Kew Green is one of the leading hotel developers and operators in the UK with a portfolio of over 57 hotels throughout the country. Founded in 2001 with just one hotel, the company has developed a large presence in the hotel management industry. In 2015 they were acquired by a Chinese travel corporation and as a condition of sale, their portfolio of Kew Green hotels totalling over 3000 bedrooms were to be refurbished over the next three and a half years.
Kew Green’s portfolio includes leading brands such as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hampton by Hilton and Crowne Plaza. These hotels operate at either a three or four-star level but at the time of acquisition were outdated and were in desperate need of refurbishment.
Contract furniture suppliers, Lugo, have worked closely with Kew Green for some 14 years. Lugo was approached to supply a number of different contract furniture pieces for the various refurbishment projects. Lugo supplied hotel bedroom furniture for a total of 26 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels throughout the UK. Later, Lugo also supplied loose hotel contract furniture for their new open lobby scheme.
Overview and Scope
Kew Green required Lugo to design and manufacture loose contract furniture for their hotel bedrooms. Many of the existing hotel furniture was worn, outdated or did not fit in with the hotel’s latest corporate branding. Lugo’s Managing Director, Lee Marvin, worked closely with the client’s Property Director to design the hotel’s bedroom furniture that adhered to challenging budget restrictions. This involved selecting the raw materials, contract fabrics and timber finishes. An appropriate scheme was decided upon before the project moved forward.
Lugo was to supply loose hotel furniture for this multi-sited rollout. This included lounge chairs, sofa beds, desk chairs and a coffee and/or breakfast table if the guest bedroom had a large enough footprint. All hotel furniture had to meet the strict InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Holiday Inn branding and their required quality standards.
Desk chairs within smaller rooms had to glide with ease. Being able to move the desk chair from under the desk to in front of a mirror within bedrooms of a smaller footprint was an important consideration, guests could then use the one chair for multiple uses and therefore this involved specifying a less cumbersome design to accommodate this consideration.
Lugo supplied loose contract hotel furniture for the 26 individual hotels, but to be consistent with Holiday Inn’s brand image this brief was later implemented across all of the Kew Green hotels for consistency.
The colour scheme for the rooms met the IHG brand guidelines for Holiday Inn. Standard rooms were decorated and furnished in shades of green and grey whilst executive rooms and suites were to be beige and purple.
A cool grey was paired with accents of fern green and the rich shade of purple with a simple beige were the colourways used throughout the loose furniture supplied, and within the soft furnishings in the hotel bedrooms. The rich purple was used as the accent colour in the fabric design of the sofa bed and lounge chair seat pads as well as being used in the floral-patterned curtains. This softer colour palette was a calming change compared to the previous bold red and navy-blue scheme that was in place. The fern green from the Panaz Highland Collection was used mainly as a solid colour on furniture in the standard rooms.
The Property Director worked closely with the hotel furniture suppliers team throughout the design process and took onboard feedback from hotel guests and staff in order to select the furniture based on their comments. An example of this would be that Kew Green moved away from specifying wooden desk chairs and requested desk chairs with metallic frames for the new refurbishment. These were specified in a Panaz Aston Dove faux leather, they were not only easier to clean but were less cumbersome for hotel guest to manoeuvre and more resilient to knocks and scratches.
In a number of hotel guest rooms, Lugo supplied high-quality hotel sofa beds which are a versatile furniture solution. This is because it’s not only a seating option for the guests but can easily be transformed into a small double bed to increase room occupancy levels. Lugo’s Trinity sofa bed was specifically selected for the Holiday Inn contract as its comfortable cushioned seat and back double up as loose cushions for the sofa bed when pulled out. The folding mechanism used was both robust and easy for housekeeping staff to use on a daily basis.
Similarly, the Larrie lounge chair was customised and the seat cushion upholstered in the geometric pattern of Seker’s Manhattan Lexington in a regal purple and Panaz Highland Chablis taupe for executive rooms. In standard and single rooms, the chair was upholstered in Panaz fern green. The high arms and generous seat cushion make this lounge chair ideal for relaxing while watching TV or reading a book in.
To accompany the seating options in the hotel bedrooms, there needed to be a type of table. Depending on the room size either a coffee table or a breakfast table was specified. A breakfast table would allow multiple people to be seated around it and enjoy food whereas the coffee table was used in rooms where space was restricted but a surface was needed for drinks or room service.
The refurbishment was not complete without new bedroom casegoods. Lugo partnered with sister company and hotel casegood manufacturer Furnotel, to design, manufacture and install these fitted elements within the hotel bedrooms.
Furnotel provided sumptuously padded headboards in beige mounted on timber backs with inbuilt lighting and switches. The headboard design also allowed for floating shelves to be integrated. As floating shelves do not have a pedestal or base to them, it frees up floor space, reduces housekeeping and most importantly is cost effective. The timber headboard unit accompanied the wardrobe and desk which were produced in the same timber stain to complete the look.
The installation process for this Kew Green Holiday Inn rollout consisted of mainly delivery and placement of the loose furniture. The customer service team at Lugo were in close contact with Kew Green’s management team to devise the best schedule for delivery. There was an average of eight hotel rooms being refurbished each week per individual site, allowing the hotels to stay open for business. At any one time, Lugo was working with seven sites at the same time and dispatching 56 rooms of furniture to various UK sites each week.
Lugo has thoroughly enjoyed working with and assisting Kew Green to refurbish their extensive portfolio of four-star hotel bedrooms and we continue to work closely together with this highly valued client in supplying loose furniture for their new “Open Lobby” concept for Holiday Inn public areas.