Fun with decor

Best Way Inn to offer themed,
unusual hotel rooms for tourists

Idea stems from branding
guru Brooks’ work in city

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(January 2010) – Tigers, elephants, jungle netting, bamboo shoots and even a totem pole are not things tourists normally find in Madison, Ind. However, anyone who plans an overnight stay in one of the new themed hotel suites at the Best Way Inn, 700 Clifty Dr., will be pleasantly surprised with the fun-filled décor.

Jungle Room

Photos by Konnie McCollum

The new Jungle Safari room at Best Way
Inn even includes a partial thatched roof
and peaceful sky setting. (Below) Mary
Roudebush (left) and Paula Handlon (right)
designed and put together the themed room.

Mary Roudebush and Paula Handlon

“Our new suites offer a unique opportunity not found anywhere else in the area,” said designer Mary Roudebush. “Families with children, couples staying in town overnight and even residents looking for something unusual will find our new themed suites a unique experience.”
The first of the themed suites is the “Jungle Safari.” The sleeping area, living room, kitchenette and bath area are all carefully decorated in the safari motif. The room has two queen beds and a sofa with a pullout bed (perfect for the children).
The bedroom has luxurious jungle print bedding, glow-in-the-dark netting, bamboo rugs, jungle plants, an African safari mural and even a few jungle animals carefully hidden amid the décor. An array of artwork adorns the walls and furniture, while the roof of the suite has been transformed into a thatched roof on a portion of it and a blue sky filled with fluffy, peaceful clouds throughout the rest. The bath has a heart shaped jacuzzi tub and separate shower area decorated in a beautiful rainforest theme with aromatherapy indulgence
Roudebush planned and searched for the perfect décor for months. She had to special order much of the unique items, including the bamboo shoots, netting and materials for the thatched roof.
Paula Handlon assisted Roudebush in the project. “We’ve put in many hours planning and getting this ready,” she said. “I think people are going to really enjoy it.”
“We want people to have fun and remember this,” said Roudebush. “It’s different. You don’t walk into a hotel room expecting this type of beautiful setting.”
Themed hotel rooms are popping up across the country as a way to attract business, Roudebush said. “They are becoming very popular.”
The themed suite is just one of three that are in the planning at the hotel currently. Each room will be a totally unique theme. “The rest of the themed suites are a surprise,” said Roudebush. “We are thoughtfully planning each one and want them all to be a treat for our guests.”
The entire idea stems from recent visits to Madison by Seattle tourism marketing consultant Roger Brooks, who was contracted by the city to develop a marketing brand for the entire town. He provided a 64-page Branding Report containing many suggestions on how business owners could work to attract more people to the area.
“We have tried to differentiate our hotel from the others in the area,” said Roudebush. “But we also want to help attract more visitors to our area by offering them a new and unique experience.”
“This is a great idea,” said Laura Hodges, special events coordinator for the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is something else to offer to visitors when they come to us for suggestions. We welcome this type of creativity.”

• For more information about the new themed suites at Best Way Inn, call (812) 273-5151.

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