In yet another move to create a residential feel in a lodging setting, Staybridge Suites will be creating kitchen social gathering areas in some of its properties. The brand's latest prototype property, the Staybridge Suites Atlanta-Perimeter East, will feature a new buffet area design with a bar-height, granite-topped island surrounded by stools. The idea is to stimulate guest interaction during breakfast and the evening cocktail reception. In addition, the wall between the buffet and great room will be opened to further encourage guest mingling.

“We've found through customer research that travelers feel more comfortable in hotel public spaces that are comparable to the layouts of their own homes,” says Robert Radomski, vice president, brand management, for Staybridge Suites, an InterContinental Hotels Group brand. “Opening the buffet area to the great room while adding an island for seating and conversation is intended for our guests to feel as comfortable as they would in the kitchen of a family member or friend.”

The buffet design is part of Staybridge's new prototype design and will be featured in the Atlanta property when it opens this fall. It will also be a design option for existing properties and those under development.

Guest interaction is a brand mandate that's visible through other facilities and services, such as the Staybridge Just Like Home Theater in some properties and the Wireless Anywhere service. The great room has some bar-height tables and wall-mounted TVs. The properties have a community bulletin board.

More than 100 Staybridges are open and 100 more are under development.

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