Repositioning Portfolio of Hotels and Creation of New Brand

The Assignment:

Convert fifteen Staybridge Suites and two Residence Inns to a new extended stay brand after the recent purchase of Sonesta Hotels by Reit Management and Research (RMR) and Hospitalities Properties Trust (HPT). This assignment was on an accelerated timeline of 6 months to create and implement a name that represented the brand extension as well as a way to set the extended stay product apart from the main collection in order to avoid brand confusion.

Scope of Work:

  • Create a new name that referenced Sonesta, but was unique so as not to confuse consumers
  • Develop unique brand attributes to differentiate properties from competition. This included reviewing quality features, amenity and offerings
  • Orchestrate a major renovation program with signature elements unique to the brand


  • New brand became Sonesta ES Suites. “ES” stands for many things, including “Extended Stay,” “Extra Space” and “Everyday Surprises.”
  • “Everyday Surprises” became one of the unique brand attributes offering guests a variety of experiences aimed to surprise and delight. Each hotel developed their own set of surprises, ranging from freshly baked cookies, to movies in the lobby after Hurricane Sandy, to recognitions of special anniversaries or milestones.
  • Determined a set of differentials that included the following:
    • Comfortable king pillows
    • Healthy and higher quality breakfast and afternoon receptions, offering fewer items but a variety of choice maintaining cost parameters
    • Enhanced connectivity and a variety of work spaces both in the guest rooms and lobby
    • Grab and Go food and drink options
    • A bright comfortable guestroom including replacing queen and double beds with kings where space allowed.
    • Multi-functional public areas able to accommodate guests who wished to work, relax, socialize, eat, drink or meet, including adding a coffee or alcohol bar adjacent to the front desk aimed at generating guest satisfaction and additional revenue.