HB ON THE SCENE: Why Sleep Inn Introduced Its New Prototype

LAS VEGAS—Sleep Inn has unveiled its new prototype here at Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s 62nd annual convention, as well as the drivers behind the new look.

“The simplicity of the Sleep Inn brand’s prototype is attractive to both guests and owners in a marketplace where other brands are pursuing polarizing and fast-to-fade designs that are more impractical than simple,” said Anne Smith, VP of brand strategy for Choice Hotels. “In our research, travelers consistently tell us that they love what we’ve done with Sleep Inn. This prototype evolution equips us even more to appeal to customers who are making snap decisions based on first impressions.” 

An all new-construction brand in the midscale segment, Sleep Inn’s latest prototype will remain cost neutral to its current prototype. Exterior features will include a slimmed down porte cochere, a warm gray exterior, LED accent lighting in the signature Sleep Inn brand color and nature-inspired door appliques to make an immediate impression upon a guest’s arrival, according to the brand.

Meanwhile, the lobby will offer versatile seating, including a communal table with built-in charging capabilities and semi-private banquettes. Other enhancements include customized artwork highlighting the local area, which is aimed at complementing the brand’s signature accent wall; black and white photography; slimmed down furnishings; a partially open closet; and beds with decorative white triple sheeting in guestrooms.

According to the brand, the introduction of LED lighting and materials such as luxury vinyl tile and carpet tile options will reduce ongoing maintenance.

So why the change? At the conference, Smith noted, “As a design-centric brand that promises a simply stylish stay, we’re always looking ahead. We want to make sure that the franchise agreements we sign today will still be design-forward when the hotels come out of the ground in the years to come.

“We invested in deep and thorough research with guests, potential guests and developers to uncover how evolving the prototype could help Sleep meet the changing needs of future travelers,” she continued, noting that the research showed current and future travelers liked the brand offering—once they got inside.

“But, they told us that they need some signals on the exterior of the building,” she explained. “That’s why the evolved exterior has a modern feel—warm gray colors, pops of Sleep purple, a slim port cochere, and energy-efficient LED lighting will modernize the building without going too trendy.”

This is also why the interior of the hotel is relatively unchanged. “We kept the nature inspiration, color palette and black & white artwork,” said Smith, “and just evolved them in a few key ways to meet design and consumer trends.”

There are currently 75 Sleep Inn projects in the pipeline, which means the Sleep Inn brand now accounts for more than 20% of the midscale segment pipeline, according to Choice.

—Nicole Carlino