The Candlewood Suites chain was started in 1995 by Jack Deboer, founder of the Residence Inn and co-founder of the Summerfield Suites chain. The first hotel was built on North Webb Road in Wichita, KS and opened in 1996. Candlewood Suites hotels are value-priced extended-stay hotels designed especially for business travelers. Spacious suites provide many amenities like fully equipped kitchens, free local calls, voice mail, data ports, and two phone lines. Each Candlewood Suites hotel offers an on-site convenience store with food items at a low price, a free entertainment library of CDs and videos available at the front desk, complimentary guest laundry, a free 24-hour exercise facility, free fax service and an outdoor barbecue gazebo. Previously, Candlewood Suites did not offer a complimentary breakfast because the chain was originally a "value-priced" brand; however, in keeping with competitors' offerings, more and more locations are now offering one; it may be either a continental or hot breakfast depending on the location. A "Brown Bag" breakfast available for purchase, consisting of fruit, a granola bar, and choice of beverage has always been offered.
From 1995 to 2003, Candlewood Hotel Company franchised and managed hotels throughout the US. In January 2004, Candlewood Suites were acquired by IHG. As of September 30th 2007, there were 151 Candlewood Suites hotels currently open with 187 hotels in the pipeline, with an estimated 50 of these hotels opening during 2007. Candlewood competes with other value-priced, extended-stay hotels such as TownePlace Suites and Mainstay Suites.