by Matt Alderton | June 23, 2014
Hoping to capture its share of the burgeoning wellness-travel market -- which is expected to reach $678.5 billion in the next four years -- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the first property under its new wellness-focused hotel brand, EVEN Hotels, it announced yesterday.

Located in Norwalk, Conn., the new hotel has 129 guest rooms on four floors, as well as a business center, "flexible" public workspaces, natural outdoor spaces, an onsite restaurant specializing in healthy cuisine and an extensive fitness center.

"Today is truly a milestone for IHG as we announce the opening of our first EVEN Hotels property in Norwalk," Kirk Kinsell, president of IHG's Americas region, said in a statement. "We know that for the traveling public, the ability to maintain their health routine while on the road is becoming more and more important and EVEN Hotels provides the tools and encouragement to make healthier choices while on the road at an approachable price point."

Key elements of all EVEN Hotels properties, including EVEN Hotel Norwalk, are:

• Cork & Kale Market & Bar, a healthy F&B concept that serves freshly prepared items and grab-and-go items with clear nutritional and ingredient labeling;

• The addition of natural elements and eco-conscious touches, such as real wood surfaces, terrariums throughout the hotel and natural scents in the lobby, where guests are welcomed at check-in with a glass of infused, filtered water and a cool, scented hand towel;

• A digital "Wellness Wall" where guests can learn about in-hotel and local food, fitness and community activities;

• Sleep-conducive guest rooms that include natural eucalyptus linens, adjustable LED mood lighting and showers with all-natural bath products; and

• Numerous fitness options, including a three-zone athletic studio, spin and yoga classes, a morning community run led by the property’s general manager and in-room workout equipment.

"Through a carefully designed hotel and service culture, created with the needs of our target guest at the core, we know EVEN Hotels can deliver a better experience to travelers for whom wellness is so important," Kinsell continued. "We firmly believe that the EVEN brand will be a key driver in market share growth in the U.S. as well as a unique, differentiated choice for our franchise owners."

IHG plans to open its second EVEN Hotel later this month in Rockland, Md. Additionally, it has three properties currently under development in New York -- two in Midtown Manhattan and one in Brooklyn -- with plans for future hotels in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. For more information, visit