Embassy Responds to the Market

A new prototype for Hilton's wildly successful Embassy Suites brand should mean lower costs and greater flexibility for developers. The new Design Option III also enables developers to build in secondary markets that can't support the big-box versions of the brand.

“Developers love the brand and its performance, but cost is a concern, particularly for some locations,” says David Greydanus, former senior vice president of brand management for Embassy Suites. (He recently took a similar post for Hilton's new Waldorf=Astoria Collection luxury brand.) “The goal of the new design is to reduce development costs while improving some of the features and amenities guests say they want.”

To facilitate the enhancements and to cut costs, Embassy's signature atrium design was reduced in size and pushed to the entrance of the hotel. As a result, guest units are grouped along double-loaded corridors rather than facing the atrium.

A typical 156-unit property with the new design can be built for $105,000 to $115,000 per key, a per-room reduction of $15,000, and on less than three acres, versus four acres for the standard model.

The guest units, while slightly smaller than previous designs, feature side-by-side rooms instead of a shotgun configuration. Suite upgrades include a large desk and ergonomic chair, mobile furnishings so guests can personalize their space, flat-screen TVs and walk-in showers.

New to the public area is a Marketplace f&b concept that offers casual dining, flexible service and extended hours in a coffee shop/retail-type environment. Lobby kiosks will enable guests to check in and out themselves. The new designs also allow for additional meeting space, with about 6,700 square feet as the norm.

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