Holiday Inn Family Suites Prepares for Fall Groundbreaking

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BY MARY A. MITCHELL Reed Travel Features

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Holiday Inn Family Suites is the name selected for the $70 million, 800-suite hotel to be built here by the developers of the Holiday Inn Kidsuites concept.

When the hotel opens in the fall of 1998, it will contain six different suite concepts, and, if successful, it could be a prototype for other properties. The Holiday Inn Family Suites will be developed by World Village Inc., the group that owns (and operates through a subsidiary) the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Lake Buena Vista, where these suite concepts originated.

The group received a Holiday Inn Worldwide franchise for the Holiday Inn Family Suites, which is to break ground this September. Terry Whaples, who heads World Village Management, a subsidiary of the developer, said that her group has "a proven track record with Holiday Inn, launching such family-friendly innovations as Camp Holiday, Kidsuites and Holiday SunSpree Resort."

One-half of the resort's inventory will be themed suites for children with separate bedding in special areas. The 25-acre resort will be built in the World Gateway development between State Road 536, State Road 535 and South International Drive. Every feature of the property is a response to requests from guests, according to Whaples.

Unlike standard hotel suites, each 450-square-foot guest unit at the Holiday Inn Family Suites will include three entertainment centers, each with a television, a VCR, a CD player and a Nintendo system.

Other components will be a full kitchen and separate parlor and bedroom areas. There will be 200 Kidsuites to give kids and parents their own space. The semi-enclosed children's area will have bunk beds and entertainment systems.

In addition to the Kidsuites, the 800-suite property will have 200 Teensuites, 300 Family Suites and 25 Suiteheart Suites. There also will be 50 Extended Stay Suites with additional space and a fully equipped kitchen and 25 Business Executive Suites with work areas, fax machines, computer outlets and special lighting.

At present, some of these suites can be found at the SunSpree here and the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Main Gate East in Kissimmee. The SunSpree has 115 of the Kidsuites, and the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites has 55.

Three of the newer suite concepts also can be found at the SunSpree, as follows:

* 20 Teensuites, which have full-size bunk beds and a separate entertainment system with the addition of a CD player, desk and vanity mirror.

* 50 Family Suites, which have king-size beds and full-size bunk beds on either side of a dividing wall, TVs in each sleeping area and a minikitchen.

* One prototypical Suiteheart Suite; it has a 117-gallon, heart-shaped tub; a dining area, a queen-size bed, an entertainment center, a kitchenette, robes and a towel warmer.

Rates for a standard room at the SunSpree run $94 to $109 through Aug. 31 and $63 to $94 from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, except Dec. 25, when a $134 rate applies.

The rates for a Kidsuite or Teensuite through Aug. 31 are $133 to $153, and from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, $92 to $123.

The Family Room through Aug. 31 is $105 to $124 and from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 it is $83 to $144.

The SunSpree also features two pools, a food court, a convenience store, a supervised children's play area and the CyberArcade, which offers Internet access and computers.

For information, call (800) FON-MAXX.

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