A boutique, lifestyle experience in downtown Naperville
An interview with Syed E. Hasan, general manager of Hotel Indigo Naperville Riverwalk -- An IHG Managed Hotel.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the venue.
A: The Hotel Indigo Naperville is in the heart of downtown Naperville. When you reserve a room at the Hotel Indigo, you are reserving a true boutique and lifestyle experience in charming Naperville on the DuPage River. Our hotel is the centerpiece of the exquisite Water Street Naperville development with the high-end retail and trendy restaurants and a spa, and is designed to deliver an integrated, luxury lifestyle experience to the guest.
Q: Explain what does the Hotel Indigo brand represent?
A: The Hotel Indigo brand offers guests a unique hotel experience with the modern design and intimate service associated with boutique hotels. In Naperville, the hotel is uniquely designed to reflect the culture, character and history of the surrounding neighborhood. The guest rooms and public spaces feature photographic murals of local imagery, and in keeping with the Indigo brand style and décor, the guest rooms feature plush bedding, hard-surface flooring with area rugs and spa-inspired bathrooms. The hotel truly offers an intimate luxury guest experience in the heart of downtown Naperville.
Q: What do you offer when it comes to corporate meetings, private parties, weddings, dining, weekend getaways, etc.? Meet-stay-play?
A: The hotel is a sought-after destination for both social functions and corporate meetings, offering 7,000 square feet of elegant meeting space including a 4,000 square foot ballroom that can host a reception for 300 or a banquet for 250 people. Elements at Water Street is owned by Chef Dave Miller and is our exclusive hotel partner for all our catering and banquet functions. Additionally, Water Street provides a lively setting for the hotel, with five exciting dining experiences as well as an artisan coffee roaster on site. Shoppers can enjoy trendy and chic clothiers as well as an award-winning experiential Salon and Spa that provides services for both men and women. An open-air plaza, fountain with a splash pad, a staircase patterned after the Spanish Steps in Rome and the artwork on the Riverwalk, offer an unrivaled experience to the hotel guest.
Q: Describe the atmosphere and COVID-19 safety procedures?
A: As you can imagine, protecting our guests and colleagues from COVID-19 is the single most important focus for us now. As such, our hotel and company have teamed-up with Cleveland Clinic and Ecolab to develop very strict cleanliness standards and protocols that maintain a safe and clean environment for everyone. Our new cleanliness and safety standards, along with the IHG Clean Promise, are critical to creating our Culture of Clean and ensure confidence of guests in returning to our hotel.
Q: What are people in your industry talking about? What's trending?
A: Clearly, we are consumed with discussions about the impact COVID-19 is having on every facet of life. As hoteliers, we are devastated with the diminished travel and the loss of revenue which has impacted all constituents.
The past four months have been very tough, but we are seeing some green shoots vis-à-vis leisure segment travel especially on the weekends. We are seeing an increase in our weekend occupancy which is very refreshing and encouraging. This slight upward tick in occupancy allows us to recall some of our associates who were furloughed or laid-off with the pandemic. We have created very attractive Staycation Packages and hope that people will get out of the house and come explore Naperville and stay with us in an extremely clean and safe environment at the Hotel Indigo.
Q: What is your management philosophy?
A: I love the quote from philosopher G.F. Hegel that "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion" and believe in it. I am passionate about creating a values-based culture in our workplace where the associates feel empowered and engaged. I believe that at every "touch-point" or interaction, an associate's level of engagement can make the difference between a customer's satisfaction and disappointment.
The Hotel Indigo Naperville fosters this service culture that is reflective of our values and our beautiful Naperville community.
Q: How long have you been in the hotel business?
A: I have over 25 years of accomplished lodging and hospitality management experience with global companies like InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwide and Host Hotels and Resorts. I have served in several executive management capacities in operations, sales and revenue management in Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and have had special task-force assignments in New York City and Las Vegas, Nev. I studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California.
Hotel Indigo Naperville Riverwalk -- An IHG Managed Hotel120 Water StreetNaperville, IL 60540Owner: Water Street Investment Group
Number of employees: 50
When business opened: 2016
Web address: IHG.com (enter Naperville)