The new Ibis family of brands is nearing the completion of its revamp in the UK, with all rooms benefitting from a brand new bed.
Accor says is “the first time a hotel group has designed an entire bed”.
Last year the French hotel group unveiled plans for a revamp of its three economy hotel brands under the Ibis umbrella, with Ibis Styles becoming the new name for its All Seasons brand, and Ibis Budget the new branding for Etap Hotels.
The revamp is seeing signage and public areas being overhauled, as well as a new “Sweet Bed by Ibis” offering being introduced at all properties under the Ibis branding.
Accor says that a recent survey shows that around 70 per cent of guests rank comfortable beds as “the single most important factor when they choose an economy hotel”, and to this end the group consulted a team including sociologists and doctors to create a brand new bed from scratch.
The Sweet Bed by Ibis features a 7cm topper, which Karelle Lamouche, marketing director of Accor UK and Ireland said would “normally be associated with a luxury brand”.
The bed will be adapted to suit different geographical markets and cultures, and in the UK will be reserved for the Ibis family brand properties only, although in other markets the bed may be used in other Accor brands.
By the end of October, 66,000 of the new beds will have been introduced at Ibis properties worldwide, with over 100,000 set to be renewed by 2013.
Accor also said that by the end of October nearly 90 per cent of its UK Ibis family hotels will have seen their visual identities and banners changed to the new branding, and by the end of this year all Ibis properties worldwide will have benefitted from the revamp.
To coincide with the overhaul of Accor’s economy portfolio, the group will launch a new site at ibis.com later this month, where guests will be able to book rooms at Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget properties in one place.
But Lamouche stressed that while the Accor was bringing three separate brands under the Ibis umbrella, it was not merging the brands – “each one will still have its own DNA”.
Accor will also embark on a worldwide advertising campaign for the Ibis brand, kicking off on October 3 and including TV, print and online ads in the UK.
Report by Mark Caswell