Holiday Inn Express

M&R Appoints Manager of Holiday Inn Express in Manhattan

M&R Hotel ManagementGlenda Gomez, General Manager of the 177-room Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West today announced the appointment of Glenda Gomez as general manager of the 177-room Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West at 538 West 48th St.

Gomez, an 11-year hospitality industry veteran who has managed branded as well as independent hotels in New York, will oversee the hotel’s operations, sales, marketing, security, maintenance, housekeeping and accounting.

Gomez previously served M&R Hotel Management for two and one half years as general manager of the Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia Airport in Queens. Prior to joining M&R, she was director of front office operations for The Alex Hotel in New York City. From 2007 to 2011, she was overnight audit manager and front office manager at the Gardens NYC, an Affinia Hotel.

Earlier in her career, Gomez held similar positions at The Mark Hotel from 2006 to 2007 and the Best Western Convention Center Hotel, both in New York, from 2004 to 2006.

Gomez earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management at the New York Institute of Technology and is fluent in English and Spanish.

“Under Glenda’s direction, the Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia has earned numerous awards for excellent performance from the brand’s parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group,” said Brian McSherry, M&R Hotel Management chief operating officer. “We look forward to her bringing the same focus and enthusiasm to her new assignment.”

Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West front desk

Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West

The Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West features a mix of king, queen and double rooms, 24-hour fitness and business centers and guest laundry. Complimentary amenities include Express Start hot breakfast, grab-and-go lobby market, Wi-Fi throughout the building, bottled water and daily newspaper.

The hotel is near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Times Square, the Broadway theater district and world-class shopping and restaurants. The hotel is also a short walk from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, making it a convenient choice for pre- and post-cruise visits to the Big Apple.

The hotel is one of four M&R-managed properties in Manhattan, including the 89-room Comfort Inn Midtown West at 548 West 48th St., the 132-roomHoliday Inn NYC – Lower East Side at 150 Delancey St. and the 271-room Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square at 585 Eighth Ave., which opened last week.

M&R Hotel Management, based in Great Neck, also operates six other hotels in Queens, including four near John F. Kennedy International Airport and one in Long Island City, as well as  three hotels in Staten Island. The company operates a hotel in the Boston suburb of Braintree, Massachusetts, and two hotels on the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and Dominica.

M&R’s portfolio includes the brands of InterContinental Hotels Group, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotel Group and Best Western International. In addition, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have certified M&R to manage select brands.

M&R’s business plan calls for expansion of its portfolio in the New York metropolitan area and beyond through third-party management contracts. The company’s more than decade of success as an owner-operator brings an ownership perspective to its third-party clients.

In addition to management, M&R provides consulting services in hotel site and contractor selection, feasibility analysis, permitting, financing, franchising, human resources support, sales and marketing, revenue management, food & beverage management, brand management, account and risk management audits, e-commerce, design, procurement, accounting and engineering.

Brand Standards Can Require a Balancing Act

At the heart of every hotel brand is a set of standards and procedures carefully crafted by the brand’s parent company to help ensure consistency across hundreds and even thousands of individual hotels across any number of countries.

Holiday Inn Express Staten Island guest bedroom

Photo: Holiday Inn Express Staten Island

For operators, standards define the brand’s personality, right down to the way the bed sheets are folded. For guests, standards provide the assurance of consistency. They know that when they check into a Holiday Inn Express in Staten Island, they’ll find the same services and features they enjoyed at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Seattle.

Consistency is at the core of the “brand promise” and the value proposition. Yet individual hotels differ in age, location and type: suburban, highway, airport and city center, among others. So the major brands build in a degree of flexibility to account for these differences.

When a required room element doesn’t work or could actually be detrimental to the guest experience, the brand will consider a waiver. A hotel in New York with limited guest room space might, for example, waive a requirement for a desk and swivel chair in every room.

Comfort Inn NYC Midtown West guest bedroom

Photo: Comfort Inn Midtown West, New York, New York

Similarly, the brand will consider a waiver for other elements of its guest room furniture standard, should the size of the room present constraints. In the same spirit, brands require hotels to decorate the lobby and breakfast room seasonally but give each hotel considerable leeway as to what these decorations should be.

For the guest, the variations allow each hotel to be distinct to a degree, while still providing a reassuring consistency. Now that’s a balanced approach everyone can live with.

M&R Hotel Management Adds Massachusetts Hotel to Portfolio

Today M&R Hotel Management announced that it has been awarded a contract to operate the 103-room Holiday Inn Express Braintree in the Boston suburb of Braintree, Massachusetts, which becomes the 13th hotel in its portfolio and third added this year.

Holiday Inn Express Braintree Boston exterior view of front entrance

The select-service hotel at 190 Wood Road, owned by Norfolk Hospitality LLC of Braintree, features king, double and single rooms and suites with complimentary Internet service, coffee and tea makers, microwave ovens, minifrigerators, premium cable TV channels, desks, speakerphones with voice mail and free local calls and hairdryers.

Holiday Inn Express Braintree 2 Double Beds in guestroom

Additional complimentary amenities include 24-hour fitness and business centers, Express Start Breakfast Bar, on-site parking, bottled water, daily newspaper and shuttle service to local transit connections and nearby attractions within a five-mile radius of the hotel. The hotel also offers a self-service guest laundry and ATM.

Holiday Inn Express Braintree breakfast area

The Holiday Inn Express Braintree, which is 15 miles south of downtown Boston, 12 miles from Logan International Airport and three miles from downtown Braintree, is accessible from Interstate 95 and the Quincy Adams and Wollaston stations of the Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority.

The nearby South Shore Plaza offers upscale shopping. Boston-area attractions include the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, Harvard Yard, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Faneuil Hall.

Guests at the Holiday Inn Express Braintree can earn points in the IHG Rewards Club program that are redeemable for free hotel stays, merchandise and other benefits. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 800-315-2621.

The Holiday Inn Express Braintree participates in the IHG Green Engage program, an online system that measures its day-to-day environmental impact, tracks energy usage, carbon emissions, water consumption and waste management. IHG Green Engage provides tools to help hotels use fewer resources, improve their carbon footprint and reduce water use.

For Better or Worse, Guests Judge a Hotel by its Cover

With the arrival of summer, hotel managers again can focus on what’s known in the industry as “curb appeal:” the first impression guests make when they approach a hotel. A positive first opinion, coupled with welcoming service and a comfortable room, bodes well for a successful stay overall.

The challenge here is greater for older hotels. Buildings that appear out of style or suffer from worn exteriors aren’t likely to appeal to travelers of any age. This is especially true for millennials, with their preference for all things contemporary and stylish. Granted, little can be done about a building cursed by the forgettable architecture of the 50s or 60s.

M&R Hospitality Management is fortunate to operate hotels that either are new or of very recent vintage. “New” usually is good when it comes to aesthetics. But the curb appeal of even the newest hotel can benefit from enhanced landscaping, improved lighting and the addition of outdoor furniture, as space and place permit.

Travelers who research hotels and book stays online can be expected to scrutinize posted images, underscoring the importance of quality photography. It’s just as important for hotels to put their best photographic foot forward as it is for any other online retailer. Who is going to buy a shirt or hotel room online if it’s not available for visual inspection?

True road warriors – the ones who actually drive cars and work outside of the office – typically will seek a room in whatever community they reach at the end of the day. If they see two competing brands – both at the same price point – the appearance of the exterior definitely will play a role in deciding where they will stay for the night.

We continuously evaluate the exterior and interior appearance of our hotels and respond to guest comments on TripAdvisor regarding the perceived quality of our hotels, based on appearance. As a result of those efforts, three hotels operated by M&R Hotel Management currently are upgrading their curb appeal.

The Holiday Inn Express New York JFK Airport Area just finished expanding the porte cochere in front of the main entrance. General Manager Brent Hnatow said the protective outdoor roof gives the hotel more of a “sense of place.” It also serves a function, providing a shelter for guests waiting for the complimentary airport shuttle.

The Days Inn Jamaica-JFK Airport recently installed new outdoor furniture, creating what General Manager Faiza Nadeem describes as “an outdoor room.” Hotel guests already are enjoying this outdoor refuge, even though temperatures have been distinctly more spring-like than summer-like.

The Comfort Inn Midtown West on West 48th Street in Manhattan recently added more flowering plants. General Manager Juan Soto says the investment will be well spent. “Guests tell us that when they come back to the hotel, it’s like a touch of home in the middle of the city,” he said.