BEFORE AND AFTER: Holiday Inn Express Toronto's $6.8 million reno

BEFORE: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown lobby.

BEFORE: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown lobby.

AFTER: Holiday Inn Express Downtown lobby.

AFTER: Holiday Inn Express Downtown lobby.

TORONTO – InnVest Hotels has recently completed a $6.8 million renovation to the 195-room Holiday Inn Express – Toronto Downtown, putting the finishing touch — changes to the elevators — in place late in late October. The Holiday Inn Express – Toronto Downtown is located at 111 Lombard Street and is within walking distance to the St. Lawrence Market, King and Bay Financial District, Eaton’s Center and Yonge Street Shopping area.  

The guest response to the renovations has been excellent, with 93 per cent saying they would recommend the hotel.

Nicholas Lakas.

Nicholas Lakas.

“We're over the moon on how customers have received it,” said Nicholas Lakas, vice-president asset manager at the hotel's owner, InnVest Hotels. “We have customers who have been coming here for years, who say it is a completely different hotel, with the same great service and hospitality.”

He added that the senior staff at the hotel have taken it to a level they didn't see coming, and that financially they are ahead of expectations from an underwriting point of view. From a guest service standpoint, the metrics are significantly in front of where they were — up 25 to 35 per cent.

“The owners are really happy from a physical standpoint and about how the hotel has performed.”

Before the renovations, the hotel needed “a whole lot of love and attention,” said Lakas. “It was a pretty tired product.” At the same time, the hotel had good bones. InnVest was happy with the exterior, which fits the neighbourhood. The guest rooms and bathrooms were a good size, and renovations to the guest rooms consisted of a lot of cosmetic changes. 

The lobby, on the other hand, was reconfigured with walls moved or removed. “We wanted to give our guests a better sense of place that better reflects the needs of people today,” said Lakas. “Our hotel is geared to people who want to be downtown, but can't afford the hotels there. We offer a practical approach to the hotel environment, without the bells and whistles they don't want to pay for.”

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the
parent company of the Holiday Inn Express brand. InnVest has invested in the following renovations to the 14-story property:

— A
complete renovation of all furniture and finishes in the lobby including the
addition of new flexible work and new dining spaces on the ground level. 

— Enhancements to the lobby with a new mini market, where guests can pick up snacks, drinks and select toiletries while on-the-go.

— A
new Express Start Breakfast area with a clean modern
design looking out onto downtown Toronto.

BEFORE: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown guest room.

BEFORE: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown guest room.

AFTER: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown guest room.

AFTER: Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown guest room.

— The
hotel has added new modern furniture, amenities and décor to the guestrooms.
Guests can enjoy in-room Timothy’s
coffee from a Keurig machine, use of a mini fridge, microwave or safe, and get
some fresh air from windows that open. 

— The
hotel has added a mini gym, including modern strength and cardio equipment.
These spaces have natural light and are located on the second floor.

Nancy Stock, general manager, said: “We
look forward to offering our guests an enhanced stay experience while they
travel to downtown Toronto. We will continue to offer exceptional levels of
customer service.”

The hotel offers such business conveniences as in-room mobile
phone chargers, high voltage desk lights, ergonomic desk chairs, onsite small
print options in the complimentary business center, and dry cleaning
services.  

The Holiday Inn Express – Toronto Downtown is owned by
InnVest Hotels and managed by Westmont Hospitality Group, under a license
agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group.

InnVest holds one of Canada's largest hotel
portfolio comprising over 90 hotel properties, with 12,000 rooms, operated
under internationally recognized franchise brands. InnVest's hotels are managed
by six hotel management companies. InnVest also partners with brands as a
franchisee of brand licenses and reservation networks. InnVest's portfolio is
operated under 18 internationally recognized franchise brands.