Accorhotels’ economy brand Ibis is rolling out a new customer experience across its core 1,174 hotels, featuring a mobile check-in, newly designed rooms and a live music programme.
Technology will take over from reception desks to enable quicker check-ins, with staff, now known as the ‘Smile Team’, approaching guests as they enter the lobby with a mobile or tablet using a proprietary mobile solution.
An Ipsos study conducted on behalf of Ibis revealed that 61 per cent of respondents would rather be greeted by an individual than by a technology solution during check-in and check-out.
The UK was the first country to pilot this new approach, and the 60 hotels which trialed it have since adopted it. Ibis aims to achieve a 100 per cent rollout of this feature by 2022. It will be no small feat to transform the brand’s 150,748 rooms across 66 countries.
Ibis has also developed three design concepts – Agora, Plaza and Square -from its main markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Ibis Blackfriars is currently trialling two 16.5 sqm rooms with the Agora and Plaza designs.
Agora, developed by European designer Martin Lesjak of INNOCAD Architecture, has already been rolled out top-to-bottom in the Ibis Barcelona Plaza Glories Hotel 22.
Agora rooms (pictured above) will have carpeted floors, ceiling graphics, a cage-like wardrobe and a muted blue colour scheme. A function line provides LED lighting and hooks for belongings, which can hold anything from hanging baskets and plants to yoga mats.
Plaza hails from Brazilian designer Rodrigo Marcondes Ferraz of architecture firm FGMF and is currently installed in the rooms of Ibis Sao Paulo Morumbi and the lobby of Ibis Sao Paulo Expo. The rooms have a more industrial vibe, with linear lines, wooden floors with a rug, a bookshelf and concrete wallpaper.
Square has been developed by the Thai designer Soda, and features a lobby entirely visible from the exterior due to its large glass panels, while a terrace area connects the hotel to the street.
According to Ipsos, 80 per cent of respondents want new hotels to be social venues which accommodate both hotel and non-hotel guests. Ibis is therefore keen on transforming its lobbies into social hubs, where guests can relax, dine, meet and work.
New food and beverage propositions will also be introduced to attract external customers as well as hotel guests. The brand has trialed this by replacing the traditional lobby of the Ibis Cambridge Central Station Hotel with coffee shop Chill#2, where 80 per cent of its revenue is sourced from non-hotel guests.
Ibis to launch a live music programme
The brand has also teamed up with Sony Music, Spotify and the Sziget Festival in Hungary for the brand’s new music programme.
The brand will host 100 live music events across six countries, featuring both famous headliners and local upcoming artists. The international finale will be held at Sziget Festival and the winner will receive a day of personalised coaching at Sony Music Entertainment UK.