Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Royal Hotel Investments Opens Holiday Inn Express in Covington, Georgia

COVINGTON, GA. May 10, 2017 - One of the first new-build Holiday Inn Express properties in the country to feature the brand’s recently-introduced “Formula Blue” design direction held its grand opening celebration on Friday, May 5 in Covington, Georgia, about 35 miles east of Atlanta.

The 110-room, six-floor hotel, which represents an investment of about $13 million, is owned and operated by Royal Hotel Investments. Amenities include a business center; fitness center; outdoor swimming pool; 400-sq. ft. board room; 1,000-sq. ft. flexible space meeting room; guest laundry; and an expansive outdoor patio.

“When a hotel looks special, guests feel special – and they’re eager to come back,” said Navin Shah, Chairman of Royal Hotel Investments. “That’s why we created a property that offers the comforts of home, the convenience of the office, and the luxury of a vacation.”

The “Formula Blue” concept includes features such as an open lobby and “great room” area for social, business, or dining gatherings; re-designed case goods; and a headboard for beds that minimizes noise transfer between rooms.

“Today’s travelers want a hotel experience that is comfortable, simple, and smart, so we have brought these benefits together in a very attractive way in a strong suburban market,” added Shah, who began construction of the Holiday Inn Express in June of 2015.

Covington is often referred to as “the Hollywood of the South” based on its popularity as the filming location for many well-known movies and television shows, notably “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Selma,” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Atlanta-based Royal Hotel Investment, which was formed in 2002, currently owns and operates two Hampton Inn hotels in metropolitan Atlanta -- a 105-room property in Covington and a 99-room property in Conyers -- plus a 20,000 sq. ft. shopping center in Covington. The company also plans to add another two hotels within the next year.

“Our properties are important local resources for both travelers and residents – where business gets done and where memories are created by families, companies, and civic groups,” adds Shah, who also serves as Vice-Chairman of Embassy National Bank.

The bank, which was established in 2007, has grown to more than $115 million in assets and is a leading lender to small businesses in the southeastern United States, including many hoteliers.

Peter G. Mathon
P. R. Counsel for Royal Hotel Investment

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key
The challenge for hotel food and beverage operations is to serve the personal tastes and needs of an increasingly diverse population and, at the same time, to keep up with ever-evolving industry trends. In order to accomplish this, restaurateurs and hoteliers have to flex their creative muscles and pull out all the stops to satisfy their various audiences. One way to achieve this is to utilize existing food spaces in multiple ways at different times of the day. Lunch can be casual and fast, while dinnertime can be more formal and slower paced. The same restaurant can offer counter service by day but provide table service by night, with a completely different menu and atmosphere. Changes in music, lighting, uniforms and tabletop design contribute to its transformation. This multi- purpose approach seeks to meet the dining needs of guests as they change throughout the day. Today’s restaurants also have to go to great lengths to fulfill all the diverse dietary preferences of their guests. The popularity of plant-based, paleo, vegan, and gluten and allergen-free diets means that traditional menus must evolve from protein-heavy, carb-loaded offerings to those featuring more vegetables and legumes. Chefs are doing creative things with vegetables, such as experimenting with global cuisines or incorporating new vegetable hybrids into their dishes. Another trend is an emphasis on bold and creative flavors. From chili oil to sriracha to spicy maple syrup, entrees, desserts and beverages are all being enhanced with spice and heat. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.