand from guests along with barista coffee service, a casual bar environment, a recreation area offering a range of games and a co-working space which can also double as a casual meeting room.

The striking interior of Holiday Inn Richmond and its Open Lobby area.

The concept will feature as the new brand standard in three new Holiday Inn properties opening in various parts of Greater Melbourne in 2020 including Werribee, Geelong and Coburg, as well as Queenstown in New Zealand. From 2021, the concept will be seen at Holiday Inn Dandenong, with a dual-branded hotel in the Melbourne CBD at Bourke St Mall set to include the concept from its 2022 opening.

It will also appear in the forthcoming Holiday Inn Richmond, announced this week as part of a new mixed-use development coming from 2023. IHG says in time, it plans to retrofit the Open Lobby to the existing estate of operating hotels. Presently, Holiday Inn Wagga Wagga is not among those confirmed to adopt an Open Lobby for its opening in 2021.

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