Choice Hotels EMEA, the leading franchisor, has commenced its Clarion brand refresh forming part of its recently announced EMEA brand portfolio refresh.
The refresh follows analysis of research into post pandemic travel requirements in key markets revealing that Clarion guests are looking for a hotel that is authentic to its destination offering a feeling of escape and sense of discovery.
Reflective of the research, Clarion hotels will include inspirational touches that bring out their personality, offering a richer experience that caters to guests’ sense of style.
Clarion’s design ethos has been thoughtfully curated to avoid a cookie-cutter experience, in line with Choice Hotels EMEA’s approach to brand development. This will see Clarion hotels weave in local flavours resulting in guests experiencing something different when away from home and franchisees having the ability to customise their design choices to showcase their Clarion hotel in an authentic way.
Commenting on the Clarion brand refresh, Choice Hotels EMEA CEO, Jonathan Mills said: “We recently announced the refresh of our entire brand portfolio here in EMEA, and following the recent launch of our Comfort brand, today we further progress that as Clarion gets underway.
“In order to be relevant for our franchisees and their guests, our brands are designed to provide clarity and definition, with a focus both on customer experience and revenue-driving while having an eye on optimising operational efficiencies.
“The Choice Hotels EMEA brand experience proposition provides choice within a framework allowing customisation for asset type and size, segment mix and location.
“Our research and exchanges have shown Clarion guests’ expectations of a midscale hotel have risen with travellers seeking accommodation that delivers beyond the basics, offering distinction in design and style with attention to small details.
“Clarion’s design sensibility enables franchisees to curate a truly bespoke hotel, supported by Choice Hotels’ systems and offering unique experiences so that guests can discover something different at every Clarion hotel. In essence, it enables each hotel to reveal its very own personality.
“Our decision to invest in refreshing our brand propositions for the region is part of building a franchisee collaboration proposition that is fit for the future. In that respect we are focused on offering relevant brands designed for the evolving needs of the quality value seeking guest while delivering hallmarks created to drive additional revenues.
“Through all of this, we can ensure we are focused on enhancing their asset value in addition to delivering a great guest experience that the traveller of today looks for.”
Each Clarion hotel will share three key customisable elements.
The Clarion Café will be the focal point of the hotel, offering a range of options to eat, relax and work throughout the day for guests and the local community alike. Alongside an all-day bistro-style menu including local and seasonal items, the Clarion Café will offer an evolving retail range of gourmet and specialty gifts, enabling hotels to drive additional revenue opportunities. Clarion hotels will also have the option of featuring a bar and artisanal pop-ups well placed for their neighbourhood.
Each Clarion hotel will identify a unique signature item which could be a cocktail, a scone they feature in the Clarion Cafe, a historic feature of the hotel, a musician playing in the hotel, a scent, a hotel pet or even a member of staff.
There will also be one identifiable design element making a strong visual first impression as guests enter the property. This might be a piece of art, a creative sculpture, a creative ceiling light or a focal piece of furniture.
The Clarion brand framework enables each hotel to reveal its unique personality, encompassing food, art, design, local produce, lighting and music for its own local style.
The Clarion refresh is accompanied by newly-updated brand toolkits including inspirational design guidelines and brand standards documentation. Franchisees are also being supported through the transition by Choice Hotels with brand and service training
Choice Hotels EMEA is currently represented with the Clarion, Quality, Comfort and Ascend Hotel Collection brands. Last month Choice Hotels EMEA announced a refresh of its regional brand portfolio, to provide clearer differentiation among the brands and best meet the evolving needs of franchisees and guests. With Comfort completed and Clarion now underway, Quality will commence in quarter three of this year. Sleep, which is well established in other regions, will be introduced in EMEA and plans for the Ascend Hotel Collection will be revisited later this year.
The brand refresh comes as Choice Hotels EMEA celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first hotel opening in Europe.