Terri Sirmans, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham off Meridian, describes with pleasure the great feedback each completed customer survey provides to her and her team. “The feedback that our guests provide allows us to do an even better job,” she says. “It gives us opportunities to make our guests have an even better experience while they are staying with us. We really listen and appreciate every review and every opportunity for feedback.”

t's the little things such as a comfortable setting outside that make a difference says Terri Sirmans, General Manager. Photo courtesy: Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.
t’s the little things such as a comfortable setting outside that make a difference says Terri Sirmans, General Manager. Photo courtesy:
Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.

Implementing changes and improvements based on that feedback is exactly what the staff at the Holiday Inn Express aim to do with the feedback. For them, customer service is a main focus and commitment.

“Even the little things can make a huge difference,” says Sirmans of Holiday Inn Express Bellingham’s commitment to the overall experience of their guests.

It’s this commitment an focus that lead to the most prestigious award from the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). The 2016 Torchbearer Award was given to the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham. The 2016 Torchbearer Award is the highest honor bestowed on one of the IHG hotels and is a direct result of the highest levels of excellence in all parts of the hotel’s operation from quality to customer satisfaction.

The Holiday Inn Express Bellingham is one of only 337 properties in the Americas to be awarded the Torchbearer Award from among the over 5,000 properties within the system. In order to achieve this award, the hotel had to receive a year to date average of over 91% on all of the completed reviews in overall customer experience.

“That’s tough to do,” says Sirmans. “That means that virtually everyone that enters our doors has to have a great experience.”

The prestigious Torchbearer Award will be on display at the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham. Photo courtesy: Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.
The prestigious Torchbearer Award will be on display at the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham. Photo courtesy:
Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.

After a guest leaves the hotel, they are sent a survey to complete providing the opportunity for review as well as rating their experience at that location. Each one that is completed then becomes a part of this process of determining the level of satisfaction overall, based on an average between January and December.

Criteria for this prestigious award includes customer feedback on overall experience along with the hotel location’s ability to meet specific quality and standards thresholds.

Sirmans goes on to describe the heart of the staff at Holiday Inn Bellingham. They are committed to ensuring that each guest that walks through the door is made to feel welcome and appreciated. Every guest is acknowledged with a smile or a hello and helped immediately, whether they are entering through the front doors or having breakfast in the breakfast room.

“We want you to feel welcome when you come into our hotel,” Sirmans says. “That commitment is seen from our front desk staff to our housekeeping.”

The excitement of earning this prestigious award is evident in the entire staff. “This award really shows how hard the staff has been working,” Sirmans says. “We’re a family. Our whole team has a lot of heart.”

As a result of earning this high honor, each staff member will have the privilege of wearing a button that highlights the award for every guest they encounter to see, as well as demonstrating their own hard work in achieving the award. The 2016 Torchbearer award statue will be on permanent display at the hotel once received in the first quarter of 2017.

The overall experience of their guests is what earned the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham the 2016 Torchbearer Award. Photo courtesy: Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.
The overall experience of their guests is what earned the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham the 2016 Torchbearer Award. Photo courtesy:
Holiday Inn Express Bellingham.

For the community of Bellingham, the incredible award demonstrates the warm reception the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham gives to guests and their families from around the world.

The Holiday Inn Express Bellingham is located just off Meridian. It is conveniently located close to downtown Bellingham, Bellingham International Airport and outdoor activities such as hiking, boating and skiing.

Stop in to say hello and congratulate the staff at the Holiday Inn Express Bellingham on their amazing accomplishment.

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