NEW FOUR POINTS KEEPS IT SIMPLE

Creating an icon out of a chain is tough work, but it's a job well suited to Starwood Hotels. From the people who brought us the Heavenly Bed and W Hotels now comes a reconstituted Four Points by Sheraton, a chain it hopes to make iconic through the simple power of pie.

Beyond desserts, the new Four Points product will target what brand leader Hoyt Harper calls “uncomplicated self-sufficient travelers” through a combination of simplicity and comfort. A simplified pricing strategy will mean fewer rate plans for each hotel, and all rates will include free Internet access and bottled water.

“Our comfort initiative naturally starts with a great bed,” says Harper, who is Starwood's senior VP for Four Points. “New properties will also have a family room in the lobby, and our Best Brews pub program will feature a selection of 24 international beers.”

The chain is launching Make You Smile training for associates and a companion leadership program for general managers. The chain is also getting an aesthetics overhaul with new uniforms, three new guestroom design packages and an updated logo.

And then there's the pie. Not only will pie be the chain's signature, it's the centerpiece of a new comfort foods menu in the restaurants. Guests at Four Points will be able to choose from four daily pie selections.

Armed with the new look and a new prototype, Starwood development managers believe the brand will open 30 properties in the next year. In 2008, the third Four Points in Manhattan will open in the Times Square neighborhood.

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