Miraculous world of Holiday Inn hotel chain – redesigned hotel in Belgrade satisfied strict standards of InterContinental Hotels group

Big Holiday Inn Beogradgreen flashing neon totem, flowers, wooden bench in front of the entrance and citrus scent mixed with romantic songs of Frank Sinatra, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, George Michael and other "masters" of love ballads will welcome you to each of 1,500 "Holiday Inn" hotels that have completed so-called "relaunch" process to the date. "Relaunch" is a rennaisance of the brand created in 1952 - Ana Milićević, the Assistant Director General of "Holiday Inn" in Belgrade, which successfully implemented all new requests within the "Holiday Inn" chain in November 2009, told "eKapija" at the beginning of the interview. The aim of "Intercontinental Hotels Group", the members of which are "Holiday Inn" and "Holiday Inn Express", was to modernize and revive the brand and adapt it to the new trends. For that purpose, voluminous poll was conducted among over 18,000 guests in 100 hotel brands, and the questions concerned nearly 200 different requests that the clients usually have. Based on their answers, the clear image of the wishes of our present guests and their expectations was created. That is how the concept was made for "refreshment" of "Holiday Inn" and "Holiday Inn Express" hotels under slogan "Great hotels guests love". "Relaunch" should include 3,200 hotels, and the whole process should be finished prior to end of year 2010 - Ana Milićević explained and pointed out that those hotels that failed to meet the requests would, most probably, lose the license and change the previous form of operations. One of significant changes is the redesigned logo of the hotel group, so that the old sign of brand "Holiday Inn" has been replaced with our new monogram, and that has been done on everything from ballpoint to pickup truck, which was the job of the special inventory commission. The Holiday Inn Beogradceremonious presentation of the new logo, new idea and the whole process was held at the conference in London, which gathered the hotel owners, directors and marketing managers in April 2008. After that, the team of architects and controllors went on field to appraise the quality of services in order to define small and big changes for each individual facility. The next step was organization of the training for employees under the name of "Stay Real". Ana Milićević was selected to represent the Belgrade-based hotel and she got the task to share the knowledge she gained at the special seminar in England with the managers of the sectors in the hotel in Belgrade. They later educated their subordinates. Due to adaptation to new requests, the training comprised psychological workshops on how to approach the guest, how to discover his wishes and meet the expectations, how to make permanent client out of the guest who criticized at first, etc. "There is no question that you either take charge of change – or change will take charge of you." (Kemmons Wilson, the founder of "Holiday Inn" chain) According to the words of Ana Milićević, the accent of "relaunch" is placed on new, fresh identity, lighting, better approach to hotel, new looks of lobby bar and reception desk, as well as on special "Holiday Inn" scent, music, redecorated rooms and bathrooms, and all details that create a pleasant impression. "Holiday Inn Belgrade" was lucky to be a "young" hotel, opened in November 2007, so that we satisfied the fire safety and HACCP standards during the planning, construction or the first year of operations. The changes mainly concerned visual identity, that is, procurement of concrete items, that is, import from abroad or finding adequate manufacturers in the country. We had excellent cooperation with our colleagues from other hotels within the chain who already went through the whole procedure, such as "Holiday Inn Istanbul Sisley". The "relaunch" process included 12 stages. Every Holiday Inn Beograd"Holiday Inn" hotel in the world has similar entrance lit by green reflectors. The totem is visible from far away, and big pots and bench are placed in front of the main entrance. The reception desk has also got the new look, and the only thing that can be put on the desk are two lamps at each of its ends. According to special drawings, the new sign has been placed on the wall of the reception desk. This sign is easily recognizable and it draws the attention of guests while still at the main entrance. Special attention is paid to the music, so that the contract was signed with the US company, from the portal of which we download selected songs, mainly love ballads. The scent patrons have arrived from the USA since the manufacturer does not have a branch office in Europe. Wallpapers and doormats have been delivered to us by Dutch manufacturers. The signs and the totem were made by local company "Quadrium reklame". The flowers are from Serbia, but we've been told which types of flowers to use. The desk and tables were made by company "Arh biro TRI", the lamps were made by "Krat", while decorative bed covers and pillow ribbons were made by company "Mega". The interior has been refreshed in all 140 rooms, which contributed to more beautiful appearance of the premises. New decorative bed covers combined with decorative ribbons on pillows are the first things you notice when you enter the room. The regular offer of hotel "Holiday Inn" includes so-called "Pillow menu", so that every guest can choose between soft, hard, anti-allergy and goose feather pillows. There is, also, a new bowl for cosmetic products with new "Holiday Inn" monogram in the toilets. Positive effects of "relaunch" The Holiday Inn Beogradpeople in the headquarters of "InterContinental Hotels Group" have come to the conclusion that there is always an increase in the number of guests in the "relaunched" hotels. Once the procedure was successfully finished, we got the "green light" to shine in full glory, thanks to the new signs on the roof and the flashing neon totem. And we carried on in new attire. So far, we have been hearing only the really positive comments of the guests, while our colleagues are applying knowledge and skills they gained at the trainings with the guiding message - People Make Difference. People Work with People. Be Yourself, Stay Real! By the way, the regular offer of hotel "Holiday Inn" includes seven easily adaptable conference rooms and, among the rest, multifunctional hall, catering services, fitness center, jakuzzi and Turkish bath at the surface of 2,500 square meters. After relaxation, you can have a drink with the friends or business partners in lobby bar or enjoy the imagination of our inventive team of chefs and the winter menu of restaurant "Singidunum". "Holiday Inn" The Holiday Inn Beograd"Holiday Inn" hotel chain was formed in the USA in 1952 when Kemmons Wilson went on family travel and realized the lack of adequate accommodation and services for himself and his family. Inspired by the idea of construction of family hotels alongside the highway with favorable prices and good services, he started creation of one of the most famous hotel chains in the world - the "Holiday Inn" chain. The brands within "InterContinental Hotels Group" (IHG) are "InterContinental", "Crowne Plaza", "Holiday Inn", "Holiday Inn Express", hotel "Indigo", "Staybridge Suites" and "Candlewood Suites".