Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Motel 6 is getting a new look

American + design are not two words you hear together too often.

Hotel & motel interior design in the USA has always been staid, fussy and..well old fashioned.

Motel 6 is an iconic brand that is in the process of freshening its look and it is interesting to see what they have come up with...


10 December 2008

Motel 6 is getting a new look, with flat-panel televisions, wood-laminate floors and modern furnishings. And it starts in North Texas.
Carrollton-based Accor North America, which owns several budget hospitality brands including 1,000 Motel 6 locations in the U.S. and Canada, broke ground Monday on its first new motel to feature the new design, at a site across from Texas Motor Speedway.

The Motel 6 there is set to open by late summer. In the meantime, the chain is revamping its existing motels, with all of the ones in North Texas expected to be done by the end of the month.

Accor North America CEO Olivier Poirot spoke with staff writer Andrea Jares about the new look for the 46-year-old chain.

Obviously, this is a real- ly different design for the chain. Why did you rethink the look of your motels?

Every so often, typically around 12 to 15 years, we try a new prototype. What we try every time is to add value to the guest but not deviate from our promise to the customer, which is a clean, comfortable room at a lower price than any national chain. What’s unique about this prototype is that this is going to be the first site in the nation, where not only are we doing the room, we are also doing the exterior of the building.

Can you walk me through some of the changes?

As you can see, we have platform beds, which gives a feeling of openness and cleanliness. We also have what is fairly unique in any midscale or economy product, the fact that you have the settee in the corner of the room facing the TV. You can watch the TV from any angle. We’ve done away with the carpets. We have laminate wood flooring made of 80 percent recycled materials.

Is this the most ambitious remodel Motel 6 has done?

This product is going to revolutionize economy lodging. For all of our competitors, that is going to set the new benchmark of what people should be striving for.

Why are you starting here with the renovations?

That’s where we’re located. And Texas is our second [largest] market. D-FW is one of our biggest city markets. We want to start the new prototype in a location close to home because obviously we are going to be extremely involved in the prototype.

What kind of reaction have you heard from people?

We get a lot of the wow factor. It has been extremely positive. The guests appreciate the feeling of openness, the cleanliness, and what some people call "Eurochic" when they walk into the room. A lot of people appreciate that we’ve done away with the carpets. Everybody loves the flat-screen TVs, and everybody loves the new bathrooms. So it’s really a winner.

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