Holiday inn

The new Holiday Inn Express hotel in New Bern will open near the mall in 2022

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites under construction behind the New Bern Mall is expected to welcome guests in March 2022.

The four-story hotel will have about 100 rooms when complete and will add much-needed new inventory to New Bern, said East Coast Hospitality CEO Vimal Kolappa.

“New Bern has always been a self-sustaining growing city, and there’s a lot of growth coming to New Bern Now with the boat company and other developments there,” Kolappa said. “New Bern, in our opinion, needed a good, brand new hotel as for the past few years there has been no brand new inventory.”

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Two downtown New Bern hotels, the DoubleTree by Hilton and the Courtyard Marriott, were built in 1986 and 1993.

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East Coast Hospitality has 16 hotels in operation and seven under construction in North Carolina and Virginia, including two in Havelock and four in Jacksonville.

Kolappa has been in the hotel business for approximately 25 years and opened its first hotel in Havelock, as the Comfort Inn.

He is excited to open a hotel in New Bern, as he has always loved the area and noticed he needed more hotel rooms.

From 2010 to 2019, New Bern’s population increased by 2.2%, and New Bern’s occupancy tax ratio for May 2021 was 204,433, up from 186,909 pre-pandemic in May 2019.

Kolappa hopes the hotel will serve both business and leisure travelers.

“This will be the first hotel people see when they arrive in New Bern from Raleigh,” Kolappa said.

The Newman Road location is in the middle of plenty of shopping and dining for guests and a short drive to historic downtown New Bern.

In addition to just being new inventory, Kolappa said the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites will be unique because of its high ceilings.

Hallways and bedrooms will have a ceiling height of at least 10 feet, so guests won’t feel claustrophobic during their stay.

So far, all four floors have been built and plumbing has been completed on all of them. Soon stucco will be added to the exterior.

The next phases of construction leading up to its spring opening date are electrical and mechanical work, roof inspection, drywall and final floor finishing.

Kolappa’s hotel philosophy is what it uses to build customer loyalty.

“A hotel is a room, that’s all. The only difference is the people who work there, the type of service they provide and the way they take care of customers,” Kolappa said. “We pride ourselves on providing extraordinary customer service.”

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