Nation's first dual-branded La Quinta, Hawthorn Suites opens in Ardmore

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite

It's been a busy year for Apollo Hospitality Firm. The Ardmore-based company owns and operates five hotels in Oklahoma and Kansas, and they have recently made numerous upgrades and improvements to their two Ardmore properties.

In addition to the renovations, the two hotels have also undergone a change in names. The former La Quinta Inn and Suites is now rebranded into the Holiday Inn Express, and the former Candlewood suites is now the first ever dual branded Hawthorn Suites and La Quinta Inn and Suites in the nation.

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The first ever dual branded Hawthorn Suites and La Quinta Inn and Suites is now open in Ardmore. Hawthorn Suites. The Hawthorn brand focuses on extended stay guests, and its 30 rooms have kitchenettes. The 50 rooms that make up the La Quinta focus on more transient travelers.

Apollo Hospitality Vice President Pratima Patel said the idea of creating a dual branded hotel came during the renovation process. Both La Quinta and Hawthorn are brands within the Wyndam portfolio of hotels, so combining them into one property is not as difficult as it may first appear. Because Hawthorn focuses on extended stay guests and La Quinta focuses on more transient travelers, having the two in one property allows for the best of both worlds.

"During the conversion phase we went to the Wyndam brand and proposed the idea of a dual branded property and explained the pros and cons of why it would world so well in the market," Patel said. "They loved the idea because it allows us to cater to different kinds of clients."

Patel said the 30 guest rooms composing the Hawthorn portion of the property all contain kitchenettes, and the remaining 50 guest rooms are part of the La Quinta. The entire property is also pet friendly and 100% nonsmoking.

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The former La Quinta Inn and Suites has been completely renovated and rebranded into a Holiday Inn Express.

The majority of the renovations on both properties took place during the time when COVID had severely impacted the hospitality and travel industry. Patel said during the height of the pandemic sales dropped dramatically.

"COVID had a huge impact on the hospitality industry," she said. "I would say sales decreased by approximately 70% due to the decline of corporate and leisure travel. A lot of properties also started experiencing staffing issues, so we had to be smart and change up our operations due to being short staffed."

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Patel said all the various brands that make up the hotel industry have changed some of their daily operations because of the reduction in travelers and staff. For example many hotels are no longer providing daily room service for guests who are in house. Instead they do it weekly. As with many other industries, it now also takes longer to receive supplies from vendors.

But Patel looks at all of these challenges as way of making things better in the future.

"COVID was so hard for everyone — personally and at work," Patel said. "It has definitely changed our industry, but in a positive way. We have gained a sense of appreciation for patience and found out that less can be more for our guests."

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