by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | August 01, 2005

Cambria Suites

In development:
Cambria Suites

Competition is heating up in both the upscale all-suites  and the economy extended-stay segments. Among recent developments:
    Choice Hotels International, based in Silver Springs, Md., recently announced the launch of Cambria Suites, an upscale all-suite brand. Hotels will offer 100 to 150 guest units, fitness facilities, wireless Internet access and at least 1,000 square feet of meeting space. Room rates will hover in the $100 range.
    Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International, which for years has dominated the extended-stay market, is plowing millions into its Residence Inn brand in a determined effort to maintain market prominence. In June, the company unveiled the G7 suite, to be rolled out in all Residence Inn properties. New services include HOMEtouch, a complimentary breakfast that lets guests place a customized breakfast order, rather than being limited to a buffet.
    Marriott will add an additional 30 Residence Inns by year-end, plus another 25 to 30 each year through 2008.
    Choice Hotels also is eyeing the extended-stay market. In May, the company rolled out a new brand prototype, dubbed Hotel Concept 2006. The yet-to-be-named brand will go head-to-head with InterContinental’s Staybridge Suites, U.S. Franchise Systems’ Hawthorn Suites and Accor North America’s Studio 6.
    All-suite hotels hold particular appeal for meeting planners on tight budgets, noted Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services for Atlanta-based PKF Hospitality Research. With free breakfasts and cocktail hours, planners can eliminate entire line items from their budgets.
    All-suite brands enjoyed a 6.3 percent increase in revenue and double-digit profit growth in 2004 over 2003.