Holiday Inn gets a $1 billion new look

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It may be the world's largest hotel revamp ever, involving 3,125 Holiday Inn hotels worldwide. The owner of the Holiday Inn brand, InterContinental Hotels Group, has warned its franchisees that if they don't freshen up their hotels, they will not be allowed to carry the Holiday Inn logo.

The "motor lodge-style" look is out. Sleek exteriors are in, along with new decor, bedding, and lobbies. Every bathroom will get an improved shower head offering superior water pressure and a shower curtain with a curved rod. There'll be a new, business-like logo, too:

The first batch of 150 hotels with the new look will appear mid next year. Changes will be rolled out elsewhere between then and early 2010. Holiday Inn can afford to make the changes because it's one of the world's most profitable hotel brands. In some parts of Asia, it is even treated as a luxury brand.

The changes were the result of a survey of 18,000 customers. Among the complaints voiced were that front-desks looked too cluttered, and that the hotel exteriors weren't brightly lit. Customers also said that they prefer it when desk clerks address them by their name. These suggestions, among others, are being adopted.

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