Q&A: Homewood Suites by Hilton Owners Talk Involvement in Creating Game-Changing New Prototype
Homewood Suites recently unveiled ‘Prototype 10.0’ – a game-changing, all-new prototype that modernizes the brand for the future.
Hilton tapped a select group of Homewood Suites owners and developers – including Ron Kendall of Buffalo Lodging, Nelson Knight of Apple Hospitality REIT, Richard Meseberg of Raymond Management Company and Chet Patel of Baywood Hotels – to collaborate on every step of the prototype creation, which was designed to offer added value and versatility for owners and guests alike. Prototype 10.0 yields a reduction in site size from 2.49 acres to 2.36 acres, reduces the building area by more than 3,350 square feet; increases the number of room keys from 121 suites to 131 suites; and enhances food and beverage options to generate additional revenue opportunities.
For guests, Prototype 10.0 has infused innovations and elevated experiences with the hallmark spaces and amenities that travelers value most, including:
- King Efficiency Suite: A game-changing new suite type that features many of the attributes of a full suite, including a fully-equipped kitchen, a work space area, soft seating and a separate vanity and bathroom, that can be booked independently or as a connecting suite to accommodate larger groups and families
- Elevated shared spaces: Elevated shared spaces will be reflective of the experience guests have in their own homes, including a reimagined fitness center, an enlarged guest laundry area and the Backyard - a completely redesigned social space with fire pits, outdoor kitchen areas, upscale picnic tables and a recreational area
- Guest storage: A newly appointed flex storage area allows guests to enjoy clutter-free living by storing oversized items such as bicycles, golf clubs, skis, strollers and large suitcases outside of their suites
- Food and beverage purchase options: The lobby area features a new elevated retail experience including barista-style specialty drinks, meal prep items at the Suite Shop convenience store and a Tap Wall with beer and wine for purchase
Read on to hear from four long-time Homewood Suites owners and developers about their involvement with the creation of Prototype 10.0, and what they think it means for fellow owners, developers, and guests.
From Left: Chet Patel, Baywood Hotels; Richard Meseberg, Raymond Management Company; Ron Kendall, Buffalo Lodging; Nelson Knight, Apple Hospitality REIT
Describe your experience working with the Homewood Suites by Hilton’s ownership sub-group in creating Prototype 10.0?
Ron Kendall, Buffalo Lodging: In my opinion, it has been among the most interesting and informative experiences one can have. Hilton clearly is dedicated to creating the best choice available in the extended-stay sector.
You work with a variety of knowledgeable people at Hilton with a constant flow of new ideas, and a wide variety of owners who are generally viewing the world in the same manner as I am. Hilton recognizes owners’ priorities in a way that other brands don’t. Having a company listen and take feedback from owners and being part of the prototype conversations is so important as a franchisee.
What about this prototype development process has been unique?
Nelson Knight, Apple Hospitality REIT: Homewood Suites came to this new prototype design from a position of strength – the brand is performing very well. Part of what attracted us to Homewood Suites originally, and kept us involved, is the broad consumer appeal and market penetration. From that lens, we weren’t trying to make massive corrections with the new prototype. Rather we were focused on how we could enhance the guest experience – such as check-in to the lobby, the elevated outdoor recreation area and the expanded fitness area – while delivering a product that is more attractive to developers to build.
As an owner/developer, what key differentiators of Prototype 10.0 are you most excited about?
Chet Patel, Baywood Hotels: The King Efficiency Suite is unique to the Prototype 10.0 design and will be a game changer in the upscale extended-stay space as it provides developers and operators flexibility in markets with higher demand. Another key differentiator is the reduction in overall square footage of the building and footprint, as this will help when considering tighter development sites.
What part of Prototype 10.0 do you think will be among the favorites of guests?
Richard Meseberg, Raymond Management Company: There’s going to be a bright new experience that guests will have when they come into the door. Certain aspects of the new prototype are going to resonate differently for everyone, but the experience in the new lobby, the front desk, the Suite Shop and how we serve the premium barista-style coffee and tap beer and wine will be curiously refreshing. The guest storage outside of the room should also be intriguing to extended-stay folks.
About Homewood Suites by Hilton
Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hilton’s upscale, award-winning, all-suite, extended-stay hotel brand, has more than 515 locations across the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, with more than 100 properties in the pipeline. Homewood Suites by Hilton offers inviting, generous-sized suites featuring separate living and sleeping areas, and fully equipped kitchens with full-size refrigerators for guests seeking comfortable accommodations when traveling for extended or quick overnight stays. Additional value-driven essentials include complimentary WiFi and free breakfast. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Homewood Suites by Hilton is focused on guest satisfaction and stands behind each stay with its 100% Suite Assurance® guarantee. For more information visit homewoodsuites.com or newsroom.hilton.com/homewoodsuites, and connect with Homewood Suites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,500 properties and more than one million rooms, in 119 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2020 World’s Best Workplaces list, and was named the 2020 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection to hotels worldwide. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 115 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy. With the free Hilton Honors mobile app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.