Hilton Upgrades Garden Inn, Homewood Brands

Hilton has been on a renovation roll with its brands; last year's dramatic overhaul of the Hampton product being a prime example. This year, the focus is on Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites.

Hilton Garden Inn is rolling out new guestroom amenities via the Evolution Solution Express, a 72-foot, 67,000-pound mobile marketing truck that features a full-scale model guestroom. The ESE will trek across the U.S. and Canada visiting tourist events and destinations to provide travelers with a virtual hotel experience while giving a sneak peek at what guests will soon find at Hilton Garden Inn properties.

New guestroom amenities being showcased in the tour include the Garden Sleep System by VSS Sleep Systems; a modified Mirra chair by Herman Miller; a 26-inch Philips flat-panel, high-definition television; and a clock that allows travelers to play their MP3s or CDs.

The ESE was introduced to Hilton Garden Inn owners and general managers during the Hilton Focused Service Brand conference in Las Vegas last month.

Meanwhile, Homewood Suites by Hilton has launched a five-year Distinctly Homewood product enhancement program that addresses three areas: relevance, consistency and distinctiveness.

A series of planned upgrades aim to make the extended stay brand's hotels more residential and feel more like home to guests. Enhancements include higher-quality bedding, updated kitchens, expanded fitness facilities and updated amenities. Implementation is set to begin immediately at all 145 hotels and will be implemented at the additional 85 hotels in the development pipeline. Completion is slated to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Homewood Suites brand in 2009.

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