Originally built in 1965, the 170-room hotel underwent a 10-month, $5.9 million renovation after Innisfree Hotels purchased the property in 2018. The remodeling restored the former Quality Inn & Suites to its former mid-century charm. Bold colors, large palm trees, and a soon-to-be-completed mural will make the hotel one of the most visible in the entire city. A new pool area features a lazy river and a poolside bar. A parking area adjacent to the hotel allows guests to leave their cars at the hotel while taking cruises.
This is the 24th hotel for the Gulf Breeze-based hospitality chain. Founded in 1985, Innisfree has slowly acquired multiple properties spread across the east coast. Along with the two dozen hotels, the company also operates five restaurants, including Sarasota’s H20 Bistro and the waterfront Red Fish Blue Fish in Pensacola Beach.
significant trend across a lodging industry facing uncertainty ahead, more hotels are looking at the high cost of holding a recognizable flag and choosing to instead create their own in-house brand unique to that singular property, something that also resonates well with Millennials who enjoy these more authentic offerings.
For Innisfree, the ease with being able to create unique locally-focused branding for their properties comes in part from their exclusive in-house digital marketing agency, Bee Loud. The company’s triple bottom line, which includes supporting multiple Florida organizations such as the University of West Florida and Independence for the Blind, should also help them resonate well with today's socially conscious consumers.
"We believe it will become an essential part of the traveler’s local experience as they get an authentic taste of the lifestyle and laid-back spirit of the Space Coast," he said.
All of this comes out of the company’s inspiration from the William Butler Yeats poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," that the company is named after. In a region best known for global brands, Innisfree is pushing forward the notion that authentic locally-focused unique branding can resonate with today’s travelers.
The only question is when those travelers will return.
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