New Website Promotes Downtown Indy and New Hotels as ‘The Place to Be’

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A new website, http://www.theplacetobeindy.com, heralds a unique mix of three Marriott brand select service hotels that are bringing the latest hotel trends to downtown Indianapolis, including room service from T.G.I. Friday's.

A newly launched website, http://www.theplacetobeindy.com, heralds the unique mix of three Marriott select service hotels that are opening with a combined 621 rooms in downtown Indianapolis this month. The site also functions as an easy-to-use and eye-catching guide to downtown attractions and events.

Marketed under the banner of “The Place to Be In Indy,” the new Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites, located next to the rising JW Marriott development, each represent the leading edge of select service features for its respective brand.

The three hotels represent a new marketing trend being developed by White Lodging, Inc. They are promoted as a single destination with a single reservation line, but with different hotel experiences at different price points. The new website offers an extensive interactive map of downtown entertainment, sporting events, restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions, all “right outside the doors” of the hotels. The site also jointly promotes the hotels’ event-and-attraction packages, as well as group plans for weddings and other gatherings.

“The website’s design and contents represents the colorful and contemporary style that puts us on the leading edge of hospitality trends,” said Kim Meyerholtz, general manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites, which opened Feb. 3, followed by the other two hotels today. “It’s also designed to be a helpful travel planning tool for anyone who wants a quick look at what goes on downtown. We want to help establish downtown Indy as the place to be.”

High tech campfire experience with room service

Among the other trends expected to escalate in 2010, according to industry analysts, are more affordable options, expanded room service, more comfort foods, and features that help create a “campfire experience” that allows people to better share and connect with others.

A 2010 trend report from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration said hotels need to be about “building emotional ties. … Sharing is the key … sharing responds to consumers’ needs for comfort and safety, for intimacy and friendship.” Many people are experiencing the underlying insecurity created by the hobbled economy, said the report.

The Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown features a “lobby as living room” concept, which most vividly addresses the campfire experience through a variety of small, comfortable spaces within a large open area, with ultra-contemporary decor. People can easily talk in intimate settings, but just as easily move the conversation to the in-lobby Bistro for drinks, snacks and small meals, while still feeling connected to the rest of the lobby.

Small Media Pod areas with LCD TVs also add entertainment spaces for small groups and individuals. With plenty of outlets for electronic needs, lobby visitors will find complimentary high-speed Internet access four times faster than comparable hotels, according to Meyerholtz. For a small additional fee, travelers can boost that access to speeds 10 times faster than normal, she said.

Executive Travel Magazine reports that room service is one of the areas of hotel service “being kicked up a notch” for 2010. Rare for select service hotels, room service will be a feature of all three hotels — provided by an on-site T.G.I. Friday’s (also owned by White Lodging) that opened this month as well. Brownie Obsession, anyone?

“The roomy suites and many amenities we offer provide a comfortable ‘at home’ feel that a lot of travelers are looking for these days,” said Meyerholtz. “Take all the business and leisure choices we provide through three hotels at one location, and you can see we are exactly designed for today’s traveler and budget conscious customer. Coupled with our close location to so many of downtown’s attractions, we believe we can draw people downtown to everyone’s benefit. We’re one the best hotel values Indianapolis.”

For more information, visit http://www.theplacetobeindy.com.

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