IHG’s Alexander on new Holiday Inn Express prototype

IHG has released the Formula Blue 2.2 model of its Holiday Inn Express design initiative. Hotel Business spoke with Justin Alexander, VP, global brand management – Holiday Inn Express, IHG Hotels & Resorts, to get his take on the new prototype, which features:

  • An increased key count from 93-104 with room for additional suites (and revenue potential) within the existing efficient site size
  • A redesigned exterior featuring bold colors and using simplified construction means
  • A streamlined building layout allowing for more flexible indoor/outdoor pool placement options and right-sized parking and landscaping
  • Maximized “heart of house” efficiency through a simplified wall configuration, fewer doors and better positioned staff areas
Justin Alexander

Why did you decide to launch a new prototype? 

Alexander: Formula Blue 2.2 is the next evolution of our successful Formula Blue design program for the Holiday Inn Express brand, first launched in 2014. In 2020, we evolved that design with the launch of Formula Blue 2.0. Leveraging consumer and owner insights, Formula Blue 2.0 focused on increasing warmth and local distinction in public areas and delivering space savings for guests and cost savings for owners within the guestrooms.

We designed and introduced Formula Blue 2.2 to maintain Holiday Inn Express’ leading position in the market and respond to the growing pressures owners face into today’s construction and labor environment. The updated prototype enhances hotel construction efficiencies, modernizes exterior facades while using easier to install materials and methods, improves back-of-house operational efficiency, and enables the implementation of key Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs).

What do you think are the most important improvements? 

Alexander: Exterior modernization ensures that Holiday Inn Express remains relevant and memorable with our guests. Through this modernization, we can provide our owners with a more contemporary, sustainable and cost-efficient design.

When do you expect the first properties to use the new prototype to debut? 

Alexander: We expect the first properties featuring elements of the Formula Blue 2.2 design to open in the second half of 2024.