Fairfield Inn & Suites is stoking the competition in the mid-scale, limited-service tier. The “value” brand from Marriott has instituted several new efforts in the past few months, including weekday delivery of newspapers to the front door; coffee makers in all rooms; express checkout; and elimination of some 40 properties that don't meet standards.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a prime example of the brand's new look. Not only do all 114 units face the beach, each features a 32-inch television, high-speed Internet access, free local calls and mini-refrigerators. It's a comfortable, modern hotel that leaves you alone when you want and accommodates you when you need.

In early November, Fairfield invited a group of franchisees and owners to show off the property, owned by local firm Tidewater Hotels & Resorts.

The hotel is “particularly unique in terms of design,” says Liam Brown, Fairfield's senior vice president, owner and franchise services, “but it's not unique in terms of the room.” The hotel demonstrates that “we will work and partner with an owner to customize the product for a local market,” he says. “It's a single-loaded building with an ocean view and a customized interior design package, but it's still a Fairfield Inn & Suites.”

What is Fairfield's edge over competitors Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta and Red Roof? “We have a quality product, value for the guest and franchisee, and value by Marriott,” Brown says. “The ‘by Marriott’ affiliation stands for 77 years of hospitality and service. And all the channels that we have.”

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