InterContinental Suites Gets Healthy Makeover

Leaving a hospital in good spirits isn’t always possible. That’s why the InterContinental Suites Hotel in Cleveland is undergoing a massive renovation to become a center of wellness and tranquility.

The 162-suite hotel is owned by the Cleveland Clinic and sits almost hidden on a corner of the sprawling campus of one of the nation’s premier healthcare systems. Sixty percent of its guests come from the Clinic, as either patients or their families, many arriving under physical or emotional duress. Providing the support and comfort they need is the top priority for the hotel.

The transformation isn’t complete yet, but the lobby already smells soothing. Aromatherapeutic scents waft through the public spaces, with relaxing music playing in the background.

The multi-million-dollar transformation began in October and the first two floors of renovated suites are already open for business. The remaining floors are being completed now two at a time and the work on the public spaces and restaurant will follow in January and February. The hotel has remained open and will through the rest of the project, which should be completed in April

“Our goal is to immediately transform each and every guest that passes through the door of the InterContinental Suites—taking them into a world of tranquility, relaxation and rejuvenation,” says Neville Erasmus, executive assistant manager. “Whether guests are short-term business travelers or long-term patients of the Cleveland Clinic, we will cater every aspect of the hotel to support comfort, health and overall wellness. Our vision for the new InterContinental Suites will be for each and every guest to live the motto of stay well—starting the moment they check in.”

Craig Campbell, the director of sales and marketing, takes it a step further. Not only does he hope guests are transformed when they walk in the doors, but he hopes they walk out the same way. “We need to help support guests whose doctors are saying they need to change their lifestyles,” says Campbell. “We’re not just a spa or resort who helps do that temporarily, we want you to leave here changed.”

A rendering of the fireplace area of the new lobby.

The hotel, which opened in 1999, is the only all-suite InterContinental in the IHG system. The Cleveland Clinic owns the nearby 299-room InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center and the 231-room Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse, both also managed by IHG. Patients and their families receive significant discounts to stay in any of the three properties, ranging from $119 at the more economical Guesthouse to $169 at the Suites to $199 at the luxury-level Conference Center.

The top-to-bottom interior renovations are being done by local design firm Vocon and architect Bill Blunden and include all the public spaces and 162 suites. The fitness center will double in size, with new cardiovascular machines. A new WiFi café will open and a Mediterranean-style restaurant and bar, yet to be named, will accent the ambiance of relaxation and rejuvenation by offering nutritious and refreshing fare, with items fitting the Cleveland Clinic’s Go! Foods requirements for healthy eating.

A gift shop/wellness store will open in a new area of the lobby offering sundries and items from the Clinic’s wellness program, including EmWave handheld systems that offer advanced heart-rhythm-coherence feedback to manage stress, emotions and overall health. The remote systems will be available for free at the front desk upon request for guests to use while visiting, and then available for purchase to take home.

A rendering of the living area of the new suites.

All guest suites are ADA accessible with a sofa that opens into a queen bed, two 42-inch flat-screen TVs, a reclining chair, microwave and refrigerator with freezer for medications. The rooms feature calming neutral colors and brighter lighting, with smaller touches like bathroom amenities with squeeze tubes rather than hard-to-open caps.

“Our guests are either patients or family members of patients,” says Campbell. “They are under duress and we want to create an oasis of comfort for them to relax in.”

The staff is also getting a makeover with additional training. “Sometimes we need to be a shoulder for people to cry on,” Campbell says. “If we’re all about wellness, we need to completely embrace it.”

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