IHG Hotels and Resorts has launched its latest conversion brand, aimed at the midscale segment.
The group has an ambitious target of 500 Garner properties in the US over the next ten years, and 1,000 over the next 20 years, with “a goal to expand globally”.
IHG said that the brand had been designed “for value-driven travellers of all ages who want a reliable and relaxed experience”, offering “an affordable price point alongside the things that guests value most, such as a convenient location, a sound night’s sleep, and a great, complimentary hot breakfast”.
The group is targeting owners “seeking higher returns in the midscale segment”, and said that the brand will be ready to franchise initially in the US by early September, with the first hotels expected to open by the end of 2023.
IHG highlights what it says will be the “consistent quality” offered by the brand, but also admits that no two hotels will be alike, adding that it will “work with each owner and property site to evaluate the level of renovation required”.
Aside from the free hot breakfast which will offer choices including “sandwiches, egg bowls, yogurt parfait, fruit, and more”, guests will also be offered “complimentary flavour-infused water on arrival”, and there will be a 24/7 Garner Shop for coffee and snacks.
Other features will include “guest-influenced playlists, snacks and drinks; flexible lobby designs; pet-friendly touches such as welcome treats, loaner items and outdoor relief stations”.
The group also said that “Garner arrives at a lower price point and conversion cost per key than Holiday Inn Express”.
Garner joins IHG’s new-build midscale brand Avid which launched in 2017, and the group’s upscale Voco conversion brand which launched in 2018.
Elie Maalouf, chief executive officer, IHG Hotels and Resorts said that the group had received more than 100 definitive expressions of interest in Garner, while Jen Gribble, SVP, global marketing mainstream brands, said:
“Garner will give owners and guests what they’ve been missing in the midscale space. We’ve designed this brand to deliver on what’s expected – a great night’s sleep in a clean, comfortable space, with a breakfast worth getting up for.
“But how we deliver it will be different – from the warm and welcoming team to the lobby décor, our style is refreshingly approachable which appeals to all types of guests.”