WHY IT RATES: voco is one of IHG’s highest-potential, most flexible brands, focused on hotel conversions that will provide owners with the resources and recognition of a leading upscale brand, and customers with a consistent set of alluring offerings and experiences. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today announced that its highly anticipated upscale voco brand has arrived in the Americas with first locations planned for New York City; St. Augustine, Florida; and Columbia, Missouri.
Initially launched outside of the Americas in 2018 with the first hotel in Australia, the voco brand combines the informality and charm of an independent hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. With a focus on conversion opportunities, voco Hotels allows guests to enjoy an upscale experience with the freshness of a one-of-a-kind hotel under a name they can trust.
Introduced as a new upscale opportunity to owners in the Americas earlier this year, voco Hotels has already generated strong interest in the region, including potential projects in key cities, leisure destinations and college markets.
This warm reception builds on the brand’s success in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region, where the brand has quickly grown with 12 hotels currently open. The brand’s current development pipeline of 28 new properties will take it into 19 countries over the next five years, and voco Hotels remains on track to continue to grow in attractive urban and leisure locations across the world.
Julienne Smith, SVP, Development, Americas, IHG, said: “voco Hotels is one of our highest-potential, most flexible brands for owners, with diverse projects and markets ranging from the 470-room voco Dubai to the newly announced 50-room Franklin Hotel in Manhattan. As the voco brand makes its debut in the Americas, it is generating terrific momentum with our initial three signings illustrating how strongly it resonates with owners seeking to enhance the originality of an existing property or develop a new hotel, while also tapping into IHG’s powerful global network and enterprise offerings.”
The first three voco Hotels projects in the Americas are in distinct destinations:
—voco The Franklin Hotel (New York City): Located in a prime location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the hotel has served travelers from around the world for a century and is within walking distance of many well-known attractions including Central Park, the famed Museum Mile and Madison Avenue shops. The hotel is owned by Andrew and Stephen “Chip” Weiss Jr. of Flintlock Construction and will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality.
—voco St. Augustine (Florida): A part of the charming community surrounding what is commonly known as the Nation’s Oldest City, this hotel is just three years old and sits between the beaches of St. Augustine and the Historic District, which is the heart of the city featuring restaurants, shopping, galleries, museums and tourist attractions. The hotel is owned by Axis Income Fund, LLC.
—voco The Tiger Hotel (Columbia, Missouri): One of the tallest and most recognizable buildings in Columbia, this landmark hotel is in the heart of downtown and is adjacent to the University of Missouri (Mizzou) campus, with access to numerous area restaurants, bars, retail shops, and amenities. Since first opening its doors in 1928, The Tiger Hotel has constantly innovated and evolved alongside the traveling public and the surrounding vibrant neighborhood. The hotel is owned by Glyn Laverick of Columbia Hotel Investments, Inc.
Glyn Laverick, Owner, voco The Tiger Hotel, said: “Offering a unique guest experience in a prime location, our property is known as the place where upscale modern meets historic architecture for uniquely relaxing sojourns, meetings and weddings. We’ve made significant investments in The Tiger Hotel in recent years, resulting in consistently high reviews from guests, and we believe partnering with IHG and the voco brand is a great opportunity to further elevate the guest experience and amplify the hotel’s reputation to travelers from around the world.”
A Reliably Different Experience
At the center of the voco brand is a commitment to being Reliably Different. Guests at voco Hotels can expect a consistent experience from a leading upscale brand, delivered in an unstuffy way that is true to the soul of each individual property. Hallmarks of a voco Hotels stay include a warm and memorable welcome experience, guest room touches that make the most of “me time” and a lively bar/lounge atmosphere.
Throughout its hallmarks and properties, the voco brand integrates a strong commitment to sustainability through elements such as indulgent bedding made from recycled materials; high-efficiency, aerated showerheads; bulk bath amenities; and filtered water provided in environmentally friendly, non-plastic bottles.
For owners, the voco brand offers:
—A more flexible approach to brand standards and a customizable, property-specific commercial strategy and support model that makes voco Hotels well suited for conversion, adaptive reuse and new build projects.
—A succinct, easy-to-implement set of signature quality standards offering efficiency and lower capital outlay compared to other brands.
—Upweighted, property-specific field marketing and commercial support for hotels during their initial ramp-up phase.
IHG understands that cleanliness is top of mind for today’s traveler. The company’s longstanding commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures includes the IHG Way of Clean program developed with Ecolab and Diversey, both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies. The program, launched in 2015, features deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants as well as new COVID-19 protocols and best practices, developed with experts from the Cleveland Clinic.
Additionally, as a part of the IHG family of brands, voco Hotels properties offer guests additional peace of mind with the IHG Clean Promise. Guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness. Learn more about IHG’s new cleanliness initiatives and guest programs here.
To learn more about the voco brand, and opportunities for hotel development, click here. IHG also plans to host virtual symposia for owners in the Americas interested in the voco brand in the coming months. To receive more information about joining one of these events, please email [email protected]
SOURCE: InterContinental Hotels Group press release.
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