JWA Architects has revamped the interiors of the mid-market Howard Johnson and budget Days Inn hotel brands, which will be unveiled next month to existing and potential UK franchise owners by brand operator Cendant Europe.
The aim of the revamp is to tailor an image more appropriate to the UK market, which has become more sophisticated and demanding since the existing design was developed five years ago by the Hauseman Group, says Cendant Europe managing director franchise services Roy Murray.
He adds, ‘In the past, perhaps we were a little too loyal to [the look of] the US brand. [As a result,] the Howard Johnson brand is far too close to Days Inn and it’s hard to distinguish between them.’
The design standards of the budget offer will be improved, while the Howard Johnson brand is to target ‘the gaping hole’ at the upper end of the three-star market which has been left by other brands trading up, Murray says.
JWA Architects director Gary Neville says, ‘With Days Inn, there is better quality in the bar and restaurant and the ambience of the reception. The design is up-tempo. We’re giving it a lift without losing the [cost-conscious appeal].’
The look for Howard Johnson is more like that of a gentlemen’s club, with signature items and a darker, more understated colour palette, Neville adds.
The consultancy has created a standards manual for the Days Inn brand, as well as a generic look for Howard Johnson for a fee of £54 000.
JWA Architects will be the preferred supplier for the implementation of the design when it is rolled out over the next two years.
It won a creative pitch for the job against the Hauseman Group last August.