|by Kate Appleton||Tennessee, Memphis, Hotels||39|
Relatives of founder Kemmons Wilson turned out for the official opening of Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Memphis-Wolfchase Galleria last weekend in the city where the iconic American brand got its start in 1952.
It was another big moment for Holiday Inn, which is in the middle of an unprecedented relaunch of all its franchises worldwide—that's now more than 3,200 hotels and 419,000-plus guest rooms. We blogged about the chain's $1 billion new look almost two years ago, when it announced plans to introduce contemporary furnishings, brighter lighting, shower heads with stronger water pressure, and a restyled logo.
The 133-room Memphis property shows off these features while also paying tribute to the brand's history. A bed, a desk, a lamp, and a chair from the first Holiday Inn are arranged in the lobby, and 80 displayed photos include Wilson pictured with Pope John Paul II. It's about 18 miles from the hotel to attractions like Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, and Beale Street. Rates start at $136 a night.
Holiday Inn's changes stem from the results of a survey of 18,000 customers as well as a desire to be even more competitive and appealing. (Consider the company's stat that 9 out of 10 travelers have stayed in a Holiday Inn.) Interestingly, the under-30 crowd already ranks the brand as its preferred hotel chain.
Does this makeover pique your interest in Holiday Inn? Anyone stayed at a revamped hotel yet?