In Europe, IHG Unveils New Spaces for Work & Play

BERLIN—IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has unveiled new designs for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, which will be implemented across its European hotels.

The designs are on show at the International Hotel Investment Forum 2018 (IHIF) this week. Visitors can walk around the new concept and explore a Crowne Plaza flagship hotel via virtual reality, giving hotel owners and investors the chance to experience and interact with the “Plaza WorkSpace” and “WorkLife Room.”

The brand received a $200-million investment in the Americas over three years, where the new hotel concepts have already been piloted. It has now set sights on Europe. IHG has collaborated with design studio Conran and Partners to challenge the preconceptions of a standard business hotel, deliver inspiring settings and create more flexible working environments, according to the company.

“We’re investing in Crowne Plaza to make it the first choice for modern business travelers and more profitable for hotel owners. We’ve partnered closely with our owners throughout this project and every element of the new design has been shaped with return on investment in mind. Working with leading design studio Conran and Partners we’ve created communal workspaces where guests can switch effortlessly between work and socializing,” said Mike Greenup, VP of brand management for Europe at IHG.

Example of a WorkLife Room planned for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Example of a WorkLife Room planned for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

IHG is partnering with owners on three flagship Crowne Plaza hotels to roll out the new designs later this year: Crowne Plaza London – Heathrow; Crowne Plaza Paris – République; and Crowne Plaza Hamburg – City Alster.

Central to the hotel is the “Plaza WorkSpace,” a flexible collection of agile working areas modeled on a public square, where guests and local businesses can switch between work and downtime. Coworking spaces with huddle spots and built-in touch screens will sit alongside food and drink options, with the aim of increasing dwell times, F&B revenue and generating non-guest spend, according to the brand.

“We have been working closely with IHG over the last year to understand past, present and future guest profiles for Crowne Plaza, so we can define and exceed their expectations,” said Simon Kincaid, director, Conran and Partners. “The needs of modern business travelers are liquid and demanding. Travelers expect seamless service and want an experience that parallels the ease and flexibility of brands such as Uber or Apple, progressive coworking environments, members’ clubs and immersive retail experiences.”

The guestroom has also been redefined with the new “WorkLife Room,” an environment designed with three distinct zones to support work, downtime and a better night’s sleep. Rooms will have materials that reduce noise disturbance, while lighting settings will enhance the sleep experience, according to the brand.

Informal meeting areas have also been transformed. “The Forum” is a dynamic event and coworking space with a Spanish Steps-style layout for presentations and guest speakers. “The Studio” is an on-demand space that can be used for collaborative workshops by day and private dining by night.

A new bar is planned for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.
A new bar is planned for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.