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And Then There Were TWO

July 29, 2018

Chelmsford Holiday Inn Express General Manager Katey Blake shows off the swimming pool during a tour of the new Holiday Inn Express. Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

CHELMSFORD -- The former second building of the Radisson Hotel was by no means an eyesore, but it had been several years since it received an update.

In only about eight months, it’s been refreshed, rebranded and transformed into a new Holiday Inn Express with all of the modern trappings and style meant to attract a younger, more technology-savvy and business-minded clientele.

“We’ve completely turned this place around,” said Ashok Patel, a principal of Jamsan Hotel Management Inc., the Lexington-based company that manages all of Chelmsford’s hotels. “It’s a ‘night and day’ from before.”

With all but a handful of rooms on the first floor completed, the hotel had its soft opening last Friday. A grand opening event is being planned for Aug. 30.

Sidd Bhowmik, Jamsan regional director of operations, said there were many factors in the decision to separate the hotels into two entities. People frequently complained about the lack of a reception desk in the second building and how inconveniently far it was, he said.

Another reason was the desire to bring an InterContinental Hotels Group brand to the area, Bhowmik said. He said Holiday Inn Express is “a very corporate-focused, strong brand, which this market needs.”

Covered walkway

The covered walkway that once connected the two buildings was removed to fully separate them. In its place, a new, heated indoor pool was constructed, and an access road now travels between them.

The interior has had a floor-to-ceiling makeover, and all beds, furniture, fixtures, linens and carpets are fresh and new. Gone are the older tans, creams and floral patterns, replaced with a mix of neutrals, pops of bright blues, greens and reds and geometric patterns.

On the first floor, the former Independence Bar & Grill was removed -- and relocated to the main Radisson building next door -- to make way for a fresh-cooked, buffet-style breakfast bar, ample table and standalone seating, laptop and computer stations. There’s also a brand-new check-in and information desk, accompanied by a hotel shop replete with snacks and other essentials.

In the rooms, wooden elements meet sleek, modern style.

Each room has numerous electrical outlets for charging phones, computers and other devices -- as well as international plugs for travelers from abroad -- and wall-mounted flatscreen TVs swivel to be viewed from any direction. Each also has a microwave, coffee maker, mini-fridge, armoire with safe and room-controlled air conditioning.

Rooms with two queen-sized beds have a bathroom with a tub, and those with a single king-size bed and chaise lounge have a bathroom with a glass sliding door shower.

Other amenities include:

* New, credit-card operated laundry facility;

*Conference/classroom space with projector, drop-down screen and flatscreen TV;

* 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art exercise machines and free weights;

*Complimentary wireless high-speed internet;

* shuttle to corporate offices within five miles.

The hotel has 38 king bed rooms and 82 double-queen bed rooms, and a number of both kinds of rooms are designated accessible and for the hearing impaired.

General Manager Katey Blake said rooms typically range $149 to $209 per night.

“I think we are very proud of all the hard work that we put in for this building, and we hope people try out our new product soon,” Bhowmik said.

Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alana.lowellsun or on Twitter @alanamelanson.

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