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Making Comfort More Comfortable

Friday, April 25, 2014

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Choice Hotels Canada talks about its Comfort brand renovations

In the largest-scale renovation program ever in Choice Hotels Canada’s history, the Comfort brand is undergoing a $65 million overhaul at 85 properties across the country.

Renovations have been underway since early 2013 and over half (58%) of the 147 Comfort hotels open in Canada will be renovated by the end of 2014.

04.25_02More than $750,000 will be invested in each property that is being upgraded, with 61 of the 85 owned by InnVest REIT, Choice Hotels Canada’s largest franchisee.

“Understanding our guests’ needs and providing a memorable experience is integral to the Comfort brand,” said Tim Oldfield, managing director, franchise performance at Choice Hotels Canada. “In fact, many elements of the renovations – from the decor to the breakfast menu – were a result of our guests’ insights.”

The modern design package has a clean and refreshing aesthetic created to evoke the feeling of being at home. It is known as the Truly Yours Design Package and was based on feedback from more than 1,500 guests and developers. The types of changes vary depending on the hotel property and at what stage they are in the life-cycle, but of the hotels that have already been renovated, the feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive.

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“The response to the renovations has been phenomenal,” said Oldfield. “Guests are enjoying the new atmosphere and are letting us know through higher guest satisfaction scores.”

As the name suggests, providing a sense of comfort to guests was the goal of the renovations at the properties.

More than 8,000 guest rooms will be renovated, including replacing furniture, carpeting and draperies in guest rooms, and fixtures, countertops and lighting in bathrooms.

Corridors will be refreshed with new carpets, wall coverings and light fixtures. Lobbies will be completely transformed with new granite-topped reception desks, fireplaces, LCD TVs and the addition of breakfast rooms and guest lounge areas with public computers.

Lastly, the exterior facades will be improved with upgraded landscaping, new lighting, parking lot repair and signage with electronic reader boards.

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Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a sought after amenity among many travellers, changes were also made to the breakfast program in most of the hotels.

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More hot choices were added to the menu, including flavoured waffles, eggs, bacon and sausage, along with coffee, tea, cereals, juices and a selection of fresh fruits. These additions and enhancements to the menu were a direct result of over 10,000 guest responses and have proved to be very popular in the renovated properties.

All properties will feature free wireless high-speed Internet, free outdoor parking and are 100% smoke free. Clients looking for a home away from home when on the road this season, need look no further than Comfort hotels.

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