Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands are known for their great room rates and comfortable rooms, but not so much for their luxurious amenities. This is sure to change within the next few years. Choice Hotels International, which franchises more than 6,100 hotels worldwide, will implement design upgrades for about 70% of their 2,000 Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites.
Those at Choice said that it had been a while since the look of the hotel chain was refreshed and rejuvenated, so the company hired Gensler, a New York based architecture and design firm, to upgrade their hotels’ bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas. With these upgrades, Choice hopes to move the Comfort brands to the upscale operations division (i.e. Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton), which has been recently favored by investors. Choice will also work with the owners of those 200 hotels not getting upgraded and help them move into their economy brands sector (i.e. Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn).
Estimated costs for the standard 75-room Comfort Inn upgrade will require a couple hundred thousand dollars, increasing room rates by $5-$10 a night. However, the company believes that it will give investing franchisees a strong return on investment.
The Comfort brand’s makeover is expected to be completed by 2015.