Courtyard by Marriott has recently begun rolling out improvements to their popular brand. In July, we told you about improvements to their food service model through a their new “Bistro” concept. Now, the brand is rolling out newly-renovated lobbies and has chosen a fitting place for the concept to make its debut – airports.
Popular amongst business travelers and families alike, Courtyard drew loyal fans for their full, hot breakfast buffets. But as the average traveler evolved, hotel executives realized that the area taken up by the breakfast buffet went unused for a good portion of the day. As part of the redesign, the brand re-invented their food service model, transforming the buffet and lobby areas into “bistros” with a quick casual vibe, and re-invented their lobby to match.
The new lobbies include laptop friendly stations with multiple outlets and a giant touchscreen TV where travelers can look up the weather, news and local attractions to help them with their stay. The more modern decor caters to younger and more tech-savvy travelers as well.
%Gallery-138489%We asked Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott, a few questions about the new renovations:
Does the new lobby concept indicate a new type of traveler to your brand, a modernization of the property, or a bit of both?
The redesign of the lobby and public space environment wasn’t simply modernization for the sake of modernization. It was modernization that was informed by evolving guest needs and their desire for a more flexible space to work and relax, as well as their desire for a variety of food and beverage options in both the morning and evening.
Are there any other advancements to the hotels we can be expecting in the coming months?
We’ve recently unveiled the new and exciting GoBoard® 4.0 [which] now provides guests with immediate access to detailed flight departure and arrival information for all local airports and allows guests to send directions to local area restaurants and attractions from the GoBoard® directly to their smart phones.
How did your team design the new concept – what was the thought process behind the change?
We based our design on extensive customer feedback and enlisted the San Francisco-based design firm, IDEO, to create a totally new lobby experience that makes it easy to work, plug-in, socialize and relax.
When can we expect these new lobbies to be rolled out to all hotels? How many are open now?
We currently have over 800 Courtyard hotels in North America, and more than 50% of them will feature the redesigned lobby by the end of the year. We expect that over 90% of our hotels will have the new lobby and public space design by the end of 2013.
Where can travelers find these lobby concepts to test out?
[T]ravelers at Phoenix Terminal 4, Houston Terminal E, near Gate 19, and Baltimore/Washington Concourse A now have an oasis to recharge their devices and their energy before boarding.These are accessible through December 16.
Have you experienced the new lobby concept for yourself? What do you think? Weigh in with your comments, below.